US president delivers first address to Congress: Live updates | Politics News

United States President Joe Biden is delivering his first address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night, telling Americans that the country is “moving forward” again, after the coronavirus pandemic crippled the economy, caused many to lose their jobs and claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

“After just 100 days, I can report to the nation: America is on the move again. Turning peril into possibility. Crisis into opportunity. Setback into strength,” Biden said.

He said that in the first 100 days of his office, his administration created more than 1.3 million new jobs – more than any president on record in their first 100 days in office.

Biden also said that with his policy, the country’s economy will grow at a rate of more than six percent this year.

US President Joe Biden addresses a joint session of Congress as Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House US Rep. Nancy Pelosi look on [Chip Somodevillaat/Reuters]

Here are the latest updates:

Thursday, April 29

02:11 GMT – Biden says US not seeking ‘escalation’ with Russia

US President Joe Biden said that he was not seeking to escalate tensions with his Russia and its leader, Vladirimir Putin, after imposing an array of sanctions against Moscow.

“I made very clear to Putin that we don’t seek escalation but their actions have consequences,” Biden said.

02:03 GMT – Biden: Time to end epidemic gun violence

US President Joe Biden has urged Congress to pass legislation that would end the “epidemic of gun violence” in the country.

“I will do everything in my power to protect the American people from this epidemic of gun violence. But it’s time for Congress to act as well.

He pleaded to Senate Republicans to join Democrats “to close loopholes and require background checks to purchase a gun.”

“And we need a ban on assault weapons and high – capacity magazines again. Don’t tell me it can’t be done. We’ve done it before … and it worked.”

01:55 GMT – Biden: White supremacy is terrorism

US President Joe Biden has declared that “white supremacy is terrorism” and said that it is time to address racism in the US.

“My fellow Americans, we have to come together. To rebuild trust between law enforcement and the people they serve. To root out systemic racism in our criminal justice system.

“And to enact police reform in George Floyd’s name that passed the House already,” he said as he pleaded for Congress to pass the legislation into law by May, the first anniversary of the death of George Floyd, an African-American whose killing by a white police officer triggered protests across the country.

01:51 GMT – Biden says climate crisis a global fight

President Joe Biden declared that “the climate crisis” is not just a fight that the US can fight alone, but a “global fight”.

“The United States accounts for less than 15 percent of carbon emissions. The rest of the world accounts for 85 percent.

“That’s why – I kept my commitment to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement on my first day in office.

“And I kept my commitment to convene a climate summit right here in America, with all of the major economies of the world – from China and Russia to India and the European Union in my first 100 days.

“I wanted the world to see that there is consensus that we are at an inflection point in history.”

01:41 GMT – US president wants America’s wealthiest to pay their ‘fair share’

President Joe Biden argued in his first speech to Congress on Wednesday that he had restored Americans’ faith in democracy nearly 100 days after he succeeded Donald Trump in office, and was set to unveil a $1.8 trillion spending and tax-credit plan.

He said that the Top 1 percent of country’s wealthiest people should pay their “fair share” in the country’s economy.

“20 million Americans lost their jobs in the pandemic – working- and middle-class Americans. At the same time, the roughly 650 billionaires in America saw their net worth increase by more than $1 trillion.”

01:30 GMT – Biden hails US vaccination programme

Biden said that after promising 100 million COVID-19 vaccine shots in 100 days, his administration will have provided over 220 million COVID shots in his first 100 days in office.

He said that the vaccines are being made available to nearly 40,000 pharmacies and over 700 community health centres.

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