Joe Biden speech: what did the US president say on spending, Covid and global relations to mark 100 days in office?

Mr Biden was joined by vice president Kamala Harris and house speaker Nancy Pelosi in his landmark address to Congress

US president Joe Biden marked his 100th day in office by providing a progress report on his administration’s work since succeeding Donald Trump in the White House.

Mr Biden was accompanied by vice president Kamala Harris and house speaker Nancy Pelosi in his address to Congress, which was greeted by applause from the chamber.

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It was the first time a speech such as this one had been made with two women sitting behind the president - something Mr Biden said was “about time” turning to Ms Harris.

Mr Biden went on to discuss his administration’s expenditure, and planned spending, as well as the volume of Covid vaccines deployed to the nation since 20 January 2021.

Biden on spending

Mr Biden used his speech to announce a new $1.8 trillion (£1.3t) investment package aimed towards benefitting the US’s children and families for generations to come.

Among the proposals $200b would be used for universal pre-school for three and four year olds, $225b towards child care costs, and $109b for two years of free community college for all.

US President Joe Biden addresses a joint session of Congress as Vice President Kamala Harris (L) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (R) look on in the House chamber of the US Capitol in Washington DC. (Pic: Getty Images)

It would also bring in monthly payments of at least $250 for parents.

“The great universities of this country have conducted studies over the last 10 years that shows adding two years of universal high quality pre-school for every three-year-old and four-year-old - no matter what background they come from - puts them in a position to compete all through the 12 years and increases exponentially their prospect of graduating and going on after graduation,” said Mr Biden.

The spendings proposal will be fully offset within 15 years as part of a new initiative to raise the amount of taxes paid by the richest Americans, the White House said.

Biden on Covid jabs

After taking over from Donald Trump, Mr Biden promised to tackle the Covid pandemic by promoting the wearing of masks and increasing the number of vaccinations.

He set a target of 100 million vaccine doses to be administered in his first 100 days - at a time when “America’s house was on fire - we had to act,” he said.

Mr Biden said that more than 220 million doses had been delivered and that 70% of the country’s senior citizens had been fully vaccinated in defence of the deadly virus.

“There's still more work to do to beat this virus,” said Mr Biden. “We can't let our guard down now. But tonight, I can say because of you - the American people - our progress these past 100 days against one of the worst pandemics in history is one of the greatest logistical achievements our country has ever seen.”

Biden on international relations

Mr Biden has not been shy about coming forward when speaking about the US’s international relations with countries such as China, North Korea and Russia.

But, during his speech to mark 100 days in office, Mr Biden opened the door to the two countries working together on such issues such as climate change.

“I made very clear to president Putin that while we don't seek escalation, their actions have consequences,” said Mr Biden, who called on every nation to play their part in tackling global crises.

Mr Biden added: “No one nation can deal with all the crises of our time alone - from terrorism to nuclear proliferation to mass migration, cybersecurity, climate change - and as we're experiencing now, pandemics.”

Biden on Afghanistan

President Biden also reiterated his promise to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan and “end the forever war”.

“After 20 years of American valour and sacrifice, it's time to bring our troops home,” said Mr Biden, while vowing to remain vigilant against threats to the US.

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