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Rep. Garamendi’s Statement Following President Biden’s Address to Congress

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) issued the following statement after exiting the House Chamber following President Biden’s first address to a Joint Session of Congress:

“Today, on his 99th day in office, President Biden showed how much progress we’ve already made as a nation since he took office,” Garamendi said. “President Biden wasted no time in engaging Congress and passing the ‘American Rescue Plan,’ which is meeting the lofty goals of putting COVID-19 vaccines in arms—over 220 million since President Biden took office—and putting students back in classrooms, money in people’s pockets, and Americans back to work. Thanks to the ‘American Rescue Plan,’ America has created more new jobs within President Biden’s first two months than any administration in history, delivered an additional $1,400 check to most Americans, and helped safely re-open schools in my Congressional District and throughout the country.

“President Biden has also delivered historic progress on combatting the climate crisis, addressing the gun violence epidemic, and providing student loan debt and rental assistance,” Garamendi continued. “As a leader of the Congressional Make it in America Initiative, I was thrilled that President Biden signed an executive order supporting ‘Buy American’ policies on one of his first days in office to review critical supply chains and ensure that we rebuild the American manufacturing sector.

“I also joined President Biden and a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the Oval Office in March to discuss our infrastructure priorities and how to support ‘Buy American’ and ‘Make it in America’ policies that will rebuild our nation’s crumbling infrastructure with American materials and workers,” Garamendi continued. “Shortly after that meeting, President Biden unveiled the ‘American Job Plan,’ a once-in-a-generation infrastructure investment that will rebuild our economy, create good-paying middle-class jobs, and build our nation’s transportation and infrastructure sectors back better than before. As a senior member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I look forward to working with President Biden and my colleagues in Congress to pass this critically important legislation in the coming months.

“During his address, President Biden highlighted all of these achievements he helped secure for the American people and vowed to continue using every possible moment of every day to enact the entirety of his bold agenda for America into law,” Garamendi continued. “We saw exactly how he intends to do that with his introduction of the ‘American Families Plan’ tonight. This historic legislation would make a much-needed investment in our kids, families, and economic future.

“President Biden understands that when American families succeed, our nation succeeds,” Garamendi continued. “Sadly, too many Americans are struggling right now to pay the bills, care for their children, and make ends meet. The ‘American Families Plan’ will make critical investments into the foundations of middle-class prosperity. Specifically, it will:

o   “Provide universal access to high-quality, free Pre-K for 3- and 4- year-olds.

o   “Make two years of community college free for all Americans.

o   “Lower college cost for low- and middle- income students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Minority Serving Institutions (MCIs).

o   “Increase the maximum Pell Grant award by approximately $1,400 and allow DREAMers to access the funding.

o   “Ensure no one earning under 150% of state median income has to pay more than 7% of their income on high-quality care for children under 5.

o   “Provide comprehensive paid family and medical leave, allowing workers to take the time they need to care for themselves or loved ones

o   “Expand nutrition assistance, school meal programs, and summer meal programs for children and families.

o   “Invest $1 billion in maternal health.

o   “Invest $9 billion to strengthen teacher pipelines and address shortages, increasing the number of teachers of color and supporting the growth of all teachers,” Garamendi continued.

“The ‘American Families Plan’ will also extend the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit and health insurance premium reductions made possible by President Biden’s ‘American Rescue Plan,’ providing relief to 160,000 families in my district alone. These two policies would provide $4,000 in savings to cover childcare expenses and save the average family $50 in health insurance premiums per person per month,” Garamendi continued.

“With the ‘American Families Plan,’ we will build upon the President’s other historic actions in his first 100 days to provide further relief for working families and ensure that our nation’s tax system rewards hard work—not privilege,” Garamendi continued.

“I couldn’t be more encouraged by what President Biden and the Democratic Congress have achieved in the Biden Administration’s first 100 days. President Biden is working to restore the soul of our nation and support America’s unyielding commitment to middle-class and working families. It was an honor to attend his address tonight, and I look forward to continuing to work together to fight for every American,” Garamendi concluded.

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