Biden delivers first joint address to Congress

By Melissa Macaya, Veronica Rocha and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 3:00 p.m. ET, June 29, 2021
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9:52 p.m. ET, April 28, 2021

Biden on vaccine success: We will have provided more than 220 million shots in 100 days

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

President Biden touted the success of his administration's Covid-19 vaccine rollout during his first joint session remarks to Congress.

He called the $1.9 trillion American Rescue plan "one most consequential rescue packages in American history. We're already seeing the results."

"After I promised we would get 100 million Covid-19 shots into people's arms in 100 days, we will have provided over 220 million Covid shots in those 100 days," Biden said.

"We're marshaling every federal resource. We're gotten vaccinations to nearly 40,000 pharmacies and over 700 community health centers where the poorest of the poor can be reached. We're setting up community vaccination sites, developing mobile units to get the hard to reach communities. Today, 90% of Americans now live within five miles of a vaccination site."

Biden then pleaded with Americans to get vaccinated.

"Everyone over the age of 16, everyone, is now eligible to get vaccinated right now, right away," he said. "Go get vaccinated, America. Go and get the vaccination. They're available. You're eligible now."

Watch the moment:

1:13 a.m. ET, April 29, 2021

Biden is talking about his Covid-19 relief bill. Here's a reminder of what's in it.

From CNN's Tami Luhby and Katie Lobosco

President Biden is touting his $1.9 trillion Covid-19 economic relief package during today's address. The relief package was Biden's first and most pressing legislative priority since taking office in January.

Here's a reminder of what is in the bill:

  • Stimulus checks: The bill provided direct payments worth up to $1,400 per person. Families received an additional $1,400 per child. There were restrictions based on how much Americans make.
  • Unemployment assistance: The bill calls for a $300 federal boost to weekly jobless payments and extending two key pandemic unemployment benefits programs through Sept. 6.
  • State and local aid: The legislation provides $350 billion to states, local governments, territories and tribes.
  • Nutrition assistance: The package extends the 15% increase in food stamp benefits through September. It also contains $880 million for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, known as WIC. It will allow states to continue the Pandemic-EBT.
  • Housing aid: The bill sends roughly $20 billion to state and local governments to help low-income households cover back rent, rent assistance and utility bills. It authorizes about $10 billion to help struggling homeowners pay their mortgages, utilities and property taxes.
  • Tax credits: The bill expands the child tax credit to $3,600 for each child under 6 and $3,000 for each child under age 18. Currently, families can receive a credit of up to $2,000 per child under age 17.
  • Paid sick and family leave: While the bill does not make this mandatory, it will continue to provide tax credits to employers who voluntarily choose to offer the benefit through Oct. 1.
  • Education and child care: The bill provides $125 billion to public K-12 schools to help students return to the classroom, including for things like ventilation, personal protective equipment for teachers and support staff.
  • Health insurance subsidies: The package made federal premium subsidies for Affordable Care Act policies more generous and would eliminate the maximum income cap for two years.
  • Small businesses: The bill provides $15 billion to the Emergency Injury Disaster Loan program and another $7 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program. It also provides $25 billion for a new grant program specifically for bars and restaurants.
  • Vaccines: $14 billion will go towards researching, developing, distributing, administering and strengthening confidence in vaccines. It will also put $47.8 billion toward things like testing and contact tracing.
  • Rural hospitals: The bill allocates $8.5 billion to help struggling rural hospitals and health care providers.

Read a more detailed breakdown here.

9:33 p.m. ET, April 28, 2021

Biden: A nation in crisis is "on the move again"

From CNN's Josiah Ryan

President Biden opened his first joint address to Congress, saying he'd inherited a nation in crisis but in less than 100 days ago, his administration had already begun to turn it around.

"It's been 100 days since I took the oath of office, lifted my hand off our family Bible and inherited a nation, we all did, that was in crisis, the worst pandemic in a century, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, the worst attack on our democracy, since the Civil War," said the President.

"Now, after just 100 days I can report to the nation, America is on the move again," continued Biden, receiving standing ovation. "Turning peril into possibility, crisis into the opportunity, setbacks into strength."

Watch the moment:

1:14 a.m. ET, April 29, 2021

Biden is touting his administration's Covid-19 response. Here's a look at the latest US vaccination figures.

From CNN's Deidre McPhillips

Chip Somodevilla/Pool/AP
Chip Somodevilla/Pool/AP

President Biden is touting his administration's Covid-19 response, including administering more than 200 million coronavirus vaccine shots since he took office.

"Thanks to the help of all of you," Biden told lawmakers. "We're marshaling, with your help, everyone's help, we're marshaling every federal resource."

The battle against Covid-19 has been a central part of Biden's first 100 days. The $1.9 trillion Covid-19 economic relief package passed in March was Biden's primary and most pressing legislative priority since taking office.

The legislation provided $14 billion for researching, developing, distributing, administering and strengthening confidence in vaccines. It also put $47.8 billion toward testing, contact tracing and mitigation, including investing in laboratory capacity, community-based testing sites and mobile testing units, particularly in medically underserved areas.

Here's a look at the latest figures on US vaccinations:

  • Nearly 235 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in the United States, according to data published Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
  • The CDC reported that 234,639,414 total doses have been administered and about 78% of the 301,857,885 total doses have been delivered. 
  • That’s also about 2.2 million more doses reported administered since Tuesday, for a seven-day average of about 2.7 million doses per day. 
  • About 43% of the population – nearly 143 million people – have received at least one dose of vaccine
  • 29.5% of the population – more than 98 million people – are fully vaccinated, CDC data shows. 

Note: Data published by the CDC may be delayed, and doses may not have been given on the day reported.

CNN's Tami Luhby and Katie Lobosco contributed reporting to this post. 

9:21 p.m. ET, April 28, 2021

NOW: Biden delivers remarks to joint session of Congress

From CNN's Kate Sullivan

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden is delivering his first joint session address to Congress, a day before he marks his 100th day in office.

"My fellow Americans, while the setting tonight is familiar, this gathering is just a little bit different. A reminder of the extraordinary times we're in," Biden said. "Throughout our history, presidents have come to this chamber to speak to Congress, to the nation and to the world, to declare war, to celebrate peace, to announce new plans and possibilities. Tonight, I come to talk about crisis and opportunity."

The President is expected to tout his administrations accomplishments within his first 100 days including, his administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 570,000 Americans. The US recently surpassed 200 million Covid-19 shots administered since Jan. 20, which was double the original goal Biden had outlined of achieving 100 million shots in arms in the first 100 days.

Earlier this year, the Biden administration passed a sweeping $1.9 trillion Covid-19 emergency economic relief package, which included $1,400 checks to Americans, increased unemployment assistance, aid to states and municipalities and tax credits for families and certain low-income workers.

Biden is also expected to lay out parts of his American Families Plan, a roughly $1.5 trillion legislative proposal to invest hundreds of billions of dollars into key Democratic priorities on education, child care and paid leave. The plan is the second part of a two-part proposal to help the nation's economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Because of coronavirus restrictions, Biden's address to Congress is set to look unlike any other in modern American history. A limited number of lawmakers are attending the speech, and Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will both be wearing masks as they sit behind Biden. It will be the first time two women occupy the seats behind the President at a joint address to Congress.

9:21 p.m. ET, April 28, 2021

Biden thanks Pelosi and Harris in historic moment: "It's about time"

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez

Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just made history, becoming the first two women in Washington leadership to sit behind a current US President during a joint address to Congress.

"Madam speaker, madam vice president. No president has ever said those words from this podium. No president has ever said those words. And it's about time," Biden said.

The symbolism is something Biden was expected to acknowledge during his speech, according to sources familiar with the plan.

Though silent throughout the President's remarks, the vice president and the speaker's body language often serve as guideposts for how parties in the chamber react.

House Speaker John Boehner was sometimes seen grimacing behind then-President Barack Obama during his addresses to Congress. And Pelosi was famously seen ripping up her copy of President Trump's 2020 State of the Union address shortly after he finished speaking.

Given that both Pelosi and Harris are Democrats, expect frequent gestures of approval, like applause and standing ovations.

See the historic moment:

9:13 p.m. ET, April 28, 2021

President Biden has entered the House chamber

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

President Biden entered the House chamber for his first joint session address to Congress to a round of applause.

Biden was wearing his face mask as he greeted people with fist bumps as he walked toward the podium.

Once there he greeted Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi handing them copies of his speech. Pelosi then introduced the President.

Watch the moment President Biden entered the House chamber:

9:11 p.m. ET, April 28, 2021

Second gentleman Doug Emhoff blows air kisses and waves toward Harris

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez

Second gentleman Doug Emhoff has entered the House chamber for President Biden's joint address to Congress.

When he took his seat in the gallery of the House chamber, Emhoff was seen blowing air kisses and waving toward his wife, Vice President Kamala Harris, who will be seated behind the President on the rostrum.

See second gentleman wave to VP Harris ahead of joint address: 

9:02 p.m. ET, April 28, 2021

First lady Jill Biden has entered the House chamber

First lady Dr. Jill Biden has entered the chamber ahead of the President's joint address to Congress.

The first lady's guests are watching the President's speech tonight remotely due to Covid-19 safety measures, the White House said in a release.

Watch the moment: