Joe Biden in 2021 State of the Union address


On Budget & Economy: Trickle down economics has never worked

The American Jobs Plan is a blue collar blueprint to build America. That's what it is. And it recognizes something I've always said, in this chamber and the other. Good guys and women on Wall Street, but Wall Street didn't build this country. The middle class built the country, and unions built the middle class.

20 million Americans lost their job in the pandemic, working and middle class Americans. At the same time, roughly 650 billionaires in America saw their net worth increase by more than $1 trillion, in the same exact period. Let me say that again: 650 people increased their wealth by more than $1 trillion during this pandemic. And they're now worth more than $4 trillion. Trickle down economics has never worked, and it's time to grow the economy from the bottom and the middle out.

Source: 2021 State of the Union address Apr 28, 2021

On Civil Rights: Madam Speaker, Madam Vice President--it's about time

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.

[OnTheIssues note: President Biden opened his speech to the Joint Session of Congress by acknowledging the two leaders of the two chambers who site behind him at the podium -- Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Vice President Kamala Harris in her role as President of the Senate. In 2021, for the first time, both leaders were women.]

Source: 2021 State of the Union address Apr 28, 2021

On Civil Rights: To all transgender Americans: your president has your back

I hope Congress will get to my desk the Equality Act to protect LGBTQ Americans. To all transgender Americans watching at home, especially the young people, who are so brave, I want you to know your president has your back.
Source: 2021 State of the Union address Apr 28, 2021

On Education: Two years of pre-school; two years of free community college

The American Families Plan guarantees four additional years of public education for every person in America -- starting as early as we can. We add two years of universal high-quality preschool for every 3- and 4-year-old. Research shows when a young child goes to school, not day care, they're far more likely to graduate from high school and go to college, or something after high school. When you add two years of free community college on top of that, you begin to change the dynamic.
Source: 2021 State of the Union address Apr 28, 2021

On Foreign Policy: Autocrats think democracy can't compete in the 21st century

I spent a lot of time with President Xi [of China]. He's deadly earnest about becoming the most significant, consequential nation in the world. He and others, autocrats, think that democracy can't compete in the 21st century with autocracies because it takes too long to get consensus.
Source: 2021 State of the Union address Apr 28, 2021

On Free Trade: Buying American doesn't violate any trade agreement

All the investments in the American Job Plan will be guided by one principle: Buy American. Buy American. And I might note parenthetically, that does not violate any trade agreement. It's been the law since the '30s: Buy American. American tax dollars are going to be used to buy American products made in America to create American jobs. That's the way it is supposed to be, and it will be in this administration.
Source: 2021 State of the Union address Apr 28, 2021

On Gun Control: We're not changing the Constitution; we're being reasonable

I don't want to become confrontational but we need more Senate Republicans to join the overwhelming majority of Democratic colleagues, and close the loopholes required in background checks purchases of guns. We need a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines. We're not changing the Constitution. We're being reasonable. I think this is not a Democrat or Republican issue. I think it's an American issue.
Source: 2021 State of the Union address Apr 28, 2021

On Health Care: Create an advanced research project agency for health

The NIH should create an advanced research project agency for health. It would have a singular purpose: to develop breakthroughs to prevent, detect and treat diseases like Alzheimer's, diabetes and cancer. I'll still never forget when we passed the cancer proposal in the last year I was vice president, almost $9 million going to NIH. I know of nothing that is more bipartisan, so let's end cancer as we know it. It is within our power to do it.
Source: 2021 State of the Union address Apr 28, 2021

On Health Care: Give Medicare power to negotiate lower prescription prices

Let's lower prescription drug costs. We know how to do this. We all know how outrageously expensive drugs are in America. In fact, we pay the highest prescription drug prices of anywhere in the world, right here in America. Nearly three times for the same drug, nearly three times what other countries pay. We have to change that. And we can. Let's give Medicare the power to save hundreds of billions of dollars by negotiating lower drug prescription prices.
Source: 2021 State of the Union address Apr 28, 2021

On Homeland Security: Most lethal terrorist threat: white supremacist terrorism

In 20 years, terrorism has metastasized. The threat has evolved way beyond Afghanistan. We have to remain vigilant against the threats to the United States wherever they come from. Al-Qaida and ISIS are in Yemen, Syria, Somalia, other places in Africa, in the Middle East and beyond. And we won't ignore what our intelligence agency has determined to be the most lethal terrorist threat to the homeland today: white supremacy's terrorism.
Source: 2021 State of the Union address Apr 28, 2021

On Jobs: American Jobs Plan is a once-in-a-generation investment

Throughout our history public investment in infrastructure has literally transformed America. These are investments that only the government was in a position to make. Time and again, they propel us into the future. That's why I propose the American Jobs Plan, a once-in-a-generation investment in America itself. This is the largest jobs plan since World War II. It creates jobs to upgrade our transportation infrastructure, jobs modernizing our roads, bridges, highways.
Source: 2021 State of the Union address Apr 28, 2021

On Principles & Values: America is an idea: we are all created equal

An American President has to represent the essence of what our country stands for. America is an idea, the most unique idea in history: we are created, all of us, equal. It's who we are, and we cannot walk away from that principle. And, in fact, say "we're dealing with the American idea."

Can our democracy overcome the lies, anger, hate, and fears that have pulled us apart? America's adversaries, the autocrats of the world, are betting we can't. They believe we're too full of anger and division and rage. They look at the images of the mob that assaulted the Capitol as proof that the sun is setting on American democracy. We have to prove them wrong. We have to prove democracy still works, that our government still works, and we can deliver for our people.

Source: 2021 State of the Union address Apr 28, 2021

On Technology: We have to develop and dominate future technologies

We'll see more technological change in the next 10 years than we saw in the last 50. And we're falling behind the competition with the rest of the world. Decades ago, we used to invest 2% of our gross domestic product in research and development. Today, that's less than 1%. China and other countries are closing in fast. We have to develop and dominate the products and technologies of the future, the advanced batteries, biotechnology, computer chips, clean energy.
Source: 2021 State of the Union address Apr 28, 2021

The above quotations are from 2021 State of the Union address to Congress, plus the Republican response.
Click here for other excerpts from 2021 State of the Union address to Congress, plus the Republican response.
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Page last updated: May 01, 2021