Biden to address US Congress as lawmakers consider infrastructure plan

US President Joe Biden takes questions as he holds his first formal news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, US, March 25, 2021. — Reuters pic
US President Joe Biden takes questions as he holds his first formal news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, US, March 25, 2021. — Reuters pic

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WASHINGTON, April 14 — US President Joe Biden will speak to a joint session of the US Congress on April 28, accepting an invitation from House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a fellow Democrat.

“The President has accepted the invitation of the Speaker of the House to address a Joint Session of Congress on April 28, the night before his 100th day in office,” the White House said in a prepared statement.

The speech will give Biden, 78, an opportunity to deliver a sales pitch to millions of Americans for his US$2.3 trillion (RM9.5 trillion) infrastructure proposal, which is the subject of a partisan debate in Congress.

It comes as he faces several daunting domestic challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic and record numbers of migrants crossing the US border with Mexico. Abroad he must manage confrontations with Russia over Ukraine, China over Taiwan and Iran over its nuclear program.

Biden on Tuesday called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to reduce tensions over a military build-up on Ukraine’s border and proposed a summit of the estranged leaders to tackle a raft of disputes.

Biden sent former US Senator Chris Dodd and former Deputy Secretaries of State Richard Armitage and James Steinberg to Taiwan on Tuesday in what a White House official called a “personal signal” of his commitment to the island and its democracy.

In February, Pelosi said she would invite Biden to deliver the speech after Congress passed his US$1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill. Biden signed the legislation on March 11. — Reuters

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