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Miss. congressional leaders react to Biden’s first address to Congress

By WLBT Digital

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WLBT) - President Joe Biden declared Wednesday night that “America is rising anew” as he called for an expansion of federal programs to drive the economy past the pandemic and broadly extend the social safety net on a scale not seen in decades.

In his first address to Congress, Biden talked about overcoming the coronavirus pandemic with a $1.8 trillion investment in children, families, and education, the power of the government, democracy, and his infrastructure plan.

Rep. Roger Wicker (R) criticized the president’s proposal to raise taxes to pay for his plans saying it will have a negative impact on jobs.

“The last thing we need to do is change the tax policies that were getting us to this great wave of job creation,” Wicker said. “So I worry what the President is proposing is going to put a huge damper on job creation.”

Fellow Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith said she respects the president’s intentions but believes he’s set an unreasonable course.

“There are real problems facing our nation—an economic downturn, unacceptable jobless rates, aging infrastructure, and unrelenting enemies,” Hyde-Smith said. “I am willing to work with anyone in Congress to address these serious challenges, but I do not believe a radical, big-spending, big-government agenda will unify a nation working to rebuild from the pandemic.”

Mississippi’s lone Democratic Congressman, Bennie Thompson, says President Biden offered a unifying vision for America and a path forward.

“It is clear that America has the leadership necessary to live up to its promise, face these crises head-on, and build back better,” Thompson said. “I am glad to know President Joe Biden understands that voter suppression, the domestic terrorism that occurred on Jan. 6, and white supremacy threatens our democracy. We must stand against anything that threatens our democracy!”