President Joe Biden will address a joint session of Congress for the first time on Wednesday evening and is expected to tout his administration’s accomplishments within his first 100 days in office and unveil key components of his next legislative push.
Biden is 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.
The President is set to tout 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 January 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.
Because of coronavirus restrictions, Biden’s address to Congress is set to look unlike any other in modern American history. There will be a limited number of lawmakers 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.
Here’s what you need to know about how to watch Biden’s address.
Biden will address a joint session of Congress starting at 9 p.m. ET.
It can also be viewed on CNNgo (at CNN.com/go on your desktop, smartphone, and iPad, and via CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Android TV, Chromecast and Roku). The special will also be available on demand to subscribers via cable/satellite systems, CNNgo platforms and CNN mobile apps. You can also follow CNN’s live coverage on CNN.com.
The joint session will be designated a National Special Security Event and there will be a limit on the number of lawmakers in the chamber due to Covid-19 protocols, a Capitol official involved in planning told CNN. Lawmakers will be seated in the upstairs gallery in addition to the House floor and guests will not be permitted. A total of about 200 people are expected to be allowed in the House chamber.
Chief Justice John Roberts will attend on behalf of the Supreme Court, a court spokesperson told CNN.
First lady Jill Biden will attend the address to Congress but because of coronavirus safety protocols she will not be bringing guests to sit with her, Jill Biden’s press secretary Michael LaRosa told CNN.
Biden won’t be required to wear a mask while speaking on Wednesday. House rules require anyone speaking in the chamber to be wearing a mask, but that doesn’t apply to Biden because the rules only pertain to lawmakers, according to a senior Democratic aide.