Aug 11, 2021

Joe Biden Build Back Better Agenda Speech Transcript August 11

Joe Biden Build Back Better Agenda Speech Transcript August 11
RevBlogTranscriptsJoe Biden TranscriptsJoe Biden Build Back Better Agenda Speech Transcript August 11

President Joe Biden spoke about his “Build Back Better” legislative agenda on August 11, 2021. Read the transcript of the speech briefing here.

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President Joe Biden: (00:01)
… making the administration the first ever to add 4 million jobs in the first six months in office. And then in the past 24 hours, we’ve seen the Senate advance two key pieces of my economic agenda, the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the budget resolution that is the framework for my Build Back Better plan.

President Joe Biden: (00:24)
Today, I’m pleased to share more good news to the American people. The latest report on consumer prices show that the expected easy we thought was going to come has increased. We’ve seen a good monthly report. A monthly core consumer price index is down by nearly two thirds from its pace over the past three months. And when you take out the goods directly impacted by the pandemic like cars and airplane tickets and the monthly core consumer price index is less than two tenths of 1%.

President Joe Biden: (01:07)
Here’s where we stand. Jobs are up and monthly price increases have come down. Economic growth is up, the fastest in 40 years, and unemployment is coming down. So I would argue the Biden economic plan is working. Historic investments are on the way as well. This isn’t accidental, it’s a result of our strategy to get shots in arms and grow the economy from the bottom up in the middle out and as the rest of the result of the American Rescue Plan and everything else that we’ve done. And as a result of the grit and determination and really hard work of the American people.

President Joe Biden: (01:50)
But even with all this progress, a lot of families are still feeling the pinch. Family budgets remain tight, and paychecks don’t go as far as they need to. That has been the reality in the millions of households all across America for too long. That’s why I want to talk today about what we’re going to do to try to ease the burden on families right now, and what we need to do to help them succeed over the longer term.

President Joe Biden: (02:15)
First, for millions of families, help is on the way right now, thanks to the American Rescue Plan. On Friday, about 40 million families will receive their second monthly payment as part of our tax cut for families with children. $300 for each child under the age of six, and $250 for every child six through the age of 17. That’s money for diapers, food, rent, school supplies, fees, and equipment for the child to join sports teams and dance classes. Most of all, as my dad used to say, it just gives a parent a little bit of breathing room. The money is a game changer. And so I would argue for some, it’s literally a life saver.

President Joe Biden: (03:04)
Economists also tell us that those kinds of tax cuts boost test scores, college attendance, and lifetime earnings for children. A win-win. And that’s why I’m glad that early this morning, Congress took an important step to make sure that this tax cut for families with children does not expire next year. So let’s keep this tax cut going and not raise taxes on middle-class families.

President Joe Biden: (03:32)
The second point I’d like to make is we’re talking about taking action that alleviates global supply chain challenges that keep prices higher than they should be. For example, we’re tracking congestion at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the largest ports in the United States where increased shipping traffic and the challenges operating safely in a pandemic are creating disruptions. Those disruptions impact everything from how much our food costs to when deliveries arrive.

President Joe Biden: (04:06)
So my administration is bringing together port operators, shipping lines, labor unions, trucking companies, railroads and others, to speed up the ports operations. Right now, our experts believe, the major independent forecasters agree as well, that these bottlenecks and price spikes will reduce as our economy continues to heal. While today’s consumer price report points in that direction, we will keep a careful eye on inflation each month, and trust the Fed to take appropriate action if and when it’s needed.

President Joe Biden: (04:42)
Third, I’ve directed my administration to crack down on what some major players are doing in the economy that are keeping prices higher than they need to be. Take your grocery bill. When big agricultural operations consolidate, they put a squeeze on small and family farms, making them pay more for seed, paying them less for what they produce and raising prices on what you pay for your groceries at the grocery store. My executive order opens up competition in the agricultural business, gives more farmers a chance to compete, which will give Americans more food choices at lower costs.

President Joe Biden: (05:25)
Fourthly, we’re taking action to address gas prices as well. Today, gas prices are lower than they were early in this decade, but they’re still high enough to create a pinch on working families. One key thing about the infrastructure bill that just passed the Senate, is there are no gas tax increases. No gas tax increases. I made that absolutely clear that I would not raise gas taxes. I’m glad everyone in the Senate seemed to agree with that. But that’s not enough.

President Joe Biden: (05:58)
Recently, we’ve seen the price oil companies pay for a barrel of oil began to fall, but the cost of gasoline at the pump for more American people hasn’t fallen. That’s not what you’d expect in a competitive market. I want to make sure that nothing stands in the way of oil price declines, leading to lower prices for consumers. So today, my director of the National Economic Council has asked the chair of the Federal Trade Commission to use every available tool to monitor the U.S. gasoline market, and address any illegal conduct that might be contributing to price increases at the pump, while the cost of barrel of oil is going down. We’ve also made clear to OPEC, the major oil exporting nations of the world, that the production cuts made during the pandemic should be reversed as the global economy recovers, in order to lower prices for consumers.

President Joe Biden: (07:00)
The child tax credit is stepping in to address the supply chain challenges. My competition orders, the FTC investigation and the price gouging. These are some of the immediate steps we’re taking to put more money in your pocket, and make that money go further. We also need to do more to bring down the cost that are squeezing families month after month and year after year. We need to make this economy work better for working families in the long run. These challenges are with us long before the pandemic and before I took office. But as we recover from this crisis, now is the moment to put in place the long-term plan to build back America better.

President Joe Biden: (07:45)
A plan that will increase opportunities with better jobs and with higher wages. A plan that will lower the everyday cost that strain our budgets and our nations and families today and long into the future. It starts with making investments that we know will make the economy more productive and lead to more growth over the long run. Bringing down the every day costs that have been taking a bigger and bigger bite out of middle-class families incomes.

President Joe Biden: (08:16)
The expenses that keep parents up at night and rob seniors of their dignity. Health care, prescription drug costs, childcare, education, housing, or caring for an elderly relative or a loved one. For those will get their health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, the American Rescue Plan allowed us to cover more people at lower premiums, and lower premiums by average of 40%. In my Build Back Better plan, we want to build on that progress, or prescription drugs. Right now we pay the highest prescription drug costs prices of any developed nation in the world. The highest.

President Joe Biden: (09:00)
My Build Back Better plan is going to lower prescription drug costs, by finally giving Medicare the power to negotiate the price of the drug they purchased for the American people, saving Americans hundreds of billions of dollars. On top of that, my plan would add hearing, dental and vision benefits to Medicare. Right now, there are hundreds of thousands of Americans who need home and community-based care services. And my plan expands home care for older Americans and people with disabilities, while improving jobs and the pay for the workers who care for them. My plan will also provide access to quality affordable childcare, with new and upgraded childcare facilities all across the country. Middle-class families will pay no more than 7% of their income for highly qualified care for children up to the age of five. The most hard-pressed working families will not pay a dime.

President Joe Biden: (10:08)
Today, my council of economic advisors in the Office of Management and Budget, released a report showing clearly how my Build Back Better plan will lower out-of-pocket expenses for families. For example, a family with two parents, who together earn $85,000 a year. They have an adult daughter who lives with them and attends a community college. They care for an elderly parent who needs arthritis medicine, which costs $5,500 out of pocket each year. An eye exam, to get a new pair of glasses. Under our Build Back Better plan, their daughter would be eligible for two years of community college free. That will save them $2,400 a year. That’s like a $2,400 tax credit. I should say, tax cut, not just credit.

President Joe Biden: (11:02)
In addition, my plan would cap out-of-pocket expenses and costs for their mom’s and dad’s prescription drugs, saving that family another $2,400 a year. And a new vision benefit under Medicare would pay for that eye exam and new glasses and lenses, saving $450 a year. All told, my plan would save that family making $85,000 a year, $5,250. And the Build Back Better plan is going to save your family a lot as well.

President Joe Biden: (11:40)
Now, there’s been a lot of misleading talk, which is no surprise, I guess, about what I’m proposing in my Build Back Better agenda. It’s not a short term stimulus, it’s a long-term investment in American families. My Republican colleagues have argued that longterm investments in physical infrastructure will grow the economy and reduce inflationary pressures. And I thank them for that. They’re exactly right. We agree on that. In the same time, it’s true that long-term investments that bring down the biggest costs that families face: housing, childcare, education, healthcare, these investments will lower out-of-pocket expenses, not raise them. They will spur more people to work by helping ease the burdens of childcare and senior care that parents, especially mothers bear, keeping them out of the job market.

President Joe Biden: (12:37)
And they’ll spread out over the decade. They’ll make a huge difference for families, but they’ll only make up around 1% of our economy each year over the next decade. And they’re going to be fully paid for. This isn’t going to be anything like my predecessor who’s unpaid tax cuts and other spending added nearly $8 trillion in his four years to the national debt. $8 trillion. They didn’t even purport to try to pay for their tax cuts, which went straight to the largest corporations and the wealthiest Americans. The investments I propose, it will be fully paid for, over the long-term, by having the largest corporation, including the 55 corporations that paid zero federal tax last year, and the super wealthy began to pay their fair share. They’ll still make a lot of money, but pay their fair share. That means, we’ll actually the reduce the national debt, improve our fiscal position over the long run.

President Joe Biden: (13:47)
My Build Back Better agenda is the fiscally responsible way to reduce the cost for families. In fact, you’re hearing an economist across the board confirmed this. Moody’s has said that, “Worries that the plan will ignite,” this is Moody’s now, “Will ignite undesirably high inflation and overheating economy is overdone.” Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said, “M plan,” and I quote, “There is no conceivable way they will have any significant effect on inflation.” Jason Furman of Harvard university has said, “I don’t think the infrastructure bill or the reconciliation plan would materially impact inflation over the next decade.”

President Joe Biden: (14:35)
So if your primary concern right now is the cost of living, you should support this plan, not oppose it. Because a vote against this plan is a vote against lowering the cost of healthcare, housing, childcare, elder care, and prescription drugs for American families.

President Joe Biden: (14:55)
So let me close with this. We brought this economy back from a coal start, and they’re going to be some ups and downs, but I am committed to making sure that our historic economic recovery reaches everyone. This time reaches everyone and eases the burden on working families, not just this year, but for the years to come. So thank you, God bless you. And may God protect our troops. Thank you.

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