In his first public remarks since his inauguration, President Barack Obama vowed to make America the “greatest country on Earth.”
But in his State of the Union address on Monday, Obama vowed that “the most important work” will be “getting the people back to work.”
In that address, Obama outlined several of his proposals, including a new federal minimum wage of $15 an hour and an expanded unemployment benefits program.
Obama also outlined plans to create more than 5 million jobs through a “national infrastructure bank,” including new pipelines and transmission lines, and a $1 trillion national investment in broadband.
On Monday, the president told Congress that he is confident the American people “will respond enthusiastically to our plan” and will “make sure we take care of them.”
Obama also vowed to spend $1.4 trillion in new stimulus money over the next five years to expand access to clean energy and increase energy efficiency, as well as $400 billion in federal tax relief and $150 billion in new spending to fight climate change.
On the campaign trail, Obama has said he will cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20%, and to eliminate the estate tax and other tax breaks for wealthy people.
On Tuesday, Obama was joined by former Vice President Joe Biden and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum at the White House, who were expected to speak about the economy, and to urge Americans to support the president’s agenda.
Biden was also expected to join the president in introducing the first-ever “Fiscal Blueprint” that would outline how to address the nation’s fiscal challenges.
In his speech, Biden vowed to take action to create new jobs, create good paying jobs and to reduce the deficit, including by repealing the estate and alternative minimum tax.
He also promised to take an aggressive approach to climate change, which he called “one of the great existential threats of our time.”