Biden speech takeaways: Government is good, and so are jobs

Vice President Kamala Harris, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., stand and applaud as President Joe Biden addresses a joint session of Congress, Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)
Vice President Kamala Harris, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., stand and applaud as President Joe Biden addresses a joint session of Congress, Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post via AP, Pool) (The Washington Post)

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden returned to the U.S. Capitol, his home for more than three decades, and used his first address to Congress to make the case that the era of big government is back.

Biden said the U.S. is “on the move again” after struggling through a devastating pandemic that killed more than 570,000 Americans, disrupted the economy and shook daily life. And he pitched an expansive — and expensive — vision to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges, water pipes and other infrastructure, bolster public education and extend a wide swath of other benefits.

Takeaways from the president’s address Wednesday night:

BIDEN'S FOUR-LETTER WORD: JOBS

Biden uttered the word “jobs” a whopping 43 times.

It’s perhaps no surprise for an administration that has made beating back the pandemic and getting Americans back to work the central guideposts for success.

Biden noted that the economy has gained some 1.3 million new jobs in the first few months of his administration — more than any in the first 100 days of any presidency. But he quickly pivoted to the need to pass his American Jobs Plan if the country is going to sustain momentum and get back to the historic low levels of unemployment before the pandemic.

He also aimed to frame his push for the U.S. to meet its international obligations to slow the impact of climate change as, ultimately, a jobs plan.