Stabenow, Upton weigh in on Biden’s speech to Congress


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — President Joe Biden will deliver his first big speech before a scaled down joint session of Congress Wednesday night.

What he says and to whom he targets his message will be key. Infrastructure, health care and immigration are all possible topics. He will likely also talk about what he sees as his success in dealing with the pandemic.

While he will be talking to the nation, News 8 asked Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, about a much smaller subset of individuals Biden will be targeting: members of Congress.

“President Biden has really hit the ground running, and he, in the first 100 days, has created 1.3 million jobs, which is the most of any president in their first 100 days,” Stabenow said. “He’s exceeded his 200 million vaccines goal that he sat up, along with a lot of other things.

“I think the president tonight is going to be speaking to those that have benefited, who have seen results, that has allowed them to survive the pandemic and hopefully begin to get their life back,” she said.

Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, hopes Biden will focus on health research and expanding Upton’s 21st Century Cures Act. 

“He was a big partner when we got 21st Century Cures done. He really helped us big time when he was vice president,” Upton said. “Now, we’re looking to expand, we’re looking for more health research. He’s got some really good ideas on really tackling the fight on cancer and Alzheimer’s. I think he’s going to unveil that a little bit tonight.”

Wednesday’s speech is important for the nation, particularly for those 535 members of a narrowly divided numerically, but deeply dived philosophically, Congress who will have a lot to say about how any of Biden’s plans become reality.

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