Biden sets out spending plan to counter China

U.S. President Joe Biden declared America is "on the move again" in his first speech to Congress Wednesday.

He promoted a new $1.8 trillion spending plan, while also pleading with Republicans to work with him to face competition with China.

"America is ready for a takeoff."

Marking his first 100 days in office, Biden claimed several achievements since then, including the rollout of vaccines, expanded healthcare, and jobs.

"The economy created more than 1,300,000 new jobs in 100 days. More jobs in the first 100 days than any president on record."

Biden's proposal, together with his infrastructure and jobs plan, carries a price tag of around $4 trillion dollars.

Republicans say most of that spending is aimed at satisfying Biden's liberal base, and that it amounts to socialism.

But Biden stressed the plan is crucial to keep ahead of China's economy.

"China and other countries are closing in fast... There is simply no reason the blades for wind turbines can't be built in Pittsburgh instead of Beijing."

Biden's American Families Plan includes $1 trillion for education and childcare, including free, universal preschool and free community college for two years.

It includes $800 billion in tax credits for middle and low-income families.

However, Biden must not only win over Republicans wary of spending, he must also appease Democrats who want more aggressive policies.

In his speech, Biden proposed a tax overhaul to pay for the plans- which would raise tax rates for the wealthiest Americans.

"I'm not looking to punish anybody. But I will not add a tax burden, additional tax burden to the middle class in this country, they're already paying enough."

Biden's spending pitch also included a plea for police reform.

He urged Republicans and Democrats to come together and pass a bill in honor of George Floyd, who was killed by police last May.

"We need to work together to find a consensus but let's get it done next month, by the first anniversary of George Floyd's death."

Biden is set to discuss his plans with top Democratic and Republican lawmakers at the White House on May 12.