Biden to address US Congress to mark 100 days in office

The speech will not technically be a so-called State of the Union address, which American presidents give yearly under the Constitution. Brand new leaders like Biden instead deliver a speech to a joint session of Congress.

US President Joe Biden speaks about lives lost to COVID-19 after death toll passed 500,000, in the Cross Hall of the White House in Washington, DC, 22 February 2021. Picture: AFP

WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden agreed Tuesday to address a joint session of Congress this month to mark 100 days in office as he grapples with critical issues including the coronavirus pandemic and America's economic woes.

Biden accepted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's invitation to deliver a 28 April address on "the challenges and opportunities of this historic moment."

The speech will not technically be a so-called State of the Union address, which American presidents give yearly under the Constitution. Brand new leaders like Biden instead deliver a speech to a joint session of Congress.

The White House said Biden accepted the invitation from Pelosi to address lawmakers on what will be "the night before his 100th day in office."

After taking office on 20 January to replace Donald Trump, Biden has hit the ground running with an ambitious agenda to tackle the coronavirus crisis and its devastating effect on the world's largest economy.

His administration easily met a goal of 100 million shots in arms in his first 100 days and has since broadened it to 200 million. The pandemic has hit America harder than any other country, with more than 560,000 dead.

Biden has also moved aggressively to reverse Trump's "America First" go-it-alone foreign policy eschewing traditional US alliances and international cooperation on issues including climate change.

Under Biden Congress passed a $1.9 trillion stimulus package to help the economy bounce back from the pandemic. His administration also has presented a $2 trillion plan to overhaul America's crumbling infrastructure grid and retool the US economy to better address climate change.

"Nearly 100 days ago, when you took the oath of office, you pledged in a spirit of great hope that 'Help Is On The Way,'" Pelosi wrote in the invitation.

"Now, because of your historic and transformative leadership, Help Is Here!" she said.

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