Tonight President Biden offers his first official State of the Union to a joint-session of Congress. Last April as the News Blender featured, President Biden offered an address to the joint-session of Congress.
Ahead of Tuesday’s address the White House has published the following previews on what he is expected to highlight in his remarks:
Fact-sheet: President Biden to Lay Out Bold Commitments on Rebuilding America’s Crumbling Infrastructure Over the Next year
The historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will rebuild crumbling road and bridges, replace lead pipes, help make available reliable, affordable high-speed internet to every family in America, and produce concrete results that change people’s lives for the better. It will also support American manufacturing jobs by making sure taxpayer dollars are spent purchasing American made goods. Rebuilding our infrastructure and supply chains here at home, and making more here in America, means we can create more good jobs, move what we make more efficiently, and ultimately lower prices for the American people. By reaching all communities all across the country – including rural communities and historically underserved populations – these once-in-a-generation investments will position the United States to win the 21st century.
In the first 106 days since President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the White House Infrastructure Implementation Team has hit the ground running to deliver concrete results for the American people. Nearly $100 billion of dedicated funding has been announced and is headed to states, territories, Tribes and local governments, with another nearly $50 billion of notices of funding opportunity released. To date, over 4000 projects have been announced, from airport improvements to port upgrades to superfund cleanup sites. Over 90 percent of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding will be spent by non-federal partners, meaning the Biden-Harris administration will be partnering with states, territories, Tribes, local governments and others to deliver the crucial infrastructure projects and the good-paying jobs created by these investments.
In his first State of the Union Address, President Biden will highlight how our historic federal investments in infrastructure will create a visible impact in the lives of American families this year by committing to start repair on 65,000 miles of roads and 1,500 bridges. The President will also commit to rapid progress across every facet of the law.White House.gov. 02/28/2022.
- Roads & Bridges: As a result of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Department of Transportation announced $52.5 billion for highways and more than $5.3 billion for bridges for fiscal year 2022. Over the next year, states, territories, Tribes and local governments will start to improve 65,000 miles of roads and 1,500 bridges with federal funding, representing at 44% and 50% increase respectively from average annual improvement levels over the past six years.
- Airports: In December, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at USDOT announced $3 billion for 3,075 airports across the country that can use investments to upgrade critical infrastructure. Over the next year, FAA will be able to invest in over 600 airport infrastructure projects, including preserving 400 pavement projects on taxiways and runways.
- Transit: The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes the largest Federal investment in public transit in history. Over the next year, communities will be investing in an estimated 15,000 new buses, ferries and subway cars, improving commutes for working Americans, families, and students across the country and reducing greenhouse emissions.
- Rail: The Federal Railroad Administration and Amtrak are transforming the nation’s transportation system. In the next year, Amtrak is investing Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding in 75 new, Made-in-America locomotives, at least 73 Made-in-America Intercity Trainsets, and major improvements to facilities in the Northeast Corridor.
- Ports, Waterways, and Flood Mitigation: With $14 billion in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and other appropriations, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will advance over 500 projects across 52 states and territories to strengthen supply chains, improve waterways, and reduce flooding. Additional projects will be funded by the Port Infrastructure Development Program.
- Broadband Access & Deployment: In the next year, the Department of Commerce will issue final guidance and notices of funding opportunity for the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment Program and the Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program, which together will distribute more than $43 billion in broadband funding. The Department of Agriculture will issue a new funding opportunity notice for the ReConnect program which will provide nearly $2 billion in funding for rural broadband deployment.
- Broadband Affordability: Over the next year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will build on the more than 10 million lower-income households already receiving subsidized internet service through the Affordable Connectivity Program. The FCC will also adopt rules requiring broadband providers to display easy-to-understand labels to allow consumers to more effectively comparison shop for broadband services.
CLIMATE, CLEAN ENERGY, AND ENVIRONMENT
- Clean Water: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $7.4 billion for Fiscal Year 2022 in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding will be available to states to upgrade America’s aging water infrastructure, sewerage systems, lead pipes and service lines, and more through their State Revolving Fund programs. By this time next year, using Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding alone, EPA will have worked with state and local governments to fund more than 400 new water projects from replacing lead service lines to improving drinking water systems.
- Abandoned Mine Lands: The Department of the Interior (DOI) announced nearly $725 million in Fiscal Year 2022 funding for 22 states and the Navajo Nation to create good-paying union jobs and catalyze economic opportunity by reclaiming abandoned mine lands. Over the next year, DOI expects states, Tribes, and other partners to reclaim over 15,000 acres of abandoned mine lands, as well as launch new reclamation efforts that will ultimately address tens of thousands of additional acres across the country using Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds. This investment delivers on President Biden’s historic commitment to investing in the revitalization of the energy communities that have powered our country for generations.
- Orphan Wells: The first $1.15 billion in funding is now available to 26 states to create good-paying jobs cleaning up orphaned oil and gas wells across the country. Over the next year, we expect the DOI’s new Orphan Well Program will start work plugging, capping, and remediating over 8,000 abandoned oil & gas well sites in communities across the country.
- Superfund: EPA announced $1 billion to initiate cleanup and clear the backlog of 49 previously unfunded Superfund sites and accelerate cleanup at dozens of other sites across the country, with work expected at more than 80 Superfund cleanup projects in the next year.
- Great Lakes Restoration: EPA announced $1 billion for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, including $200 million in Fiscal Year 2022, to accelerate progress in the clean-up and restoration of the Great Lakes’ most environmentally degraded sites, securing clean water and a better environment for millions of Americans in the Great Lakes region. In the next year, EPA will work across more than 20 sites across the Great Lakes basin targeting open areas of concern.
- Wildfire Resilience: In the next year, the DOI will increase its work to reduce the risk of wildfires to communities by more than 30 percent– removing over 300,000 acres of burnable fuels in the places where communities and wildlands meet – as well as the start of work to reduce wildfire risk on an additional 250,000 acres across the country. With BIL funding and existing appropriations, the US Forest Service at the Department of Agriculture also expects to execute hazardous fuels reduction work on more than 4 million acres over the next year, including reforesting up to 400,000 acres to create new carbon sinks on previously burned lands.
- Critical Mineral Refinery: The Department of Energy (DOE) released a Request for Information for the construction and operation of a first-of-its kind $140 million demonstration facility to extract and separate rare earth elements and other critical minerals from coal ash, mine tailings, acid drainage, and other legacy fossil fuel waste to sustainably produce materials key to next-generation clean energy technologies. This facility will support good-paying manufacturing jobs and help secure a sustainable domestic supply chain to fight the climate crisis.
- Battery Manufacturing: This Spring, DOE will make available nearly $3 billion to bolster domestic manufacturing of advanced batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage. This includes refining and production of battery materials, manufacturing of battery cells and packs, and end-of-life recycling to create good-paying manufacturing jobs and support growing demand for electric vehicles and energy storage to meet the Administration’s ambitious net-zero climate goals.
Fact-sheet: Background on President Biden’s Remarks on the Economy During His First State of The Union Address
President Biden ran for office with a new economic vision: to grow the economy from the bottom up and the middle out, not the top down. On Tuesday, the President will make a strong case that the Biden-Harris economic strategy is producing historic results, and lay out his plan to tackle the economic challenges ahead. He will underscore that during his first year in office, due in large part to the American Rescue Plan, entrepreneurship and business investment rebounded, the economy achieved its fastest job growth in American history, the fastest economic growth in nearly 40 years, and a faster recovery than every other advanced economy. And, he will emphasize that this progress is occurring amidst an historic shift from the old, outdated trickle-down approach to one that centers on workers, families, and small businesses.
During his first State of the Union Address, the President will also make clear that there is more work to do to rebuild the economy towards resilience, security, and sustainability. Too many families continue to feel the squeeze of higher costs. The President will make clear that price increases that become entrenched are pernicious, and eat away at the economic progress the country is making. The President will lay out his plan to lower costs for American families while continuing an historically strong economic recovery by:White House.gov. 02/28/2022.
- Making more things in America, strengthening our supply chains, and moving goods faster and cheaper;
- Reducing the cost of everyday expenses working families face and reducing the deficit;
- Promoting fair competition to lower prices, help small businesses thrive, and protect consumers; and
- Eliminating barriers to good-paying jobs for workers all across America.
Making more things in America, strengthening our supply chains, and moving goods faster and cheaper:
President Biden will make clear that he believes one of the best ways to lower costs over the long run is to increase the productive capacity of our economy—put simply, to make more things in America with more American workers contributing and earning a good living. He will describe the emerging manufacturing comeback, with American companies betting on America again because of the Administration’s commitment to domestic industrial revitalization and technological development. He will note that in just the last year, the economy added 375,000 manufacturing jobs and companies announced nearly $200 billion in investments for semiconductor, electric vehicle, battery, and critical mineral production and manufacturing in the United States. He will recount how Intel recently announced a new $20 billion factory outside of Columbus, Ohio that will create 7,000 construction jobs and another 3,000 permanent jobs – another sign of the strength of the American economy.
President Biden will also announce specific goals for implementation of his landmark Bipartisan Infrastructure law (BIL), a once-in-a-generation investment in our nation’s economic competitiveness that will strengthen supply chains and move goods to market faster and more efficiently, encouraging more companies to choose America. Over the next year:White House.gov. 02/28/2022.
- States, territories, Tribes and local governments will start to improve 65,000 miles of roads and 1,500 bridges with federal funding, representing a 44% and 50% increase respectively from average annual improvement levels over the past six years.
- The Federal Aviation Administration will be able to invest in over 600 airport infrastructure projects, including preserving 400 pavement projects on taxiways and runways.
- Communities will invest in an estimated 15,000 new buses, ferries and subway cars, improving commutes for working Americans, families, and students across the country and reducing greenhouse emissions.
- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will advance over 500 projects across 52 states and territories to strengthen supply chains, improve waterways, and reduce flooding.
- The Environmental Protection Agency will work with state and local governments to fund more than 400 new water projects from replacing lead service lines to improving drinking water systems.
- States, Tribes, and other partners will use BIL funds to reclaim over 15,000 acres of abandoned mine lands, as well as launch new reclamation efforts that will ultimately address tens of thousands of additional acres across the country.
- The Interior Department’s new Orphan Well Program will start work plugging, capping, and remediating over 8,000 abandoned oil & gas well sites in communities across the country.
- The Interior Department will increase its work to reduce the risk of wildfires to communities by more than 30 percent – removing over 300,000 acres of burnable fuels in the places where communities and wildlands meet – as well as the start of work to reduce wildfire risk on an additional 250,000 acres across the country.
- The Department of Energy will take steps to launch a first-of-its kind $140 million demonstration facility to extract and separate rare earth elements and other critical minerals from coal ash, mine tailings, acid drainage, and other legacy fossil fuel waste to sustainably produce materials key to next-generation clean energy technologies.
- The Department of Energy will make available nearly $3 billion to bolster domestic manufacturing of advanced batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage.
To build on these investments and spur more private-sector investment in the United States, the President will also call on Congress to send him bipartisan competitiveness legislation like the COMPETES and USICA bills that have passed the House and the Senate to invest in innovation, manufacturing, and economic development capacity across all of America so America can outcompete China and the rest of the world in the industries of the future.
Reducing the cost of everyday expenses working families face:
President Biden will call on Congress to send him legislation that lowers costs of everyday expenses working families face and lowers the deficit by rewarding work, not wealth. He will lay out specific, practical measures that would reduce costs for families right now, including prescription drug costs and health care premiums, child care and pre-k costs, and energy costs. He will point to the other ideas he has proposed on areas ranging from housing to care for seniors and people with disabilities to higher education affordability to direct tax relief for families. These efforts build on the support provided in the American Rescue Plan that has helped reduce the cost of health care, helped more than 5000 universities and community colleges make higher education more affordable, made work pay better for low-income workers through an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit, and provided historic middle class tax relief for tens of millions of working families through an expanded Child Tax Credit.
The President will make clear that we can lower costs while lowering the deficit by rewarding work, not wealth. He will outline proposals to make sure corporations and the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share, while making clear that no one making under $400,000 a year should see their taxes increased.
The President will call on Congress to send him a bill that lowers costs and lowers the deficit without delay. American families need relief from higher costs, and they need it now.
Promoting fair competition to lower prices, help small businesses thrive, and protect consumers:White House.gov. 02/28/2022.
President Biden will explain that we can also lower costs by promoting fair competition in the U.S. economy. The Administration has taken decisive actions in the first year to stop the trend of corporate consolidation, increase competition, and deliver concrete benefits to America’s consumers, workers, farmers, and small businesses. He will also announce new actions the Biden-Harris Administration is taking this year to tackle some of the most pressing competition and consumer protection problems across our economy. Specifically, he will announce new steps to:
- Lower consumer prices and level the playing field for American businesses in ocean shipping. The President will explain that most traded goods—everything from the housewares you buy online to the agricultural products that American farmers market overseas—are transported by oceangoing vessels. However, the ocean shipping industry is now dominated by just a small number of giant, foreign-owned companies. Three global alliances—groups of ocean carriers that work together—now control 80% of global container ship capacity and 95% on the critical East-West trade lines. And, since the beginning of the pandemic, these carriers have been increasing shipping costs through higher rates and fees. The President will note that the foreign carriers are now seeing record profits, while prices for American consumers and businesses have risen. To combat this problem, the President will announce steps to lower consumer prices and level the playing field for American businesses in ocean shipping, including launching a new Federal Maritime Commission and Department of Justice initiative to promote competition in the ocean freight transportation system. He will also note that the Federal Maritime Commission is ramping up its oversight of the global shipping industry to address complaints about the unfair fees the carriers charge to American businesses. Read the full Biden-Harris Plan to Lower Consumer Prices and Level the Playing Field in Ocean Shipping here.
- Protect seniors and other nursing home residents by cracking down on unsafe nursing homes. The President will explain that while the federal government spends tens of billions of taxpayer dollars on nursing homes annually, these federal funds too often flow to nursing homes with bad track records and dangerous conditions. He will explain that 200,000 residents and staff in nursing homes have died from COVID-19, representing nearly 23% of all COVID-19 deaths in the United States. He will also stress that despite well-documented, widespread health and safety violations, there has been little or no accountability. To protect seniors and crack down on unsafe nursing homes, President Biden will call on Congress to provide nearly $500 million to CMS Survey and Certification, a 24% increase, to support health and safety inspections at nursing homes. He will also announce that the Biden-Harris Administration will, among other new initiatives, establish a new minimum staffing ratio to protect residents, expand penalties for poor performing nursing homes and beef up scrutiny, improve transparency and Americans’ ability to comparison shop for the best home, strengthen value-based payment to ensure taxpayers pay for quality care, and continue to provide COVID-19 testing and vaccinations at nursing homes across the country. Read the full Biden-Harris Plan to Protect Seniors by Cracking Down on Unsafe Nursing Homes here.
Eliminating barriers to good-paying jobs for workers all across America:
President Biden will reflect on one of the strongest labor market recoveries in American history. Specifically, the President will note that during his first year in office, the economy added more than 6.6 million jobs; the unemployment rate fell at its fastest pace on record; the number of number of workers filing for unemployment insurance declined by more than 70 percent; and millions of Americans have entered and reentered the labor force, with the largest increase in the labor force participation rate in more than 25 years. He will highlight the important role that the American Rescue Plan played in positioning employers to hire and workers to rejoin the labor force and find higher quality jobs. Earlier this year, he directed the Secretary of Labor to work with states to reinstate work search requirements for unemployment insurance recipients.
To further our economic recovery and increase the productive capacity of our economy, the President will announce his Administration’s plan to ensure everyone who wants to work should have the opportunity to find a high-quality job. Specifically, he will express his support for:White House.gov. 02/28/2022.
- Enacting the Protecting the Right to Organize Act. President Biden will express his firm belief that every worker in every state must have a free and fair choice to organize or join a union, and the right to bargain collectively with their employer, without fear of intimidation, coercion, threats, and anti-union propaganda. He will reiterate that the middle class built America and unions built the middle class. And, he will emphasize that empowering workers is central to the Biden-Harris strategy to grow our economy from the bottom up and the middle out. The President will call on Congress to pass the Richard L. Trumka Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act and the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act, ensuring that more private-sector workers and many more public-sector workers nationwide have a genuine right to organize and bargain collectively.
- Expanding skills-based hiring and increasing access to registered apprenticeships and training. President Biden will reiterate his commitment to creating pathways to the middle class for all Americans. He will stress that millions of Americans without a college degree are needlessly disadvantaged in the pursuit of good jobs, even when they have the skills and knowledge employers need. To support skills-based hiring, President Biden will announce that his Administration will explore using federal and procurement dollars to by hire based on skills rather than educational qualifications alone, , including through boosting hiring of people from Registered Apprenticeships and labor-management partnership training programs. Additionally, the Administration remains committed to strengthening the pipeline for more underserved communities to access these opportunities. As an example, the Administration has supported and increased access to quality trucking jobs by expanding Registered Apprenticeship programs for drivers; and developing more seamless paths for veterans and underrepresented communities, such as women, to access good driving jobs. He will state that the Administration is supporting and challenging employers to move towards skill-based hiring, including through a new budget proposal to invest in skills-based hiring research tools and technical assistance. This effort builds on the American Rescue Plan’s critical workforce investments in the past year – with more than half of states already committing Fiscal Recovery Funds to training and apprenticeships and efforts to hire and retain critical workers – and catalyzing investments in place-based regional workforce strategies through the Commerce Department’s Good Jobs Challenge.
- Expanding programs in high-demand fields at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs). President Biden will explain that research has found that HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs are vital to helping underrepresented students achieve economic mobility, including in STEM fields. However, he will also stress that these institutions have significantly fewer resources than other top colleges and universities, undermining their ability to grow and support more students. To address this persistent problem, and building on the progress made by the American Rescue Plan providing the largest investment through the Department of Education ever in these institutions, the President will call on Congress to expand existing institutional aid grants to HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs, which can be used by these institutions to strengthen their academic, administrative, and fiscal capabilities, including by creating or expanding educational programs in high-demand fields (e.g., STEM, computer sciences, nursing, and allied health).
- Providing up to more than $2,000 in additional assistance to low-income students by increasing the Pell Grant award. President Biden will note that broad access to education beyond high school is increasingly important for economic growth and competitiveness in the 21st century, but also remind us that higher education has become unaffordable for too many families. Over 6 million students depend on Pell Grants to finance their education, yet the amount of money in these grants has not kept up with the rising cost of college and DREAMers still do not have access. During his State of the Union Address, President Biden will call on Congress to increase the maximum Pell Grant award by more than $2,000.
- Supporting paycheck fairness. President Biden will note that women in the U.S. who work full-time, year-round are paid only 83 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts, on average. He will also express his belief that ensuring equal pay is essential to advancing America’s values of fairness and equity as well as our economic strength here at home and our competitiveness abroad. President Biden will use his State of the Union Address as an opportunity to call on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which will take important steps towards the goal of ending pay discrimination.
- Raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. President Biden will recount that throughout the pandemic, millions of American workers have put their lives on the line to keep their communities and country functioning, including the 40 percent of frontline workers who are people of color. The President will express his belief that hard-working Americans deserve sufficient wages to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads, without having to work multiple jobs. The President already issued executive actions to ensure 370,000 federal employees and employees of federal contractors are paid a minimum of $15 per hour – because investing in workers also makes employers, including the government, work better and faster. The President will call on Congress to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, and end the tipped minimum wage and sub-minimum wage for people with disabilities so that workers across the country can have a little breathing room and provide opportunity for their families.
- Creating a national comprehensive paid family and medical leave program. President Biden will stress that nearly four of five private sector workers – and 90 percent of the lowest wage workers – have no access to paid family leave, which is a critical input for economic growth and competitiveness in the 21st century. He will call on Congress to pass comprehensive paid family and medical leave legislation so millions of American workers can take time to bond with a new child, care for a seriously ill loved one or heal from their own serious illness.
Fact-sheet: President Biden to Highlight Clean Energy Manufacturing and Deployment Investments that Cut Consumer Costs, Strengthen U.S. Energy Sector, and Create Good-Paying Jobs
President Biden campaigned on a bold vision of tackling the climate crisis with the urgency that science demands by seizing the opportunity to build a strong domestic energy sector that can manufacture and deploy clean energy for the benefit of all Americans—with lower costs for families, good-paying jobs for workers, and healthier air and cleaner water for communities.
Since Day One, he has delivered. After rejoining the Paris Agreement, restoring scientific integrity, and reinvigorating U.S. leadership on the world stage, President Biden mobilized every federal agency to achieve groundbreaking goals: reducing greenhouse gas emissions 50-52% below 2005 levels in 2030, reaching 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035, and delivering 40% of the benefits from federal investments in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities. The President formed the first-ever National Climate Task Force, bringing together Cabinet leaders to drive decisive action toward those goals.
Alongside historic executive actions, President Biden also made climate action and environmental justice a centerpiece of his Bipartisan Infrastructure Law—which includes the largest federal investments ever in upgrading the power grid, improving public transit and investing in zero-emission transit and school buses, installing a nationwide EV charging network, cleaning up legacy pollution, delivering clean water and replacing lead pipes, demonstrating innovative climate technologies, and increasing climate resilience to safeguard against extreme weather, which last year caused more than $145 billion in damages from the biggest 20 disasters alone.
CALLING ON CONGRESS TO DELIVER
President Biden knows that we need to move even faster to combat climate change—and that to meet the moment and fully seize the economic opportunity in front of us, Congress must act. In his first State of the Union address, the President will call on Congress to deliver on a legislative agenda for clean energy and climate action that has overwhelming support from the American people—Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.
Specifically, the President will lift up the benefits we can secure for American consumers, companies, and communities by enacting critical investments and tax credits for domestic clean energy manufacturing and deployment. He will also highlight how the investments and tax credits would cut energy costs for American families an average of $500 per year.
As part of the President’s unwavering support for climate solutions, these investments will reduce emissions, lower costs for families, create good-paying jobs for workers, and advance environmental justice.
BOLD ACTIONS TWO MONTHS INTO 2022White House.gov. 02/28/2022.
As the President works with Congress to deliver on this legislative agenda, he will continue taking decisive and bold action—building on the surge of momentum he has spearheaded to tackle the climate crisis. During just the first two months of 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration:
- Announced actions from seven agencies on clean energy deployment, including new investments and partnerships to advance offshore wind; steps to fast-track solar, onshore wind, and geothermal energy on public lands; and the “Building a Better Grid” initiative to build out long-distance transmission lines and unlock clean energy resources.
- Launched the Building Performance Standards Coalition with more than 30 state and local governments to reduce emissions, create good-paying union jobs in energy efficiency and electrification, and lower energy bills, with federal assistance for policy design and implementation.
- Built on the Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan by announcing an initial $1.15 billion to clean up orphaned oil and gas wells, $725 million to reclaim abandoned mine lands, a new interagency initiative on measurement and monitoring of methane and other greenhouse emissions, enforcement efforts to minimize methane emissions from pipeline systems, and more.
- Advanced America’s electric vehicle future, standing with CEOs to announce new manufacturing facilities for electric vehicles, batteries, and chargers and issuing state allocations and guidance for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s $5 billion National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program.
- Convened a roundtable of electric utility CEOs to discuss their support for Congressional investments in clean energy to reduce costs for families, make the power grid more resilient and reliable, and advance American innovation, job creation, and economic competitiveness.
- Took major steps to reduce industrial emissions and advance clean manufacturing, including clean hydrogen investments, the first Buy Clean Task Force for federal purchasing of low-carbon construction materials, progress on carbon-based trade policies to reward clean steel and aluminum manufacturing, guidance on responsible deployment of Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration technologies, and new initiatives to ensure that industrial innovation benefits American workers and communities.
- Released the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool for public feedback, to help agencies deliver benefits to disadvantaged communities and fulfill the President’s Justice40 commitment.
- Announced major investments to secure a Made in America supply chain for critical minerals and sustainably source key inputs (including lithium and rare earth elements) for clean energy technologies like batteries, electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels. This includes taking action to update outdated mining regulations and laws to ensure that extraction and production adheres to strong environmental, labor, and community and Tribal engagement standards.
- Released America’s Strategy to Secure the Supply Chain for a Robust Clean Energy Transition, a first-of-its-kind energy sector industrial base strategy, which includes the creation of a new Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains Office at the Department of Energy to strengthen, secure, and modernize the nation’s energy infrastructure and support clean energy manufacturing jobs.
- Held a record-shattering offshore wind auction in the New York Bight, with winning bids for six lease areas totaling $4.37 billion, signaling the arrival of a strong American industry that’s here to stay. Innovative lease stipulations will promote projects built with union labor and Made in America materials, and these projects will generate clean electricity to power millions of homes.
HISTORIC YEAR OF PROGRESS
This wave of climate action to kick off 2022 builds on historic progress President Biden achieved during his first year in office, when he:White House.gov. 02/28/2022.
- For the first time, set an official target to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, economy-wide, by no later than 2050 and cut greenhouse gas pollution by more than half in 2030.
- Fast-tracked clean energy, setting national records with hundreds of new solar, wind, and storage projects—which are creating good-paying, union jobs and lowering energy costs.
- Launched the American offshore wind industry, with the first approvals of large-scale projects and new lease areas in the Atlantic and the Pacific.
- Jumpstarted an electric transportation future that’s Made in America, uniting automakers and autoworkers to get to 50% electric vehicle sales share in 2030 and spurring investments of over $100 billion in the American EV and battery manufacturing industry.
- Tackled major sources of emissions, with actions to reduce super-polluting hydrofluorocarbon emissions by 85% within 15 years, a Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan with more than 40 actions across agencies, and the strongest-ever passenger vehicle standards.
- Transformed hundreds of federal programs to deliver on the Justice40 Initiative and drove more than $2.8 billion federal resources to support economic revitalization in hard-hit energy communities.
- Established whole-of-government initiatives to: lead by example across the federal vehicle fleet, buildings, and procurement; conserve 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030; and build resilience to extreme heat, drought, wildfires, floods, and coastal impacts.
Fact-sheet: President Biden to Announce Strategy to Address Our National Mental Health Crisis, As Part of Unity Agenda in his First State of the Union
In his first State of the Union, the President will outline a unity agenda consisting of policy where there has historically been support from both Republicans and Democrats, and call on Congress to send bills to his desk to deliver progress for the American people. As part of this unity agenda, he will announce a strategy to address our national mental health crisis.
Our country faces an unprecedented mental health crisis among people of all ages. Two out of five adults report symptoms of anxiety or depression. And, Black and Brown communities are disproportionatelyundertreated – even as their burden of mental illness has continued to rise. Even before the pandemic, rates of depression and anxiety were inching higher. But the grief, trauma, and physical isolation of the last two years have driven Americans to a breaking point.
Our youth have been particularly impacted as losses from COVID and disruptions in routines and relationships have led to increased social isolation, anxiety, and learning loss. More than half of parents express concern over their children’s mental well-being. An early study has found that students are about five months behind in math and four months behind in reading, compared with students prior to the pandemic. In 2019, one in three high school students and half of female students reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, an overall increase of 40 percent from 2009. Emergency department visits for attempted suicide have risen 51 percent among adolescent girls.
This youth mental health crisis has been accentuated by large social media platforms, which for years have been conducting a national experiment on our children and using their data to keep them clicking—with enormous consequences. While technology platforms have improved our lives in some ways, there is mounting evidence that social media is harmful to many kids’ and teens’ mental health, well-being, and development. As the Surgeon-General has said, “when not deployed responsibly and safely, these tools can pit us against each other, reinforce negative behaviors like bullying and exclusion, and undermine the safe and supportive environments young people need and deserve.” In the State of the Union, the President will call on Congress to strengthen privacy protections, ban targeted advertising to children, and demand technology companies stop collecting personal data on our children.
President Biden is laying out a vision to transform how mental health is understood, perceived, accessed, treated, and integrated – in and out of health care settings. The American Rescue Plan laid the groundwork, providing critical investments to expand access to mental health services. Now, far more is needed to ensure that everyone who needs help can access care when and where they seek it.
The President is announcing a national mental health strategy to strengthen system capacity, connect more Americans to care, and create a continuum of support –transforming our health and social services infrastructure to address mental health holistically and equitably.
Strengthen System Capacity
At the center of our national mental health crisis is a severe shortage of behavioral health providers. More than one-third of Americans live in designated Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas, communities that have fewer mental health providers than the minimum their level of population would need. Even outside of these shortage areas, the fragmentation of the current system makes it hard for mental health providers to meet people where they are. We must dramatically expand the supply, diversity, and cultural competency of our mental health and substance use disorder workforce – from psychiatrists to psychologists, peers to paraprofessionals – and increase both opportunity and incentive for them to practice in areas of highest need. Our crisis response infrastructure must also be strengthened to ensure that those facing acute behavioral health challenges can be seamlessly connected to necessary services. We will:White House.gov. 03/01/2022.
- Invest in proven programs that bring providers into behavioral health. The President’s FY23 budget will invest $700 million in programs – like the National Health Service Corps, Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program, and the Minority Fellowship Program – that provide training, access to scholarships and loan repayment to mental health and substance use disorder clinicians committed to practicing in rural and other underserved communities. These major new investments will both expand the pipeline of behavioral health providers and improve their geographic distribution to target areas with the greatest unmet need.
- Pilot new approaches to train a diverse group of paraprofessionals. Doctors, nurses, and other clinicians cannot do this work alone. In the fall of 2022, HHS expects to award over $225 million in training programs to increase the number of community health workers and other health support workers providing services, including behavioral health support, in underserved communities. The President’s FY23 budget will also propose major new multi-year funding to develop provider capacity and support mental health transformation.
- Build a national certification program for peer specialists. The Biden-Harris Administration will convene stakeholders, launch development, and support implementation of a national certified peer specialist certification program, which will accelerate universal adoption, recognition, and integration of the peer mental health workforce across all elements of the health care system.
- Promote the mental well-being of our frontline health workforce. Three-quarters of frontline health care workers report burnout, while more than half say they lack adequate supports to cope. The Administration has already dedicated $103 million in American Rescue Plan funding to address burnout and strengthen resiliency among health care workers. The President will strengthen this commitment by signing the bipartisan Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act into law, which will invest $135 million over three years into training health care providers on suicide prevention and behavioral health while launching an awareness campaign to address stigmatization, promote help-seeking and self-care among this workforce. In addition, HHS will continue grant programs to support health systems and provider groups to prevent burnout, relieve workplace stressors, administer stress first aid, and increase access to high-quality mental health care for the frontline health care workforce.
- Launch the “988” crisis response line and strengthen community-based crisis response. This summer, HHS will launch the 988 mental health crisis service hotline, which will create a national network of local crisis centers fortified by national back up centers to answer calls and texts. Through the American Rescue Plan, the Administration has provided $180 million to support local capacity to answer crisis calls, and establish more community-based mobile crisis response and crisis stabilizing facilities to minimize unnecessary emergency department visits. The President’s FY23 budget will build on this investment with an additional nearly $700 million to staff up and shore up local crisis centers while also building out the broader crisis care continuum: someone to call, someone to respond, and somewhere for every American in crisis to go.
- Expand the availability of evidence-based community mental health services. The American Rescue Plan invested millions of dollars to expand Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs), a proven model of care that has been shown to improve health outcomes while lowering costs, by delivering 24/7 mental health and substance use care to millions of Americans, no matter who they are or whether they’re able to pay. The President’s FY23 budget will build on this down payment, by proposing to make this program permanent while granting states funding to expand CCBHCs for the communities that need them most. The President’s budget will also permanently extend funding for Community Mental Health Centers, which provide essential mental health services to vulnerable communities that would otherwise lack access.
- Invest in research on new practice models. New scientific and technological innovation has the opportunity to expand our capacity to meet American’s mental health needs, but there is a pressing need for research to validate what works and build a robust evidence base. The President’s FY23 budget will call for investing $5 million in research into promising models for treating mental health conditions.
Connect Americans to CareWhite House.gov. 03/01/2022.
Less than half of Americans with mental health conditions receive treatment. The average delay from the onset of mental health symptoms to treatment is 11 years. Too often, costs prevent people from accessing care far. At the same time, those with mental illness are often misunderstood, mistreated, mislabeled, and misdirected to services. It is imperative that we promote better pathways to care and make it as easy as possible for all Americans with behavioral health needs – including common and pervasive conditions like anxiety and depression – to access the resources that will improve their well-being. We must fight to ensure that every American can access mental health and substance use disorder care through their insurance coverage, while integrating mental health services and supports into a variety of other settings, online and in the community. The Biden-Harris Administration will:
- Expand and strengthen parity. The 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act called for mental health care benefits to be covered at the same level as physical health care benefits. The President’s fiscal year 2023 (FY23) budget will propose that all health plans cover robust behavioral health services with an adequate network of providers, including three behavioral health visits each year without cost-sharing.
- Integrate mental health and substance use treatment into primary care settings. Equipping primary care providers with the tools to identify, treat, and manage behavioral health conditions is a proven approach for delivering quality mental health and substance use care, particularly for individuals with depression. To facilitate adoption of these models, the President’s FY23 budget will double funding for primary and behavioral health integration programs. In addition, using existing authority, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will test payment models that support the delivery of whole-person care through behavioral health integration and authorize Medicaid reimbursement of inter-professional consultations so that primary care providers can consult with a specialist and provide needed care for patients.
- Improve veterans’ access to same-day mental health care. Veterans are at higher risk for mental health and substance use challenges than the general population. Increasing their access to quality mental health care is the first step to closing this disparity. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will reduce barriers to mental health access by fully implementing their Primary Care Mental Health Integration and Behavioral Health Interdisciplinary Program, which connect veterans to same-day mental health care and improve the integration of these services into primary care settings.
- Expand access to tele- and virtual mental health care options. The use of telehealth to address mental health and substance use needs rose dramatically during the height of the pandemic and has remained above pre-pandemic levels even where COVID has waned. These tele-mental health services have proven both safe and effective, while reducing barriers to care. To maintain continuity of access, the Administration will work with Congress to ensure coverage of tele-behavioral health across health plans, and support appropriate delivery of telemedicine across state lines. At the same time, the HHS will create a learning collaborative with state insurance departments to identify and address state-based barriers, like telehealth limitations, to behavioral health access. And the United States Office of Personnel Management will facilitate widespread, confidential, and easy access to telehealth services, in part by strongly encouraging Federal Employees Health Benefits Program carriers to sufficiently reimburse providers for telehealth services, and to eliminate or reduce co-payments for consumers seeking tele-mental service.
- Expand access to mental health support in schools and colleges and universities. The President has committed to doubling the number of school-based mental health professionals. The Department of Education (ED) will continue to support states, school districts, colleges and universities, in using relief funds – including the more than $160 billion invested by the American Rescue Plan in the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) and Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) – to address the mental health needs of students, including by training, recruiting, and retaining more school- and college and university-based mental health professionals. With the help of ESSER funds, schools have already seen a 65% increase in social workers, and a 17% increase in counselors. To help schools sustain these roles, the Department of Health and Human Services will make it easier for school-based mental health professionals to seek reimbursement from Medicaid, and the President’s FY23 budget will propose $1 billion to help schools hire additional counselors and school psychologists and other health professionals.
- Embed and co-locate mental health and substance use providers into community-based settings. Expanding pathways to care also means creating new, low-barrier access points, in settings where Americans already live, work, and play. To that end, the President’s FY23 budget will include $50 million to pilot models that embed and co-locate mental health services into non-traditional settings like libraries, community centers, schools, and homeless shelters.
- Increase behavioral health navigation resources. Finding the right care or an available provider can be a frustrating experience. We need to make it easier for Americans both to find help, and to receive it. To meet this need, the Administration will build new easy-to-access, user-friendly online treatment locator tools – starting with a redesigned and refurbished mentalhealth.gov – so Americans can find care when they need it, where they need it, with the click of a button. The Department of Defense will also create a one-stop online resources for service members and their families to access mental health information and locate mental health providers.
Support Americans by Creating Healthy Environments
We cannot transform mental health solely through the health care system. We must also address the determinants of behavioral health, invest in community services, and foster a culture and environment that broadly promotes mental wellness and recovery. This crisis is not a medical one, but a societal one. In December 2021, the Surgeon-General released an Advisory on Protecting Youth Mental Health that outlined a wide range of causes for the national youth mental health crisis and underscored growing concern about the harms of digital technologies, particularly social media, to the mental health and well-being of young people, as well as calling for practical action from technology companies to address these concerns.
We need a whole-of-society effort to address these concerns: to expand prevention programs and actions that improve mental health at every age and across settings; and to enhance programs that support recovery, especially for populations at increased risk during vulnerable transition periods. The Biden-Harris Administration will:White House.gov. 03/01/2022.
- Strengthen children’s privacy and ban targeted advertising for children online.
The online platforms have billions of users worldwide, many of whom use the platforms for hours a day. These companies know everything from where users are physically located at any moment, to how many seconds they spend reading a particular post, to intimate personal data like what medical symptoms they have been researching. Children are also subject to the platforms’ intensive and excessive data collection vacuum, which they use to deliver sensational and harmful content and troves of paid advertising to our kids. By one estimate, online advertising firms hold 72 million data points on the average child by the time they reach the age of 13. The President is calling on Congress to ban excessive data collection on and targeted advertising online for children and young people.
- Institute stronger online protections for young people, including prioritizing safety by design standards and practices for online platforms, products, and services. Social media platforms are designed to be addictive, too often deliver age-inappropriate content, promote unhealthy social comparisons, and enable harassment, child sexual exploitation, stalking, and cyber-bullying. Children, adolescents and teens are uniquely vulnerable to harmful and dangerous content online. Other democratic countries have been acting to prevent and reduce the online harms to their children. The President believes not only that we should have far stronger protections for children’s data and privacy, but that the platforms and other interactive digital service providers should be required to prioritize and ensure the health, safety and well-being of children and young people above profit and revenue in the design of their products and services.
- Stop discriminatory algorithmic decision-making that limits opportunities for young Americans. When a girl searches for jobs online, platforms will too often push her away from fields like engineering that historically have excluded women. Searches for “Black girls,” “Asian girls,” or “Latina girls” too often return harmful content, including pornography rather than role models, toys, or activities. Platforms shape how our kids understand what is possible and access opportunities. When young people are treated unfairly, it can have mental health impacts including anxiety and depression. We must ensure that platforms and other algorithmically-enhanced systems do not discriminatorily target our kids.
- Invest in research on social media’s mental harms. Ample research has now emerged that social media is associated with negative mental health outcomes, particularly among young people, and that children under 18 are disproportionately vulnerable to the dangerous and harmful content that they might encounter online. More research, however, is needed to understand why and how these harms occur – and how they can be prevented and treated. To meet this need, the President’s FY23 budget will dedicate at least $5 million toward advancing research on social media’s harms, as well as the clinical and societal interventions we might deploy to address them. Over the next year, the Department of Health and Human Services will also launch a national Center of Excellence on Social Media and Mental Wellness, which will develop and disseminate information, guidance, and training on the full impact of adolescent social media use, especially the risks these services pose to their mental health.
- Expand early childhood and school-based intervention services and supports. Half of all mental disorders begin before the age of 14. And when systems act to promote well-being at early developmental stages, youth reap the mental and emotional benefits for years to come. The American Rescue Plan dedicated millions of dollars to youth mental health. The President’s FY23 budget builds on this investment and proposes to make historic investments in youth mental health services, including more than $70 million in infant and early childhood mental health programs. For example, Project LAUNCH works to ensure that the systems that serve young children have the resources and knowledge to foster their social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral development. The FY23 budget will also continue funding for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program of the Department of Health and Human Services, which supports new families by teaching positive parenting skills, conducting developmental and mental health screenings, promoting school readiness, and linking to community resources and supports. Additionally, the President’s FY23 budget will propose to dramatically expand funding for community schools by increasing funding for the Full-Service Community School program by over $400 million dollars relative to current levels – a more than ten-fold increase. Community schools provide a range of wraparound supports to students and their families, including mental health services and other integrated student supports.
- Set students up for success. When students struggle in school, it impacts their well-being. A comprehensive strategy to support student wellness must also include efforts to address the impact of the pandemic on student learning, particularly on students most impacted by the pandemic, and create supportive learning environments. ED will continue to help states and school districts use the $122 billion in ARP ESSER funds for this purpose. Specifically, the Department will help states and districts use the funds to provide more individual and small group instruction, hire instructional and other critical staff, launch high-impact tutoring programs, provide high-quality afterschool and summer learning and enrichment programs, and invest in other evidence-based strategies that will help our students recover from the pandemic. Districts nationwide are already using ARP ESSER funds to invest in these strategies. To support this work, we need more caring adults taking on roles supporting students. The President is calling on Americans nationwide to take on roles as tutors and mentors to help our students recover. Those looking to return to the workforce, who are just out of school, or changing careers, should consider the rich, rewarding job opportunities in our schools and with our young people. The investments the President will propose in his FY23 budget will support and sustain efforts that set up students for success. This includes more than doubling funding for Title I, a ten-fold increase for the Full-Service Community School program, and an historic $3.3 billion increase for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act grants that support PK-12 children with disabilities and $450 million for IDEA PART C, which supports early intervention services for infants and toddlers.
- Increase mental health resources for justice-involved populations. In too many communities, jails and other correctional facilities have become the largest provider of mental health care. Approximately 40 percent of incarcerated individuals have a mental illness, yet merely one-third receive treatment. The President believes that we have both a moral and a public health obligation to increase access to comprehensive mental health care for the justice-involved. To this end, the Department of Justice will expand funding and technical assistance to local communities and corrections systems to provide behavioral health care, case management services, family services, and other transitional programming for adults returning from incarceration into the community.
- Train social and human services professionals in basic mental health skills. It’s not enough to train health care providers to deliver mental health care; social and human services providers must also be equipped to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness and addiction among those they serve. To this end, the Department of Housing and Urban Development will launch a national effort to train housing counselors, housing-based services coordinators, and Fair Housing grantee staff to recognize the signs of emotional distress and to connect residents with mental health resources. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide training on mental health resources and communication strategies to Farm Production and Conservation Mission Area field employees, who serve farmers and ranchers, as well as incorporate updated mental health information into its online resource center for State, local and clinic staff administering the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). ED will continue to highlight the effectiveness of Mental Health First Aid training for educators, so that they can better support their students and one another. And the Department of Health & Human Services will provide additional training support to Head Start, Early Head Start, and home visiting grantees to spot and address mental health challenges among children.
Aside from fact-sheets President Biden offered a letter to: the Dedicated Members of the Federal Workforce
To the Dedicated Members of the Federal Workforce:
Tonight, I will deliver my State of the Union address to the Congress and the American people. Before I do, I want to thank each of you for your dedication in service to our Nation.
Thanks to your tireless work this past year, America is on the move again. Together, we have made significant progress confronting the pandemic, fueling our economy’s historic recovery, tackling the climate crisis, advancing racial equity, and protecting our national security. While our work is not finished, and deep challenges remain, this progress would not have been possible without you.
The strength of any organization rests in its people. Your capabilities and dedication are what make the Federal Government strong and ensure we deliver the basic needs for everyday Americans. As we look to the year ahead, we must build on the innovations and technologies that we put to work serving the American people throughout the pandemic, making our government more efficient, resilient, and effective. And because of our progress combatting the pandemic, we can safely increase in-person work, while continuing to protect your health and safety. Together, we can lead by example and show our country a way forward—not only by what we do, but by how we do it.White House.gov. 03/01/2022.
Thank you for your service and sacrifices, and that of your family. Your talents could have taken you many places, but you chose to serve our country. I am forever grateful, and with your continued dedication and leadership, I have never been more optimistic for the future of America.
The White House announced the guests that will be sitting with First Lady Dr., Jill Biden:
First Lady Jill Biden will welcome selected guests from across the United States to join her in the viewing box for President Biden’s State of the Union Address this evening, Tuesday, March 1, 2022. Each of these individuals, with their resilience, innovation, service, and courage, were chosen by the White House because they represent policies or themes to be addressed by the President in his speech.
TheSecond Gentleman, Mr. Douglas Emhoff,the President’s sister, Valerie Biden Owens, and the Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States, Oksana Markarova, will also join the First Lady in the viewing box.
The following Americans, listed in alphabetical order, will be seated in the box with the First Lady and Second Gentleman:
Joseph “JoJo” Burgess (Washington, Pennsylvania)White House.gov. 03/01/2022.
New Employee Organization Trainer, United Steelworkers Local 1557
Burgess is a 20-year member of the United Steelworkers and works at the U.S. Steel Clairton Coke Works facility, where he assists with training new hires and inspires future generations of steelworkers. The son of two former steelworkers, Burgess graduated high school in 1988 and promptly joined the U.S. Army, where he spent seven years in the military, including a tour during Operation Desert Storm. Upon his transition from the U.S. Army, he began his career in manufacturing. Burgess is an active member of the NAACP Washington branch. His son recently became a third-generation steelworker in the Pittsburgh area. Burgess introduced President Biden recently at an event at Mill 19 in Pittsburgh about the importance of investing in infrastructure, manufacturing, and making more in America.
Joshua Davis (Midlothian, Virginia)
7th Grade, Swift Creek Middle School, Diabetes Advocate
Davis is a 13-year-old from Midlothian, VA, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 11 months old. When he was four years old, he advocated for the Virginia General Assembly to pass a bill making school safer for kids with Type 1 diabetes. The Davis family, including his father Brian, who also has Type 1 diabetes, has continued to raise awareness about the importance of lowering prescription drug costs for American families. Davis and his mother, Shannon, introduced President Biden at an event on prescription drug costs at Germanna Community College in Culpeper, VA on February 10, 2022.
Refynd Duro (Galloway, Ohio)
Progressive Care Unit Nurse, The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center
Duro has been treating patients with COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, and at times has had to quarantine away from her family because of her job, including her four-year-old son. She serves as a bedside nurse and advocate for bedside nurses and patient safety, a role she has held for 19 years. Her career started in a Neuro Intermediate Care Unit and in an outpatient dialysis unit. She then transferred to a level 1 trauma center at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, where she has been working for the last 12 years.
Patrick “Pat” Gelsinger (Santa Clara, California)
Chief Executive Officer, Intel
Gelsinger serves as the CEO of Intel, where he spent the first 30 years of his career and served as Intel’s first Chief Technology Officer. He is a member of the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee. On January 21, 2022, Gelsinger announced one of the largest investments in a semiconductor manufacturing facility in recent U.S. history. Construction on a $20 billion Intel facility near Columbus, Ohio, will begin this year built by union labor, creating over 7,000 construction jobs and another 3,000 jobs running the high-tech facility.
Frances Haugen (Iowa City, Iowa)
Former Facebook Lead Product Manager on Civic Misinformation
Haugen is a specialist in algorithmic product management, having worked on ranking algorithms at Google, Pinterest, Yelp and Facebook. Haugen was recruited to Facebook to be the lead Product Manager on the Civic Misinformation team, which dealt with issues related to democracy and misinformation, and, later, worked on counter-espionage. She is an advocate for more humanity and transparency across the tech and social media industry, especially as it relates to teen mental health.
Melissa Isaac (Mt. Pleasant, Michigan)
Gizhwaasod (“Protector of the Young”) at the Michigan Department of Education’s Indigenous Education Initiative and Founder of Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe (SCIT)’s Project AWARE Program
Isaac is an enrolled member of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe and serves her community through her role at the Michigan Department of Education. Most recently, Isaac worked as the Director of Education for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. As an elementary school teacher at Saginaw Chippewa Academy (SCA), Isaac recognized the need to support the mental health of her students and their families. She later successfully applied for a Project AWARE grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Using this grant, Isaac expanded mental health services for children at SCA and two public school districts, which included services for Native American children. Previously, First Lady and U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy met Melissa Isaac on October 24, 2021, when they hosted a listening session focused on youth mental health with members of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, educators, and families in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.
Danielle Robinson (Columbus, Ohio)
Surviving Spouse of Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson
Danielle Robinson is the widow of Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson, who deployed to Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo and the Camp Liberty/Victory complex in Iraq. SFC Robinson was serving on active duty as a combat engineer in the Ohio National Guard when he was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder and stage 4 lung cancer. He passed away in May of 2020. Robinson is an advocate for helping service members and veterans who have been exposed to environmental hazards and burn pits while serving. Robinson, the mother of an 8-year-old daughter named Brielle, has a Doctorate in Physical Therapy and has been practicing for 10 years. She works with patients who have orthopedic injuries and neurological disorders.
Kezia Rodriguez (North Bergen, New Jersey)
Student-Parent at Bergen Community College
Rodriguez is a full-time student at Bergen Community College and mother of twin daughters. She enrolled her children in Bergen’s tuition-free child care program, an initiative made possible by the American Rescue Plan. Rodriguez is on track to graduate Bergen with an associate’s degree in general science and aims to transfer to a four-year institution for a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Having access to high-quality, affordable child care supports Rodriguez as she completes her education. Originally from Queens, New York, she is a first-generation American and the daughter of parents from Brazil. Rodriguez introduced the First Lady at Bergen Community College on January 20, 2022.
The White House has posted excerpts from the speech:
Throughout our history we’ve learned this lesson – when dictators do not pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos. They keep moving. And, the costs and threats to America and the world keep rising.
That’s why the NATO Alliance was created to secure peace and stability in Europe after World War 2. The United States is a member along with 29 other nations.
It matters. American diplomacy matters.
Putin’s war was premeditated and unprovoked. He rejected efforts at diplomacy. He thought the West and NATO wouldn’t respond. And, he thought he could divide us here at home.
Putin was wrong. We were ready.
We have a choice. One way to fight inflation is to drive down wages and make Americans poorer. I have a better plan to fight inflation.White House.gov. 03/01/2022.
Lower your costs, not your wages. Make more cars and semiconductors in America. More infrastructure and innovation in America. More goods moving faster and cheaper in America. More jobs where you can earn a good living in America. And, instead of relying on foreign supply chains – let’s make it in America.
Economists call it “increasing the productive capacity of our economy.” I call it building a better America.
My plan to fight inflation will lower your costs and lower the deficit.
The White House.