AFSCME supports Biden’s vision for America and will help him execute it

In this year’s State of the Union speech, President Joe Biden highlighted his administration’s achievements over the past three years and vowed to continue fighting for working people.

AFSCME applauds his accomplishments and strongly supports the Biden-Harris administration’s vision for the future, which includes defending our nation’s democracy, protecting a woman’s right to choose and making the wealthy pay their fair share in taxes, among other things.

In the Thursday night speech, Biden recalled that he was elected president during the COVID-19 pandemic and inherited an economy “on the brink.” Today, he said, “our economy is the envy of the world.”

“America’s comeback is building a future of American possibilities, building an economy from the middle out and the bottom up, not the top down, investing in all of America, in all Americans to make sure everyone has a fair shot and we leave no one behind,” he said.

Biden also warned against the threat to American freedoms including reproductive rights. He lamented the passage of state laws that – in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade – are outlawing a woman’s right to choose and criminalizing doctors.

Biden highlighted the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which he said has created 46,000 new projects in communities across the country, “modernizing our roads and bridges, ports and airports, and public transit systems.”

He vowed to “turn things around so the middle class does well, the poor have a way up and the wealthy still does well.” As he has before, Biden said that “the middle class built this country,” and that he is a proud supporter of labor unions.

“I was proud to be the first president in American history to walk a picket line,” he said, turning to United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain, who was in the audience as Biden’s guest.

Biden said he was proud of lowering prescription drug prices, including for insulin, which went down from $400 a month to $35 for Medicare recipients. He said he wants to expand the Affordable Care Act – which AFSCME strongly supports – and make permanent tax credits that are set to expire next year and are reducing health care premiums for millions of working families.

To pay for investments in our country’s future, wealthy individuals and corporations must pay their fair share, Biden said.

“A fair tax code is how we invest in the things that make a country great – health care, education, defense and more,” he said. “The way to make the tax code fair is to make big corporations and the very wealthy finally pay their share.”

Also on his list of priorities, is protecting Social Security and Medicare, enhance voting rights, raise the minimum wage and cut carbon emissions in half by 2030. He called on Congress to pass the PRO Act, which would make it easier for workers in the private sector to form strong unions.

AFSCME President Lee Saunders said Friday that Biden “nailed it last night – America is in the middle of a comeback.”

“Biden has created a record 15 million new jobs,” Saunders said in a release. “More people have health insurance than ever before. Public sector jobs are finally returning, and union workers are building power every day. This is what it looks like to have a president who is committed to helping working people and unrigging our economy, which for too long has only served the wealthy and well-connected.”

But Saunders also emphasized that “we have a lot more work to do.”

AFSCME members have contributed to the Biden administration’s successes – for instance, we fought hard to pass the American Rescue Plan. Our union stands firmly behind Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to help them execute their vision for our country’s future. AFSCME members and allies will mobilize this election season and play a key role in reelecting Biden and Harris.