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Joe Biden addresses a joint session of congress. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

During his joint address to Congress on Wednesday, President Biden spoke of the need to tax the ultra-wealthy to fix economic inequality in the U.S.

Why it matters: Biden wants to use tax hikes on the rich to pay for his American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan. This philosophy has been a sticking point for many Republicans.

The big picture: Biden noted that tax cuts during the Trump administration were a boon to corporations and wealthy Americans and the pandemic has only increased economic inequality in the U.S.

  • Biden's plans, he argued, would invest in the "human infrastructure" that allows for the growth of the middle class and raising people out of poverty.

What he's saying: "I will not add to the tax burden of the middle class of this country. They’re already paying enough."

  • "What I’ve proposed is fair. It’s fiscally responsible."
  • "My fellow Americans, trickle-down economics has never worked," Biden said.
  • "It’s time to grow the economy from the bottom up and middle-out."
"A broad consensus of economists – left, right, center – agree that what I’m proposing will help create millions of jobs and generate historic economic growth."

Go deeper

U.S. unemployment rate hits new pandemic-era low

Photo: Shawn Thew/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. economy added 943,000 jobs in July, while the unemployment rate fell from 5.9% to a new pandemic-era low of 5.4%.

Why it matters: It’s the biggest hiring spree in almost a year as the labor market makes strides to a full recovery.

House passes $768 billion defense spending bill

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The House approved a $768 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2022 fiscal year in a bipartisan 316-113 vote on Thursday.

Why it matters: The annual bill, which authorizes Pentagon spending levels and guides policy for the department, would require women to register for the military draft, among other provisions.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans’ secret lobbying

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The five Senate Republicans who helped negotiate and draft the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill have been privately courting their Republican colleagues to pass the measure in the House.

Why it matters: House GOP leaders are actively urging their members to oppose the bill. The senators are working to undercut that effort as Monday shapes up as a do-or-die moment for the bipartisan bill.