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During his joint address to Congress on Wednesday evening, President Biden called for the U.S. to increase its investment in technology to keep competitive on the global stage in the decades to come.

Why it matters: Biden stressed that China and other nations are poised to overtake the U.S. in ambition and framed his American Jobs Plan as a possible solution, by increasing "non-defense research and development."

The big picture: The president noted that the U.S. currently invests less of its GDP in research and development than it did decades ago.

  • He argued the U.S. must "develop and dominate the products and technologies of the future," including things such as "advanced batteries, biotechnology, computer chips and clean energy."
  • Biden recommended that the National Institutes of Health should create a research branch for health.

The president noted his $1.8 trillion American Families Plan would offer increased education-focused benefits.

What he's saying: "We can’t be so busy competing with each other that we forget the competition is with the rest of the world to win the 21st Century."

  • "China and other countries are closing in fast."
  • "[A]ny country that out-educates us is going to outcompete us."

Go deeper

Scoop: Biden plans to ask Congress to pay for $1.8 trillion in new spending

President Biden speaks about updated CDC mask guidance from the North Lawn of the White House on Tuesday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Biden plans to ask Congress to pay for the entirety of the $1.8 trillion in new spending on health care, child care and education he’ll unveil on Wednesday night, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Biden’s decision to fully offset both the $2.25 trillion American Jobs Plan he announced last month, and the $1.8 trillion American Families Plan being rolled out in his joint address, all but guarantee big political battles on both the spending and tax sides of the combined $4 trillion proposal.

Apr 28, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden speech to feature American Sign Language interpretation

Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

For the first time in history, the livestream of President Biden's joint address to Congress will feature American Sign Language interpretation for accessibility.

Why it matters The Biden administration has made accessibility a priority.

Updated Apr 28, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden's latest $1 trillion+ plan

Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday will present his third $1 trillion+ package to Congress since taking office, asking for $1.8 trillion in new spending to expand the American education system, provide more help for childcare and create millions more jobs.

The big picture: Biden is also proposing a series of tax hikes on the rich, which his administration vows will not hit Americans who make less than $400,000 and households with less than $1 million in capital gains.