And history was made tonight with two women seated behind the president during an address to Congress

At times, Pelosi’s presence seemed like the only holdover from former President Trump’s final State of the Union, a contentious speech that ended with Pelosi ripping it up on camera behind Mr. Trump.

Senator Tim Scott, a rising star in the Republican party, delivered the GOP rebuttal. Scott declared Mr. Biden’s infrastructure proposal a “liberal wishlist of big government waste” and offered an alternative vision for the future as the country begins to emerge from the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, which has shaken the economy and resulted in the deaths of more than half a million Americans.

A CBS News poll after the speech found that viewers described the president as “Presidential, “Caring,” “Inspiring” and “Bold.” Eighty-five percent of Americans who watched Mr. Biden’s first address to a joint session of Congress approved of his speech. Fifteen percent disapproved.

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President Biden Delivers First Address To Joint Session Of Congress
President Biden addresses a joint session of congress as Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi look on in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol on April 28, 2021.
CHIP SOMODEVILLA / GETTY IMAGES

Most viewers who tuned in to watch President Biden’s speech liked what they heard and came away feeling optimistic about America.

Speech viewers described the president as “Presidential, “”Caring,” “Inspiring” and “Bold.”

And history was made tonight with two women seated behind the president during an address to Congress, and a big majority of those who watched felt proud to see that.

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Read more here.

— Jennifer De Pinto, Kabir Khanna, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto

CLAIM: Americans pay three times as much as other countries for prescription drugs.

“We pay the highest prescription drug prices of anywhere in the world right here in America — nearly three times for the same drug — nearly three times what other countries pay.”

FACT CHECK: MOSTLY TRUE.

Rand found that American prescription drug pricing is 2.56 times higher overall than 39 other countries. But certain drugs, like the generic ones used by many Americans, are lower on average.

“Two million women have dropped out of the workforce during this pandemic, too often because they couldn’t get the care they need for their family, their children.”

FACT CHECK: True

January 2021 jobs data indicated that 275,000 women left the work force that month, the National Women’s Law Center noted. This raises the number of women who had left the work force since March 2020 to 2.3 million and bringing the women’s labor force participation rate to 57%.

“The economy created more than one million three hundred thousand new jobs in 100 days…more jobs in the first 100 days than any president on record.”

FACT CHECK: True

In February and March 2021 alone, 1,384,000 jobs were added, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ March 2021 report. By comparison, during Donald Trump’s first year in office, the economy added 317,000 jobs in February and March 2017.

In the Obama administration, during the Great Recession, employment continued to decline, and 663,000 jobs were lost in February and March in 2009. In 2001, President George W. Bush saw the economy lose 86,000 jobs. The BLS began recording monthly employment numbers in 1994, one year after President Bill Clinton’s first term began.

— Aaron Navarro and Arthur Jones III
Scott delivers GOP rebuttal, calling American jobs plan a “liberal wishlist of big government waste”

Republican Senator Tim Scott delivered a speech responding to President Biden’s first address before a joint session of Congress on Wednesday evening. The response provides an opportunity for Scott, a rising star in the Republican Party, to outline an alternative to the president’s ambitious legislative agenda.

Scott began his speech by saying that Mr. Biden “seems like a good man,” but argued that his policies were divisive.

“Our president seems like a good man. His speech was full of good words. But President Biden promised you a specific kind of leadership,” Scott said. “Our nation is starving for more than empty platitudes. We need policies and progress that bring us closer together. But three months in, the actions of the president and his party are pulling us further and further apart.”

Scott noted that five bipartisan coronavirus relief packages had passed under former President Donald Trump in the past year, but Congress passed the nearly $2 trillion American Rescue Plan without any Republican votes.

Scott delivered his response after Mr. Biden concluded his speech, which included details about his American Families Plan, a tax and spending bill focused on health care, child care and education. Between this and the American Jobs Plan, his infrastructure proposal, Mr. Biden is calling on Congress to pass over $4 trillion in spending on major projects.

Scott called the American Jobs Plan a “liberal wishlist of big government waste.” Republicans have balked at the price tags for these proposals, questioned their relevancy, and criticized Mr. Biden’s plan to raise certain taxes to pay for them.

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