Biden’s State of the Union Featured Many Programs Supporting Economic Security, Equity

By Nicolas Martinez

4 min read.

Last night, President Biden addressed a joint session of Congress to discuss the administration’s priorities over the next year. CLASP tuned in to watch and give live updates and reactions during the speech on Twitter (X). Today, we’re reviewing some of the best moments of last night and applauding several policies that would help create a more equitable economy that helps families, workers, people of color, and young people thrive.

Here are the top highlights of what we were looking at:

The PRO Act

Since the 2023 State of the Union address, we’ve seen a notable surge in labor organizing activities, yet the increase in union membership remains virtually unchanged. Workers still face an ongoing struggle and lack the effective collective bargaining power they deserve. Current policies continue to be barriers, allowing employers to exploit and ignore workers, which impedes workers’ ability to advance tangible union contracts. CLASP urges Congress to pass the #PROAct to safeguard and empower workers. Through organizing efforts, strikes, and labor actions, workers are voicing their demands for enhanced union access, stronger labor laws, protections for gig workers, and safer workplaces. Now is the time for Congress to act.

> Read more about CLASP’s work on worker justice

Child Tax Credit

We applaud President Biden for prioritizing the Child Tax Credit (CTC), as it serves as a pivotal tool for investing in the well-being of children and families. The program reduced child poverty by half in 2021, an unprecedented drop that should not go unnoticed. The CTC is a critical program for families dealing with financial strain, and its expansion demonstrated a commitment to the nation’s children. Every child deserves a fair start regardless of their family’s income. The CTC is an important tool for achieving economic justice and building the fundamental foundation of our nation’s economic success. National surveys that CLASP conducted show that the expanded CTC significantly helped families, and Congress made a mistake in ending the monthly payments.

>>Read more about CLASP’s work on the Child Tax Credit.

Paid Leave for All

Our economy cannot move forward and prosper without care work in mind. That’s why we urge Congress to pass the FAMILY Act, because we know our economy can only flourish once we have #PaidLeaveForAll. CLASP applauds the focus on paid leave policies that enable parents to nurture their children without stress or financial strain. Families shouldn’t have to make the unthinkable choice between keeping their jobs or caring for their children and loved ones. Despite some progress through state and local policies, tens of millions of workers are left with impossible choices today. Only national policymakers can fully address these failures and shortcomings. Congress should move expeditiously to pass these bills into law.

>> Read more about CLASP’s work on paid family and medical leave.

Reproductive Justice

The Dobbs decision has profoundly impacted individuals across the United States. Restrictions on abortion access not only endanger lives but also pose serious risks to public health. Disproportionate harm comes to people of color and people with low incomes who face systemic barriers to health care, including limited access to abortion, inadequate paid family leave and child care, and low wages. It is critical to legalize abortion, address systemic inequities, and ensure access to comprehensive reproductive health care.

>> Read more of CLASP’s work on reproductive justice.


Child Care

Ensuring access to affordable and accessible child care and early education opportunities is important for families to flourish and the economy to thrive. We must make meaningful investments to turn this necessity into reality for families nationwide. The recent implementation of the new Child Care and Development Fund final rule is a significant milestone, expected to reduce costs for 100,000 families. This step forward acknowledges the pressing need for a system that better serves the needs of families and child care providers alike, and we express gratitude to the administration for its efforts in making this progress possible.

>>Learn more about CLASP’s work on child care.


While President Biden’s State of the Union address prioritized many critical policies that would help working families thrive, the speech made it clear that the administration will continue down a path of enforcing harmful and failed immigration policies rather than strengthen our country by supporting and welcoming immigrants. While the Biden Administration has taken some important actions to support immigrants, its consistent pattern has been one step forward and three steps back.

>> Read more on CLASP’s reaction to President Biden’s stance on immigration in our newest blog.