President Joe Biden declared Monday that “in America, hate will not prevail,” as he recalled the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on the national holiday commemorating the slain civil rights leader and his quest for justice and equal rights for Blacks in the United States.
Biden, speaking in Washington to leaders of the National Action Network, a civil rights group, said Americans must “never grow weary in doing what is right.”
He cited actions he has taken to improve the lives of Black Americans during the first two years of his presidency, but added, “Folks, we have a lot of unfinished business. We cannot remain silent.”
The Democratic president promised to work with the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives on issues where they might be able to reach agreement. But he also said he will veto legislation that he feels would hurt working-class families.
He assailed Republicans for their passage last week of a measure attempting to rescind $80 billion in new funding for the country’s tax collection agency, the Internal Revenue Service, saying the lack of new auditors at the agency scrutinizing tax returns would “reduce taxes for the super wealthy.”
Republicans say the extra funding would have led to burdensome audits of small businesses and middle-income taxpayers. Biden said he would veto the measure in the unlikely event the Democratic-controlled Senate passes it. He also attacked a call by some Republicans for a national sales tax on almost every purchased item and doing away with taxation on income.
Biden said the U.S. recovery from the economic depths caused by the coronavirus pandemic has laid the foundation for a stronger, more equitable economy for decades to come.
“Black unemployment is near record lows,” he said. “Wages for Black workers are up. Two strongest years ever for small business creation including for Black small businesses.”
“We’re expanding efforts to build Black generational wealth like every other person who built their wealth,” Biden said. “How’d they build it? Homes.”