President Biden opened his speech by remarking on the historic moment taking place with two women standing behind him for the first time ever saying, "Madam Speaker, Madam Vice President. No president has ever said those words from this podium, and it's about time."
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While most of the president's early comments centered around COVID-19 and the nation's response, it was those opening remarks when he addressed Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi that meant so much to women like Congresswoman Barbara Lee.
"Really reminded me of the individuals and those women, especially who fought so hard and paid such the price just to get to this point today, so this was quite a moment of reflection for me personally," said Representative Lee who spoke with us after attending the speech in person.
Others watched from across the nation. Those like Children's Council of San Francisco CEO Gina Fromer, who is in full support of the American Families Plan that President Biden spoke of. Among other things, the 1.8 trillion dollar plan would provide universal preschool.
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"Billions of dollars in support of a universal pre-k and expanded subsidies for childcare -- game changer for families. This would be a historic investment for children," said Fromer, who believes the program would directly benefit the hardest hit families of color and particularly women of color.
But the reaction wasn't all smiles. The spending also means taxing, and while the plan is to tax the top 1 percent, many republicans are skeptical, saying it isn't sustainable.
We spoke with the former Chairman of the California Republican Party and author Tom Del Beccaro who said, "This is a terrible idea, I wrote last year about his proposals to raise taxes, the economy is just now recovering, siphoning money out of the private sector is a bad idea."
Del Baccaro went on to say, "Before COVID, the federal budget was about 4.8 trillion, it jumped over 8 last year and these spending programs would keep it at that rate. That's far too high for the tax base to sustain and it actually cuts economic growth over time because someone is going to get taxed for all of that."
Congresswoman Lee disagrees, saying the previous tax cut for wealthy Americans and corporations increased the deficit. She says Wednesday evening was a good night.
"Republicans can't tell me anything about spending this budget, what the president is talking about is insuring the security of all Americans. What else can you ask for?"