Good evening, I’m Senator Tim Scott from the great state of South Carolina. We just heard President Biden’s first address to Congress. Our president seems like a good man. His speech was full of good words. But President Biden promised you a specific kind of leadership. He promised to unite a nation, to lower the temperature, to govern for all Americans, no matter how we voted.
This was the pitch. You just heard it again. But our nation is starving for more than empty platitudes. We need policies in progress. That brings us closer together for three months in the actions of the president and his party are pulling us further and further apart.
I won’t waste your time with finger pointing or partizan bickering. You can get that on TV any time you want. I want to have an honest conversation about common sense and common ground, about this feeling that our nation is sliding off its shared foundation and how we move forward together. Growing up, I never dreamed I would be standing here tonight when I was a kid. My parents divorced my mother, my brother and I moved in with my grandparents, three of us sharing one bedroom.
I was disillusioned and angry and I nearly failed out of school.
But I was blessed first with a praying mom and let me say this to the single mothers out there who are working their tails off, working hard, trying to make the ends meet, wondering if it’s worth it. You can bet it is God bless your amazing effort of heart of your kids. I was also blessed by a Chick fil A operator, Germanies, a filing with a string of opportunities that are only possible here in America. This past year, I’ve watched covid attack every rung of the ladder that helped me up.
So many families have lost parents and grandparents too early. So many small businesses have gone under. Becoming a Christian transformed my life by for months to many, churches were shut down most of all. I’m saddened that millions of kids have lost a year of learning when they could not afford to lose a single day, locking vulnerable kids out of the classroom is locking adults out of their future. Our public schools should have reopened months ago, other countries did, private and religious schools did.
Science has shown for months that schools are safe, but too often powerful, grown up set science aside. And kids like me. Were left behind. The clearest case I’ve seen for school choice in our lifetimes, because we know. But education is the closest thing to magic in America. Last year, under Republican leadership, we passed five bipartisan covid packages. Congress supported our schools, our hospitals, saved our economy and funded operation warp speed, delivering vaccines in record time.
All five bills got 90 90 votes in the Senate, common sense found common ground.
In February, Republicans told President Biden we wanted to keep working together to finish this fight. But Democrats wanted to go it alone. They spent almost two trillion dollars on a partizan bill that the White House bragged was the most liberal bill in American history. Only one percent went the vaccinations. No requirement to reopen schools promptly covid Congress together five times. This administration pushed us apart.
Another issue that should unite us is infrastructure, Republican support, everything you think of when you think of infrastructure, roads, bridges, ports, airports, waterways, high speed broadband, we’re in for all of that. But again, Democrats want a partizan wish list, they won’t even build bridges to build bridges. Less than six percent of the president’s plan goes to roads and bridges is a liberal wish list of big government waste. Plus the biggest job killing tax hikes in a generation.
Experts say when all is said and done, it would lower wages of the average American worker and shrink our economy. Tonight, we also heard about a so-called family plan, even more taxing, even more spending to put Washington even more in the middle of your life from the cradle to college. The beauty of the American dream is that families get to define it for themselves. We should be expanding opportunities and options for all families, not throwing money at certain issues because Democrats think they know best.
Infrastructure spending that shrinks our economy is not common sense, weakening our southern borders and creating a crisis is not compassionate. The president is also abandoning principles he’s held for decades. Now he says your tax dollars should fund abortions. He’s laying groundwork to pack the Supreme Court. This is not common ground.
Nowhere do we need common ground more desperately been in our discussions of race. I have experienced the pain of discrimination. I know what it feels like to be pulled over for no reason, to be followed around a store while I’m shopping. I remember every morning at the kitchen table, my grandfather would open the newspaper and read it, I thought, but later I realized he had never learned to read it. He just wanted to set the right example. I’ve also experienced a different kind of intolerance.
I get called Uncle Tom and the N-word by progressives, by liberals. Just last week, a national newspaper suggested my family’s poverty was actually a privilege.
Because a relative on land generations before my time, believe me, I know firsthand our healing is not finished.
In twenty fifteen, after the shooting of Walter Scott, I wrote a bill to fund body cameras. Last year after the deaths of Brianna Taylor and George Floyd, I built an even bigger police reform proposal, but my Democratic colleagues blocked it. I extended an olive branch. I offered amendments. But Democrats used a filibuster to block the debate from even happening. My friends across the aisle seemed to want the issue.
More than they wanted a solution, but I’m still working, I’m hopeful that this will be different. When America comes together, we’ve made tremendous progress, but powerful forces want to pull us apart. A hundred years ago, kids in classrooms were taught the color of their skin was their most important characteristic. And if they looked a certain way. They were inferior today, cuz they’re being taught that the color of their skin defines them again. And if you look a certain way, they’re an oppressor.
From colleges to corporations to our culture, people are making money and gaining power by pretending we haven’t made any progress at all by doubling down on the divisions we’ve worked so hard to heal. You know, this stuff is wrong. Hear me clearly. America is not a racist country. It’s backwards to fight discrimination with different types of discrimination, and it’s wrong to try to use our painful past to dishonestly shut down debates in the present. I’m an African-American who’s voted in the South my entire life.
I take voting rights personally. Republicans support making it easier to vote and harder to cheat, and so do the voters. Big majorities of Americans support early voting and big majority support voter I.D., including African-Americans and Hispanics. Common sense makes common ground, but today this conversation has collapsed.
The state of Georgia passed a law that expands early voting, preserves no excuse mail in voting, and despite what the president claimed, did not reduce Election Day hours. If you actually read this law, it’s mainstream.
It will be easier to vote early in Georgia than in Democrat run New York. But the left doesn’t want you to know that they want people virtue signaling by yelling about a law they haven’t even read.