SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - As President Biden marked his first 100 days in office with a congressional address, California senator Alex Padilla sat in the chamber, one of the few people invited to attend in person.
"Laying out the path ahead: the American Jobs Plan, American Families Plan, redefining what our country can be," said Senator Padilla.
Senator Padilla spoke with us as he marked his own 100 days in his new job. Padilla's stayed busy: co-sponsoring bills related to climate change, electrical grids and safety of farm workers to name a few.
"I have a good foundation on the issues and more importantly the pulse of what’s important to California and the need to act quickly," said Padilla.
In the speech, President Biden implored congress to pass his immigration reform plan - a major focus for Senator Padilla. The first bill he ever sponsored in the senate offered a path to citizenship for immigrant essential workers.
"My god, through their service and sacrifice, they’ve earned the opportunity to live without fear of deportation and a pathway to citizenship," said Padilla.
Republicans are calling for democrats to shift their focus to enforcement, not reform. They blame a surge of migrants at the southern border on Biden's proposed immigration policies. Republicans also accused democrats and Biden of failing to work in a bipartisan way.
"Three months in, the action of the president and his party are pulling us further apart," said Senator Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) in the GOP rebuttal.
"It’s up to Republicans to decide whether we’re going to work on a bipartisan basis or not," said Padilla. "We know full well what families -- Democrats and Republicans need."
Senator Padilla also responded to Senator Scott's comments about race and policing in America. Scott said, "Hear me clearly, America is not a racist country."
"I think Senator Scott was missing not just the boat, but the evidence," responded Padilla. "We see so much systemic inequity in the criminal justice system, in educational opportunity, economic opportunity, access to healthcare."