A recap of President Joe Biden’s first state of the union.
“Freedom will always triumph over tyranny,” the president began his first state of the union.
Some Senators waived the Ukrainian flag as President Biden began his speech discussing the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. He reemphasized that America stands with Ukraine and that history has proven that dictators must be held accountable. He claimed this was the reason for NATO.
He discussed the economic sanctions being applied by America and European allies. He also mentioned that America is providing over $1 billion to Ukraine in aid and clarified that there will be no American forces in Europe.
The President announced that they will be closing all American air space to Russian flights. He explained how this move was aimed at continuing the fall of the Russian economy and blamed Russian President Putin.
Many of his points were repeated from his previous speech regarding the issue.
“We’re going to be okay,” Biden said to the concerns of Americans that these actions will affect gas prices at home. He announced the release of some oil from a reserve that will provide oil for only about a day.
He talked about how he passed the American Rescue Plan, which he claims aided in vaccination efforts, provided immediate relief, put food on the table and provided “breathing room” to Americans.
He claimed the American Rescue Plan “left no one behind,” which he compared to the Trump tax cuts, which he claimed only benefit the top 1%.
He then spoke of the jobs creation over the last year, touting 6.5 million new jobs, which he claimed is the most in history.
The president then attacked the methods of trickle-down economics and said that history has proved that it doesn’t work. “We are done with infrastructure weeks,” he said, “we are moving on to infrastructure decades.”
He also discussed his desire to create a network of 500,000 vehicle charging stations, new high-speed internet projects, and announced that he plans to start fixing more bridges and highways. His hope for this is to start by “buying America.”
The theme of his economic strategy relied on “building a better America.” He claimed that his plan to combat inflation is to “lower your costs, not your wages.” The president announced a desire to bring car manufacturing, infrastructure jobs and more goods to America. He claimed that the reason the economy has stalled is that there have not been enough people employed to manufacture the products. A “U-S-A” chant broke out in response to this.
He established that his latest goals include affordable housing, free preschool, decreased child care, decreased drug costs and increased Medicare benefits. He reiterated his campaign promise that no one making under $400,000 would see an increase in taxes.
“The present tax system ain’t fair,” said the president. He also referred back to his desire to have a minimum 15% corporate tax rate after claiming he wanted to reduce costs for families and companies. President Biden also discussed wanting to raise the minimum wage again, though he also said he wanted to lower costs for businesses.
The president continued to talk about wanting to “cut costs and give people a fair shot,” but did not provide explicit ways he planned to lower costs for the American family aside from passing his favored legislation.
He claimed the deficit would be half of what it was when he took office, not addressing how his spending legislation might lower the deficit.
“Because of your resilience,” Biden said, “we are moving forward safely to our normal routines.” He touted new CDC mask guidelines and said that America will continue to combat the virus and stay on guard.
He laid out four steps: suggesting people get vaccinated and boosted, prepare for new variants, get back to work and school and to continue to vaccinate the world.
President Biden attributed the COVID success to vaccines, treatments, tests and masks and said more free tests are now available for anyone who wants one.
“Stop seeing each other as enemies and start seeing each other for who we are: fellow Americans,” the president said.
“The answer is not to defund the policy, it is to fund the police,” said the President in a stark breakaway from the more radical wing of the party. He received a standing ovation for this remark.
He also went after gun control, suggesting that people on the terrorist watch list can purchase again, which he claimed could be stopped with universal background check laws.
He moved on to discuss the right to vote, which he called the most fundamental right. He claimed without example that states across the country are trying to suppress the vote and “subvert entire elections.” Because of this, he asked Congress to pass what he called voting rights legislation.
President Biden then gave recognition to the retiring Justice Breyer and asked the senate to confirm his new nomination, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.
From there, President Biden talked about wanting to secure the southern border, providing new technology and creating new paths to immigration.
He then gave a sentence or two on his desire to protect access to what he called “women’s rights” and “access to healthcare” in protecting the “constitutional right protected by Roe v. Wade.” Biden called on Congress to protect women’s right to abortion, though he did not use that word. He tied into this what he deemed attacks on LGBTQ+ communities. He again did not specify what he meant.
President Biden wrapped up by talking about his desire to beat the opioid epidemic, increase mental health services across the country, support veterans and “ending cancer as we know it.” He claimed this final goal might be achieved by funding the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Help.
The president ended the speech by telling Americans this is “the hour” and a “moment of responsibility.” He suggested that America was responsible for saving democracy and meeting the test presented. Biden suggested he was more optimistic today than he has been in his whole life.
“The state of the union is strong because you, the American people, are strong,” Biden concluded.