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Bringing you the post's award-winning coverage Anytime Anyplace because democracy dies in darkness Madam speaker the president of the United States if all those polls God loved them historic losses are on the way a giant red wave that didn't happen when I came to office almost two years ago the pandemic was raging and the.
Economy was reeling we had the most vibrant economy in the world right now unemployment is the lowest it's been in 50 years the Republicans are very United our debt is too high and I think there's a lot of savings we can find for the American taxpayer but the Republicans want to work together on real solutions to lower inflation create more jobs I'm.
Ready President Joe Biden delivers an address on the State of the Union tonight it's Biden's first time facing a republican majority in the House of Representatives he also faces arrested public welcome to this special report from The Newsroom of the Washington Post I'm Libby Casey well good news on the economy the president.
Has signed bipartisan bills and the recent midterm elections went far better for the president's Democratic party than many expected still Biden faces strong headwinds as he addresses Congress and Americans tonight in a speech that could road test his likely re-election bid with me to preview the president's speech senior Congressional.
Correspondent Rhonda Colvin live in the U.S capitol's Statuary Hall outside the White House Tyler pager who covers the Biden Administration and with me in the studio opinions columnist James Homan welcome to you all Rhonda set the stage for tonight's State of the Union Address while we are steps away from the house chamber here in Statuary Hall where the.
President will be making this State of the Union Address in about an hour what we know from the excerpts that have been released by the White House and some of the things that the president has said about his speech is that he is going to acknowledge some of the achievements that this Congress has been able to do in the last year that includes.
Infrastructure you're likely going to hear a lot about that the lead pipes that have been removed the Rosen bridges that are being built across the country he really is going to focus on that as a highlight he's also going to talk about the gun reform that passed through Congress last year after uh 30-year stall so you're going to hear about some.
Of the highlights that Congressional Democrats were able to help him get through Congress but he's also likely going to address the elephant in the room and that is that this is a divided Congress he is very aware of that he knows the audience he knows this Republican house may not be the friendliest friendliest to him right now.
So he is also going to mention in unity mentioned bipartisanship that it can be done so those are the things that we can expect from the president this evening I've been here for a few hours and I've talked to lawmakers from both sides of the aisle about what they want to hear from the president and both sides are saying they want him to be specific.
Whether it's on Ukraine whether it's on China surveillance whether it's on gun reform further restrictions there whether it's on police reform they want him to be very specific and Democrats also want him to use this as a platform to discuss all the things that they have been able to get through since he's been president so that's what we can expect.
Tonight and that's what lawmakers want to hear tonight now I also will note that here in saturated Hall it's sort of a return to Norms this is the first time in the last two years since the covet pandemic that media has been allowed back in here to broadcast from here so it does feel for him to talk about the mood a little bit it does feel sort of.
Like old times it's a lighter mood both with Republicans and Democrats who kind of feel like we're getting back to some tradition thank you so much Rhonda well James The Washington Post along with ABC News polled Americans about their opinion of President Biden what are the most significant findings Libby President.
Biden comes into the speech with an approval rating that is very similar to what it was a year ago and even last fall before the midterm elections and it's not very good 42 percent a majority of the country disapprove of the job that he's doing as president on specific issues including the issue that is most important to voters the economy.
President Biden under 40 percent on Ukraine which the White House sees is a big success also under 40 percent and then there are some issues like the crisis at the southern border uh the flow of immigrants into the country uh where President Biden is approved of by fewer than three in ten Americans now you see these numbers the White House.
Would want the American people to be looking at the economic reality uh last Friday there was a new jobs report that showed the unemployment rate at 3.4 percent that's the lowest it's been since 1969. millions of jobs have been created since President Biden took office you can see the covid pandemic Spike there similarly the GDP is now.
Basically to where it would have been in all likelihood if covid never happened you can see the big plummet with covid the economy has really bounced back contrary to all the warnings about a deep recession all of this is happening as the Federal Reserve has now raised interest rates eight times in their last eight meetings.
This is bringing inflation under control which is coming down uh but it is not leading to the kind of hard crash recession that many had feared nevertheless in that Washington Post ABC poll only 16 percent of Americans think they're better off than when President Biden took office most people our plurality think they're not as well off.
And about the same number say they're about the same as when Biden took power and that sets up a number that terrifies this white house which is in a head-to-head match-up if there was a rematch of 2020 right now Donald Trump leads Joe Biden 48 to 45 that's within the margin of error of the poll among independents.
Trump leads Biden 50 to 41 percent the White House sees tonight as a chance to move some of these numbers and to take credit for what they see as achievements and good economic news I want to bring in Dan Boltz Chief correspondent at the Washington Post Dan what is this disconnect between what the American public perceives and what the Biden.
Administration believes it has been able to do well it's it's an important disconnect but in some ways it's an understandable one uh Libby what has happened over the past two years is that Congress has passed with the Biden Administration pushing hard some major pieces of legislation some of that has trickled.
Down to the American people but a lot of it has not for example the bipartisan infrastructure bill that was passed is only now beginning to be felt in local communities and and really in a tentative way similarly the the big spending program that was passed last summer designed to combat climate change that's spending that's going to happen.
Out into the future so it in a real sense most Americans have not felt the changes that have been approved by Congress the the Biden advisors believe that over the next year and year and a half more of that will be felt in a real way as one one said to me this will now come alive to people in a way that it hasn't so in some ways it's.
Understandable that doesn't negate the challenge that the president has to persuade people that things are improving that they will continue to improve and that he deserves credit for a lot of what he expects to happen so that's the that's the challenge that begins tonight with the State of the Union message Dan how important is this.
Moment and is it a pivot point does the does the Biden team view this as an opportunity to dive into these challenges that you're talking about a lot of which are about really selling what's already been accomplished I'm not sure I would describe it as a pivot point if only because state of the unions often come.
And go reasonably quickly a president can get a little bit of a bounce but then it often dissipates I think what's most important is that we're going to begin to hear the themes and arguments that will undergird the president's re-election campaign the assumption is that he will in one way or another make clear that he is started a presidential.
Campaign sometime in the very near future with a formal announcement later in the spring that's every signal from the White House and from the President says that tonight is the as the opportunity to begin to make that case but this is not something that's going to turn around you know on a dime it will take it will take time it will take.
Consistency on the part of the the president and it will take an effort on the part of others in his administration to make sure that that message is heard day in and day out he will travel as most presidents do in the coming days to highlight some of the things that are in the works or that are beginning to.
Happen but he's going to have to do a lot more traveling so tonight is really in a sense the first steps toward the re-election argument and the re-election themes Rhonda we've been hearing some pre-buttals and some arguments that Republicans are already making to try to get their stamp on this night there will.
Be the Stark image of speaker Kevin McCarthy behind President Biden a new look because the last two addresses he's delivered to this joint Congress it's been Democrats flanking him what are you hearing from Republicans well Republicans really want Biden right now to be very specific on a number of concerns that have come up of late one.
Of the things I'm hearing is the issue of the China surveillance balloon that's something that they say he's shown weakness over I spoke to the intelligence chair in the house who said Biden was too late in shooting the balloon down that's something I've heard again and again from Republicans on the hill so they are looking for areas where.
They feel he is vulnerable the border is another issue that Republicans keep bringing up saying that he has failed on issues related to the southern border and then I talked to the representative who represents the largest part of our U.S Southern border and he says he really wants Biden to get specific on what he's going to do with not just.
Immigration but the Border itself because those are two separate issues so they are Republicans are looking at very specific things to highlight and say these are the vulnerabilities for the Biden Administration and to amplify those things now we also also need to remember that the talk of the economy right now with Biden saying that he can.
Laud the things that he's done with job growth in the country the things he's done with building jobs through infrastructure that's also coming parallel to this debate over the debt ceiling that's also looming over this speech tonight where as you mentioned Kevin McCarthy the speaker will be behind Biden tonight and and the two of.
Them just met last week to discuss potential negotiations but we're hearing from the White House that they aren't willing to negotiate on the debt ceiling issue and meanwhile yesterday Kevin McCarthy said there needs to be some sort of negotiation because that is a bargaining chip that the Republicans can use to cut spending so there's a lot of.
Talk and discussion of how to strategize around what Biden might consider achievements and you can expect that the Republicans will do so that you spoke to the Republican house intelligence chair earlier let's listen to that with respect to China that that's sort of symbolic of how the Administration has been on the issue of National.
Security um frequently late to the game and uh and not Rising the challenge I'm looking forward tonight uh perhaps for him having a message not just for the United States but also for China that he's going to stand up to the challenge both economically and on a security basis Rhonda.
Yeah that's representative Mike Turner who is the new house intelligence chair and he has said what a lot of Republicans are saying right now about Biden needing to have a stronger stance on China so what Turner was saying was he wants Biden to use this opportunity to speak not only to the American people but to speak to China too and show some.
Toughness so that is something that you'll likely hear Republicans talk about after the speech and after we hear what Biden says on the China issue I also talked to Turner about what he wants to hear on the issue of Ukraine he also was critical of the president and the administration on some of the aid because he said it seems like Congress.
Has had to take the lead on that but of course the Biden Administration has been forthcoming in the type of Aid that they want to see Ukraine have so that is also another talking point that you'll hear a little bit about tonight in this speech we know that the Ambassador from Ukraine will be a guest of the first lady tonight for the second year in a row to.
Highlight the continuing war with Russia James foreign policy is something that President Biden ran on that Joe Biden ran on and said he could have in his portfolio because of his long experience in the Senate how important is foreign policy on the minds of Americans right now and on the minds of people in that room the balloon really threw everybody.
A curveball over the past week it did and it gets at this tension which is should the administration focus on China which is the rising emerging threat to the United States or focus on Russia which in some ways was the threat of the second half of the 20th century obviously Russia has been revanchist Vladimir Putin was trying to recreate.
His Empire the attack on Ukraine is an attack on Western values democracy a stable Europe all sorts of things one of the things that really really concerns the administration is that public support for the war in Ukraine and for funding Ukraine has started to slip the anniversary of the evasion is coming up on February 24th president is going to.
Go to Poland the White House confirmed today right next door to Ukraine there was a Pew poll last week that showed a big drop off in support among Republicans Democrats still standing strong they pass a lot of money in December to fund the war effort the question is in the middle of the Year May June will.
Public support continue to flag when you have something like the Chinese balloon it might cause some people to say our future is in pivoting toward Asia let's focus Less on Ukraine President Biden's view is the U.S is really making a big difference Ukraine is winning the war and needs American Support to continue to win but he has to make that case Dan.
Boltz let's talk about how a president and his speech writing team prepare for tonight and how they balance all of the competing topics everything from foreign policy to domestic policy accomplishments challenges what should we be listening for tonight in terms of the issues highlighted the length of time spent on topics and the energy that.
The president tries to bring to them it's a very good question Libby I mean historically you know paragraphs are fought over in the State of the Union drafting sessions every agency every interest wants to get a mention from the president in the State of the Union to try to get their issue on the table and inevitably there is debate and jocking.
And and Things fall out and things get put in literally to the very end and it would not surprise me that there are still edits being made on the president's speech even as he is making his way from the White House to the Capitol uh that's that's the norm um I I think what's what's key uh frankly is uh a the overall tone and.
Message that he wants to deliver state of the unions are often laundry lists and I think people tune out at those points but there are moments of emphasis and the president has the ability to do that and I think that there will be several things that we'll want to look for one is the degree to which he he defends the record of the.
Last two years and addresses these doubts that people have that whatever has been done hasn't had any real effect on them that's one thing certainly the issue of you of Ukraine will be very very important how much time he spends on it what what he has to say about the commitment that he's prepared to make and and even in.
The face of as James noted some erosion in support uh for the continuation of robust usaid how he addresses that um he will he will certainly talk about bipartisanship I mean this is baked into the president's being after having been a senator for three decades he believes that bipartisanship is possible we know that when he ran and when he delivered.
His inaugural address two years ago and talked about bipartisanship there were many people who thought he was naive that in a polarized country in a country is divided as this one has been that that was kind of hopeless optimism but in fact he looks over the past two years and says we did get some things done together we got the bipartisan.
Infrastructure Bill we got the chips bill um we got various things done even in a a a an era in which Goodwill is almost non-existent so he will talk about that and but I think that the question is how does he square that then with the challenges he no doubt will lay down for the Republicans in in the Congress and particularly House.
Republicans their agenda versus his agenda how does he draw those contrasts at the same time he's asking for bipartisan cooperation Rhonda we got a hold of some excerpts of the speech just a little while ago and indeed there is a call the president will make for a collaboration for cooperation with Republicans saying there's no reason we.
Can't work together in this new Congress what is the reception going to be I will be waiting to see what the reception will be I don't know if that will bring upon you know Applause lines uh what that will do I think it's also for the president is also addressing what everyone knows that this is a very very divided Congress it's a divided.
House and internally in the Republican party there is also some divisions so he's addressing that full-on in some of the excerpts that we saw so I'll be curious to see how what the response is because you know that's something that you think lawmakers no matter what party they're in could argue with that that of course Republicans believe in.
Bipartisanship as Democrats do as well but how is it going to come across to the Republicans in this chamber because it is highlighting the divisions that we've all seen play out back in the last month with the speaker vote that took 15 rounds because of the divisions in the Republican party and as many capital observers can tell you many of the bills.
Being discussed that will come up or some of the committee work there's a Vision there too so the president is planning to address that Division and try to rally the troops and it will be very interesting to see how that's received Rhonda let's dig into some of the policy goals and the themes that we expect President Biden to speak on.
Tonight oftentimes they are reflected by the guests of the first lady and in this case the second gentleman take us through some of the domestic priorities we'll hear about tonight one of them that we have known for days is that the president will likely touch on the need for police reform that's passing What's called the George Floyd.
Justice and policing act that's something that passed the house twice in the last term of congress but right now under GOP leadership it does not look like it has much of a chance right now however I have been talking to lawmakers about that and the chances that it could be brought up and there there is a sense that there is discussion being had and.
This is coming after the death of Tyree Nichols in Tennessee his parents will be here as guests of the administration so that is one area that will also be highlighted gun reform of course Congress did pass sweeping guns Bill although Advocates say it didn't go far enough there is going to be one of the heroes from the Monterey Park California.
Shooting who will be a guest here to highlight the need for more gun restrictions there is also a woman who had a child who was poisoned because she had lead pipes in her home that's going to try to underscore Biden's work with the infrastructure plan so a lot of the guests are tied specifically two priorities of the Biden Administration.
And house Democrats you know James says Rhonda talks about some of the guests there are some who are going to be symbols of things the Biden Administration believes it has accomplished and will continue to build on like the family of a child poisoned by lead but there are also family members in that room who have agendas.
That have even less of a chance of passing and seeing movement in this Congress than they did in the last Congress Tyree Nichols family will be there but also other members of the Congressional Black Caucus have invited other surviving family members of black men and women killed by police so what does the White House do with these.
Issues that there's very little expectation of true bipartisan movement with this divided Congress this is The Balancing Act that any president has to strike when they're facing divided government which is how much do you kind of lay the marker and say if I could I would love to pass an assault weapons ban I know we don't have the votes right.
Now but here is the mother of someone who died in a mass shooting and and we should do something for them you could say we passed legislation on guns last year for the first time in decades but we can do better and more so it is that Balancing Act where you want to take credit but you also want to outline your agenda how much do you use the.
Republican party as a foil do you say these folks are blocking uh good Common Sense legislation to hold police accountable or do you say work with me Republicans often these speeches end up trying to do a little bit of both but the question because this is the first time Biden is facing divided government and a very narrowly divided house is how.
Does he strike that tone you can see on your screen members of the Senate gathering in their chamber they will soon process across the capital right behind our very own Rhonda Colvin as they head across the Statuary Hall and over to the house chamber that is where all the action will happen tonight for now let's go outside the White House to.
Tyler pager who covers the Biden Administration Tyler talk to us about the preparation going into tonight and the important takeaways that President Biden wants us to leave with months at a time so what the Biden AIDS did over many months is that they worked to develop a policy process to figure out which policies the president wanted.
To highlight as part of this massive speech that is a process that undergoes many agency officials and then White House officials and ultimately goes through Bruce Reed who's the Deputy Chief of Staff for policy and he takes all of that into the president into his aides and they sort of figure out what the overarching message is and then what.
Policies they want to highlight doc culminated in a weekend writing session at Camp David where Biden and some of his top aides including Bruce Reed Mike donlin a senior advisor vinay Reddy the director of speech writing Anita Dunn a senior advisor who focuses on communication and John Meacham a presidential historian who's developed a.
Close relationship with President Biden over the years they all met with him in Camp David to figure out exactly what he was going to say hammer out the final details and also practice the speech one of the important things to note about President Biden is he has suffered from his stutter in his early years and that has impacted his ability to deliver.
These big speeches over the course of his political career so a lot of the weekend was spent practicing this speech and then we'll see uh in the final version uh he notes the speech he makes indents in in certain words to help him overcome some words that are sometimes difficult to pronounce so Tyler what are the top prior.
Priorities that have made it into this speech so some of the top priorities that the president wants to ensure that he hits tonight obviously economic the economy is a major issue for voters as James showed earlier in the program some of the um the polling that showed that Americans are not feeling better off.
Under the Biden Administration economically so that's one of the things we're going to really hear him talk about another thing that he he's going to have to reckon with is the Republicans now control the house so they are trying to frame some of these policies he'll outline tonight as part of a Unity agenda he's going to make the.
Case that under uh Democratic control of Congress over the last two years they've worked collaboratively with Republicans to pass bipartisan legislation he wants to continue that Spirit into the the next Congress whether or not that's uh achievable uh we'll see another big priority for this President is support for Ukraine obviously the Democrats in.
Congress were big supporters of Ukraine they received some support from Republicans but it was not as unanimous tonight we're expected to hear president pie to make another plea for continued support and continue backing of Ukraine especially as we approach the one year out of anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine okay thanks so much Tyler Dan.
How important is the state of the union in this modern moment you know we've I've even seen pieces in the Washington Post from people saying hey let's make this snazzier right let's make this something more Dynamic why are we sticking to these traditions because it is not written it's not codified that the State of the Union has to literally.
Be a speech delivered to Congress why are we still doing this and what do you think is the significance of this night well the significance of this night is that for the president of the United States it's probably the biggest audience he will have all year uh and maybe until uh assuming he runs and wins.
The nomination until he accepts the nomination uh in 2024. so for him this is a big moment but I think your other question is a good one it is not constitutionally mandated that this has to be a public event uh and for for you know more than a century uh it was not a public event it was a report given to Congress.
Um but over over the years and particularly in the television age it has become an extravaganza and frankly it's become somewhat larded up everybody wants to get a piece of this night whether it's the president and his team or his members of his own party who are in Congress or the opposition party everybody wants to send a message of one.
Sort or another and so sometimes these speeches go on very very long I think Bill Clinton went on for an hour and a half at one point president Trump delivered one more than an hour and the half-life of these speeches is pretty short uh historically speaking uh the the impact of them does not last a long time but in it for this moment for the.
Next few hours it's a very big event and that's why uh both the the White House and and the president's team take it as seriously as they do and why everybody else wants to get a piece of the evening Rhonda let's talk about what members of Congress are telling you about what they want to hear tonight we talked to Republicans earlier let's talk about the.
Democrats now I know that you talked to the brand new House minority whip Catherine Clark just a short time ago let's take a listen uh we don't have that tape quite yet Rhonda you tell us what she had to say yes I'll tell you what she said I asked her in this divided Congress when Biden lays out his agenda tonight for this.
Next session what is possible is anything possible for Democrats and her her answer was well if the Republicans play along that's essentially what she said she said they're ready to work and pass the debt ceiling they are ready to work on police reform but it is going to take cooperation from Republicans now she also highlighted that she really.
Wants to hear Biden discuss what they have done and I think that that is important to a lot of house Democrats and Senate Democrats because there was work done but as we've seen from our own polling and reporting a lot of Americans don't see that the fruit of that labor so a lot of Democrats want him to spend some time tonight talking about those.
Achievements laying them out and from what we know from excerpts as well as the guests that he has invited that does look like it's the plan to spend some a fair amount of time telling the American public this is what we did thanks so much Rhonda you know James let's talk about some other issues that are front and center of the president's.
Mind and that of his team um Tech this is something that there is potential for bipartisan support on regulating big Tech tell us more Bruce Reed the deputy white house chief of staff who really takes the lead on this has long been a very strong antagonist of big Tech you wrote an op-ed for this newspaper a couple years ago.
Good one State of the Union in great shape getting better President Biden leaving the White House saying there that the state of the union is in great shape getting better now James just a few days ago he said the state of the union is strong and we'll hear him say that I mean the challenge.
Just riffing on that for a second is that it's really hard to tell people they shouldn't feel what they feel Dan balls was talking earlier about how a lot of the legislative achievements will not really kick in for several months and so the White House hopes that they feel them later I was talking to a very senior Obama administration official.
Earlier today who was recounting uh how in the summer of 2010 they really tried hard led by Joe Biden to go around the country and call it the recovery summer they said the Great Recession is over the economy is recovered people weren't feeling it and Democrats obviously paid the price in the polls in 2010. and so the challenge here is Joe Biden does.
Believe the state of the union is very strong he thinks that democracy has endured that the coveted emergency is over uh that he's done a good job sort of restoring civility to government but people aren't feeling that and so you have to sort of persuade people that the country is on the right track and there's something to be said in this.
Current moment of polarization uh and disunion could any president have an approval rating over 50 percent right now uh you know about half the country is is not going to approve of Joe Biden no matter what he does or no matter what he says tonight uh and so how does he appeal to that smaller and smaller group in the middle that actually is tuning in.
Uh for a speech like this his biggest audience of the year in all likelihood with an open mind uh that that's a relatively a small segment of the populace uh we have heard from President Biden before that the seat of the Union is strong James and that is a phrase that goes back to Ronald Reagan um and uh and looking at the history of.
This really the only president who couldn't quite nail that was George H.W bush who sort of beat around the bush there someone who did not win re-election how important is it that uh President Biden believes himself that the country's on a forward track and that he can get the Democrats in the room to uh to agree.
With him on that even if he gets obviously the pushback from Republicans tonight who are trying to show their own uh party that you know they have a message to send as well this is where I think tone is almost more important than substance you know because it is a laundry list I loved what Dan said about how Lord it up the speech gets uh what.
People remember is how they feel uh watching Joe Biden who's now 80 years old he's become an octogenarian since the last time he delivered a State of the Union uh they want to see Vigor they want to see energy they don't want to see yelling in kind of energy for Energy's sake but they want to see Vitality I was talking to a White House.
Person who was saying that they think uh you know Joe Biden was 20 years younger maybe his approval rating would be 20 points higher uh and so Biden needs to show that he would be 86 years old at the end of his second term if he runs and wins re-election that he is up for the job and so the tone tonight I think could go long way of sort of the country.
Is coming back and he is ready to lead it Rhonda Colvin let's talk about what is happening in Statuary Hall where you are the Senate as we've talked about is processing over to the house side remind us who will be filling up the house chamber tonight that's right in fact just a few seconds ago vice president Kamala Harris just.
Walked behind us now you're seeing a procession of senators also behind us going to the house chamber tonight you're actually going to see probably a fuller chamber than you have for the last two addresses by Biden and that's because of the covet pandemic now members are able to bring guests in person this year so a lot of Democrats.
Are burying people that they feel from their constituency are highlighting some of their causes I know some Democratic senators are bringing people who had to go over state lines to get an abortion to highlight the need to codify Road others are bringing small business owners so there there is going to be a pretty busy chamber that may not look.
Like it has in the last two years usually we also see cabinet members of course from the president's Administration we'll see the Supreme Court Justices so this is you know all of the U.S government here all in one place and it really does seem as I said at the beginning show that it is a little bit of a return to Norms now that.
People are able to come in to the Capitol there seems like there is more tradition than the last two years you see there of course the vice president Kamala Harris shaking the hand of house Speaker Kevin McCarthy Dan talk to us about the role of Vice President Harris in this Administration well she's had a difficult role to play.
She's obviously made history by being the first black and South Asian woman to be Vice President of the United States that is to her credit but she has struggled to win over people there are doubts about her both our newspaper and the and the New York Times in the last couple of weeks have written stories about kind of the frustrations about her.
Both her own frustrations in trying to you know get her and her team aligned we know that there are frustrations among Democrats about what might happen if President Biden were to decide not to run and whether she would be up to the task of taking that mantle and becoming the nominee so she's had it she's had a difficult go I mean she has.
A lot of attributes I think that we all recognize those she has a personality that is outgoing and warm she has Institute of achievements both as a attorney general in California and some of the things she did while she was in the Senate she was notable in some of the the confirmation hearings on the Supreme Court but it's a difficult role.
To to play Libby um you know if you're the if you're the vice president you are subordinate to the president even though you are the president's partner and to some extent what you do is dictated by what the president chooses for himself to do and what he's prepared to to give to you and she's she's been asked to take on some.
Very difficult problems one related to immigration and the Border she's been asked to take on voting rights which frankly there was almost no chance of Democrats being able to pass a Voting Rights bill in the last Congress and and there will be even less in this Congress and yet that was one of the issues that she's been identified with.
During the campaign she took on the challenge of of making the argument on the abortion issue she did any number of events around the country pushing on that issue and I would expect that she would continue to do that as they as they look ahead to the next two years that's an issue that certainly helped Democrats in the midterm election and I.
Think that the White House and and Democrats around the country believe is still something that will work in their favor politically so um she she is she is balancing all of the challenges that go with the vice president and uh and and trying to literally make the best of what's a tough situation James she delivered a.
Very powerful uh speech at the funeral of Tyree Nichols just last week she was there on behalf of the Biden administration of course let's talk about other people in this room right now we see there the speaker emerita Nancy Pelosi we also saw images of some other well-known figures including George Santos who has showed.
Up tonight and despite word that we got earlier today confirmation from speaker McCarthy that he is under house investigation we are also seeing members of Congress from the House and Senate mixed together you see there two of the leaders of the Democrats in the house this pageantry is really what makes this night special this even if the smiles.
Are fake in some instances the two parties coming together mixing up on the floor by camera bipartisan you see Kevin McCarthy and Kamala Harris talking it was really funny with George Sanchez I mean these are all human beings and you see some of the human personality there that's Rick Scott who's had a big falling out with Mitch McConnell ran the.
Senate Republican committee underperformed last year and has been clashing with McConnell who recently actually last week removed him from the Senate Commerce Committee back to George Santos it was funny he's right on on the aisle he's standing with I think chip Roy from Texas Jerry Nadler Mitt Romney was sort of coming down the aisle with.
All the other senators and he kind of got stuck right next to Santos and you could tell uh knowing his personality that he looked stone-faced and really uncomfortable really eager to keep moving and he could see Santos in his line of sight but didn't want to turn his head uh and there's permilla jayapal uh you know these members all kind of uh.
Just trying to to put on a bright face and and it is sort of the we're coming out of the coveted emergency uh it's it's a new Congress a lot of these people weren't uh even here four years ago there's a lot of quite a lot of new members now members who are able to stake out a spot on the aisle and there are some who traditionally pre-covered.
Would would spend hours uh in front of the chamber just to get that Plum spot uh if Santos ends up being on the aisle we will see if President Biden and uh Congressman Santos have an encounter as they go down it could add to the New York tabloids would love it yes the George Santos resume um James let's talk about what must.
Happen tonight uh how high is the bar and how important is it that Biden hits it because as we heard from Dan I mean this can be sort of this this laundry list of of goals and things and while it does give the president traditionally a boost it doesn't always live long in the public Consciousness the risk is a mistake uh the and so last year uh at.
One point you know when Biden was talking about ukrainians he said Iranian uh you know there were a couple of little slip UPS uh those are going to go viral on the right you know people who care about that stuff or people who already don't like Joe Biden uh but there there always is a risk of a viral moment uh you famously when Bill Clinton.
Was giving his State of the Union the teleprompter went out and so he had to just ad-lib as he was going through his notes trying to find the text uh it's those kinds of moments you tend to remember and so you want to just convey a general sense of being in command let's go to you to talk about what President Biden must achieve tonight.
What does his team see as sort of the necessary bar for him to hit yeah look I think they're hoping that he is able to convey a message of of unity of a path forward for this Congress but also for the country and ultimately set the tone for what is going to become the message for his re-election campaign as Dan said earlier in the program Biden is.
Gearing up for that re-election campaign a formal announcement expected probably at this point in April but tonight is the biggest audience he's going to get in a while and so it's an opportunity for him to recap the successes that his administration had over the last two years but also a charter path forward a message forward and explain to the.
American people what he's trying to accomplish in the next two years and part set up this contrast with Republicans we're not expected him we're not expecting him to hit really hard against Republicans in this speech but as he outlines the vision he wants to accomplish and then if that Vision falls short he has a contrast with the.
Republicans to draw and I think that's really what the the White House and the president want the American people to take home tonight want a message of unity of Hope but also a message of action and one that they think he can accomplish in the next few years as president and set him up for a successful re-election campaign in the.
Coming months Rhonda one of the difficulties facing both this Congress and the president is the debt ceiling the looming debt ceiling and the reality that the House and Senate need to come together to deal with that issue now we've heard speaker McCarthy said he wants to negotiate the Biden Administration has said this is not.
Something we negotiate over this is paying past bills how does President Biden address that issue in this fractured moment that's right if he mentions that he's certainly going to have to strike a balance but also be very firm his white house has said they are not going to use the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip.
And they have maintained that line so it'll be interesting to see how he addresses that but we do know from Democrats they aren't yet saying if they would do anything procedural if it really gets down to it where they could force a vote and and bring it up for a vote without the speaker doing it that's something that typically in the past.
Congress is it wasn't really done but that is something that has been discussed as a last attempt to potentially pass that if things get too close to the summertime when we're expected that we would be in default so it's something that of course tonight it's about the achievements it's about striking the tone of unity I'm not sure.
If he's going to mention the debt ceiling right off but if he does he will also have to say whether or not he's not going to negotiate and stand firm uh if he is not going to negotiate yeah James balancing act because it's a chance to show the American public that he's very serious on this and that it is alarming pretty much everyone who knows anything.
About money uh and yet there's a question of how far he goes with that well yeah I do want to point out we saw for a moment uh some of the guests of uh the first lady Bono if you were like wait who did I change what happened where am I yes you were Bono is here he's here because of his work on poverty and especially HIV AIDS and uh.
Pepfar which is 20 years old now we also saw Paul Pelosi the husband of Nancy Pelosi who was uh horribly attacked in their home in San Francisco a few months ago we're covering remarkably well uh unfortunately Ivana will not perform tonight uh you know to your point about The Balancing Act you think about democratic.
Presidents the the most recent two Barack Obama and Bill Clinton uh both had really bad midterms the first time and then were able to kind of use Republicans as a foil and get reelected to a second term uh in in this case uh Joe Biden had a productive meeting with Kevin McCarthy last week so do you Poison the Well there uh you know.
McCarthy has said publicly that he doesn't want Biden to go off on the so-called magar Republicans and Maga extremists but it's hard to imagine Biden's steering clear of that uh and so the the question is is Biden speaking more to the room or is he speaking to the country um unless she's be cognizant of the.
Response in the room Dan before we let you go tell us about how important the room is and the response that the room gives what will you be listening for and watching for tonight from all those members of Congress well I think all eyes are going to be on the other Republican majority in the house chamber tonight not the Democrats.
Um and I think there are two questions one is uh how much Stony silence uh they project forward as they are listening to the president um and are there moments where they push back uh verbally or vocally um we've we've seen outbursts at times which have been embarrassing to the chamber but nonetheless those things do.
Happen and so I think the the real issue is what that room what what that kind of mood and atmosphere of the room is going to be we know it's going to be different than it was for the first two years of this Administration but we may get some signals tonight as to how contentious uh this next months and 18 months or so are likely to be between the president the.
Speaker of the house and the speakers troops in the Republican conference thanks so much much dambaults Rhonda let's talk about some of the issues that are top priorities for Democrats we're looking at some of the Democrats in that house chamber right now I'm thinking about the issue of abortion you mentioned to us that there will be.
Guests here tonight from members of the House and Senate whose lives have been affected already by the dismantling of Roe uh what about guns what will you be listening for in terms of trying to give Democrats something to pin their hopes on and fire them up well we do know in the weeks before this speech President Biden has been talking.
About how the Senate did reintroduce an assault weapons ban that's something that he has called for it was not added in that last Reform Bill on guns that was passed last year and it's something that a lot of gun control Advocates are saying needs to be a part of any legislation going forward we've had several mass shootings just in.
The last 14 days and so President Biden is likely going to touch on that and call for that assault weapons ban again now the political reality is in a house that's led by GOP leadership that's likely not a non-starter and I spoke to representative Gonzalez Tony Gonzalez who represents Uvalde Texas and I asked him how are the constituents they're.
Doing several months after the shooting there he said it's still tough but he said an assault weapons ban isn't likely to get any votes Rhonda another issue immigration let's talk about the crisis of the border on immigration the Border issue is one that Republicans since the midterm election cycle they've.
Been talking about saying they will fix if they have power there have been proposals that have been floated around specifically on the house side and again I spoke with representative Gonzalez who represents the biggest part of the Southern border and he said often what people are missing about that when they design legislation is that they pair it.
To immigration immigration policy and Border policy should be separate is what he said but we know that Biden will likely touch on Border he knows that's an area that Republicans think is a vulnerability with him we also spoke about how vice president Harris had that as an issue and a lot of Republicans have said that she hasn't done anything.
With it so it's likely Biden is going to talk about the direction there I do know one of his guests tonight is DACA recipient so that again is something that he is going to highlight tonight James health issues are something that we will hear a lot about we'll hear about the moonshot the goal of trying to end.
Cancer cure cancer it's something that President Biden has talked about before this into the house chamber and we're just hearing the vice president all right the senator from Michigan Ms Dapper down the senator from Minnesota Miss Klobuchar.
The senator from Wisconsin Ms Baldwin the senator from Kentucky Mr McConnell so hearing the vice president announce the escort committee and this will all keep taking place the president expected to come into this chamber in just a little while we'll watch them continue to gather uh James we were talking about health issues another big one is.
Fentanyl now this is an area that Republicans are trying to hit the Biden Administration on for example they're trying to sort of erroneously hit the Border crisis and Fentanyl and Link them together they're separate issues and Fentanyl is something that we will hear President Biden talk about absolutely we will and is a very top of Mind issue for.
Voters there are bipartisan Solutions this is affecting a lot of children uh I I actually over the last couple days went and read all 50 State of the State addresses that every governor in America gave in January in the lead-up to this and I was struck by how almost every single one Democratic or republican big state small state talked about Fentanyl.
And talked about teenage mental health behavioral health all the sort of post-pandemic challenges that we face I do think it's top of mind a lot of Governors mention friends who've lost loved ones to this and and so I I do think that this is going to be something that Biden talks about because it is an area where you could achieve some common.
Ground one of the guests tonight Rhonda is a man whose 20 year old daughter died from a fentanyl overdose where is there for the president to go on this Rhonda in a way that can make progress on this issue that's an area that he's going to have to extend some desire to be working with Republicans in a bipartisan way I know.
Fentanyl is something that I have heard a lot about on the hill as an issue that house Judiciary house oversight want to have hearings about because they they deem it as a problem and they are pointing the finger at Biden so it's important when he does bring up that issue that he speaks with authority and speaks with some specifics about what he.
Plans to do on that issue because that is something that Republicans really do want to dive into in the coming weeks and months when they have hearings On the Border crisis they are certainly connecting the Border crisis to Fentanyl and opioid overdoses and that that is an effective argument for many Americans I know in places like Ohio or West.
Virginia where deaths of fentanyl are very very high if you have lawmakers talking about the need for reform on that voters can get behind that so I think both parties are going to have to express a desire to work on that issue in a bipartisan way James so many powerful images come out of this chamber tonight we will be.
Seeing soon more members of President Biden's team the cabinet comes in of course we all know about the designated Survivor one Cabinet member hangs back we don't find out who that is until the moment it happens Biden has had a track record of being able to retain cabinet members up to this point but we did hear news today that his labor secretary.
Plans to step down Marty Walsh plans to move on we can see there the second gentleman Doug mhoff taking his seat right behind Bono not a bad seat to have in the house I want to just mention some other guests who who are here tonight I I just it's important for us to to note of course that there's a holocaust Survivor there.
There are people there who work to establish health clinics in their communities uh these are people who both the second gentleman and the first lady have met some of them along their their work over the last couple of years but talk to us about the president's cabinet and who his team is going forward into these next two years well there has.
Been a lot of turnover in the White House a lot of the the kind of the first team is phasing out uh Ron the staff the chief of staff he had kind of a goodbye event last week but this is basically his last night on the job Jeff science uh taking over Brian deese the top economic advisor is is moving on Marty Walsh who you mentioned the labor.
Secretary former mayor of Boston uh he is going to become the head of the NHL the National Hockey League player association basically the union for the players uh and uh part of the reason that Democrats can afford to have people leave is that they've got 51 seats in the Senate so they'll be able to confirm uh President Biden's nominees to replace.
Them and I think at this stage in a presidency usually the message comes through if you're gonna leave leave now if you're going to stay commit to the full four years important this is Kathleen Joyce the assistant house sergeant-at-arms announcing who is arriving and we will see as she said a moment ago members of.
The Supreme Court and this has been one of those big questions is which Supreme Court Justices uh show up it used to be that all nine would routinely be there a lot of them have stopped coming but it looks like a good turn there's John Roberts Elena Kagan Brett Kavanaugh Amy Coney Barrett katanji Brown Jackson this is.
Her first state of the union as the newly confirmed Justice who are not on the Supreme Court you have not entered a Time Warp so we didn't see Sam Alito uh or Clarence Thomas uh two conservatives in 2010 we also don't see Sonos had health challenges um you know in 2010 Barack Obama was.
Decrying the citizens united decision during the State of the Union Address and he was criticizing the decision and Sam Alito could be seen mouthing not true uh as Obama was talking and he's largely avoided these speeches since then I learned from the reporting of our colleague Robert Barnes that it's Unique.
To see retired justices attend the State of the Union it's the first time since 1997 that a former Justice came to the speech he also notes though that both of these two justices were replaced by former clerks and this is a new moment for katanji brown Jackson of course to be present at this most recent confirmation to the Supreme Court I.
Guess they could get to keep their black robes changed senior judges I think they call them and we just saw the two retired justices speaking with Mark milley the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who became quite a household name during the kind of the final year of the Trump Administration in January 6th.
There's Jill bites the First Lady the first lady entering her box and greeting the second gentleman as she arrives Rhonda we note everything about this speech from length of time to number of applauses tell us something that you'll be watching for and listening for tonight.
I think length is going to be important to watch this time around I was talking to a republican lawmaker earlier who said for Biden's sake he may want to keep this short just because there are so many uh criticisms of his administration that if he keeps it short it might work worth be worth his while.
Um but I think I'll be looking at length and tone I think this is a unique time I was saying I think this is a unique time in history this Congress is unique there's a lot of history right now he's coming in front of a divided Congress a congress at least in the house that wants to investigate him shortly so this is a unique opportunity for him where he.
Yes he needs to appeal and provide a report to Congress about his agenda but he's also telling the American people that he is worth another four years so there was a lot going into this speech but I think I'll be looking at how he addresses the tone how he brings it all together and if it's successful at the end of the night look at a calendar.
Argument to the keep it short and sweet there's a lot that the Biden Administration wants to tout and take a Victory lap on many things that they think the American public doesn't even realize yet will be rolling out whether it's through the infrastructure bill or other elements I'm looking at the transportation secretary right there.
Peter has been out front trying to tout all of the things happening in states around the country that the Biden Administration is able to help with and frankly isn't getting a lot of credit for on the state level even Republican Governors are saying hey look at these great things we're doing when the money is coming from the federal government.
Basically Olivia you can look at every cabinet secretary coming in behind Pete Voodoo judge's Jennifer granholm and Miguel Cardona Dennis McDonough who is Obama's Chief of Staff Ali mayorkas they all want things mentioned in the speech initiatives that they're working on things that they're really proud of we.
Saw Gina raimondo just walk out of the shot she was instrumental in getting there she is former governor of Rhode Island uh she's kind of the the liaison to business in the administration she got the chips act uh through and is now responsible for implementing it that in the Biden administration's view is a huge accomplishment uh and so you know.
They all want to get their priorities in the speech and it's why these end up never being terribly short secretary mayorkas under a lot of criticism from Republicans who plan to yeah and uh so you see him in the back and your first instinct as though they're bearing in behind everyone but the protocol is that uh they're.
Organized in order of when the department was created and so the Department of Homeland Security was created uh after September 11th and so that's why he's sort of at the back of the line but there is talk about House Republicans trying to impeach my orcas and uh they really have targeted him there's a Buddha judge shaking Mitt.
Romney's hand and there's Kirsten Cinema who just became an independent uh as well uh and you know mayorkas is is uh is a very polarizing figure among House Republicans games as we watch for the reactions in the room uh of course there are some who keep a poker face members of the Supreme Court members of The Joint Chiefs uh.
Let's talk about who you'll be watching tonight for reactions yes Joe manchin's a good one there he is uh talking to Javier Becerra the Health and Human Services secretary uh you know what how do some of the moderate Republicans respond when Biden is talking about the debt ceiling uh you know do certain people get excited when Biden talks.
About taking on big Tech uh what you know are obviously Cinema and Mansion are still going to continue to be key votes the Senate just because of the nature of the filibuster means that you're really still going to need nine Republicans to cross over to pass major legislation and so it will be interesting to see you.
Know where does Mitch McConnell stand up McConnell for example is very very strongly supportive of continuing to fund the Ukrainian war effort against Russia in a way that Kevin McCarthy is not Kevin McCarthy is the one sitting behind the president sitting there for the first time as speaker and so will there be any disconnect between where.
McCarthy stands and where McConnell stands Rhonda briefly let's talk about how speaker McCarthy has said he will deal with this night and how he'll comport himself and how he'd like to see his fellow Republicans do so well he did say that he is not going to uh be as Nancy Pelosi was behind Trump have we all remember the pictures during.
One of Trump's state of the unions that she looked fairly critical and did the hand clap he he that was sort of a dig toward her but he did say he was going to comport himself and he looks to be doing that right now it'll be interesting what he claps about of course we'll be able to hear the Applause of the room but Are there.
Specific notes that Biden strikes that he will appear to be supportive of that's going to be really interesting because remember he got his speakership after making deals with a faction of Republicans who are hardliners and want him to be tougher so he also will be under the microscope tonight in terms of how he looks how he when he collapse.
What his facial expressions look like all of that a new generation of Democratic Leadership James and of course we're seeing a revitalized house leadership Kevin McCarthy squeaking through in that speaker vote uh how big of the role is it of leaders like leader Schumer or or Majority Leader Schumer.
But in a body that's less relevant now that Republicans control the house or a leader like leader Jeffries yeah there is a generational change Jeffries and Schumer both from New York but they do come of very different Generations they have different constituencies and it is an open question Pelosi uh made us accustomed to democratic leaders lasting.
A really long time Mitch McConnell the longest serving Republican leader ever in the Senate uh but it is an open question uh at this time whether McCarthy is able to hold on to his gavel for a long time he has such a narrow majority and he had to make so many compromises to get the job Washington Post reporting that Marty Walsh the.
Labor secretary is the designated Survivor so though even though he may not be long for this job he is the one sitting out this night yeah Washington Post team will be live after the speech so stay with us we'll also have the Republican response.
Thank you my friends are you okay thank you foreign.
Foreign foreign thank you hello hello.
thank you thank you thank you members of Congress I have the high privilege and distinct honor to present to you the president of the United States Mr Speaker.
Thank you you can smile it's okay thank you thank you thank you thank you please Mr Speaker Madam vice president our first lady and second gentleman good to see you guys up there members of Congress thank you by the way chief justice I may need a.
Court order she gets to go to the game tomorrow next week I have to stay home got to work something out here members of the cabinet leaders of our military chief justice associate Justice and retired Justice and Supreme Court and to you my fellow Americans you know I start tonight by.
Congratulating 118th Congress and the new Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy speaker I don't want to ruin your reputation but I look forward to working with you and I want to congratulate the new leader of the House Democrats the first African-American minority leader in history Hakeem Jeffries.
If you want to despite the fact I campaigned for him congratulations the longest serving leader in the history of the United States Senate Mitch McConnell where are you Mitch and congratulations to Chuck Schumer another uh you know another term is Senate minority leader uh you know I.
Think you uh you know this time you have a slightly bigger majority Mr leader you're the majority leader about that much bigger yeah well I tell you what I want to give special recognition to someone who I think is going to be considered the greatest speaker in the history of the House of Representative Nancy Pelosi.
Folks the story of America is a story of progress and resilience of always moving forward of never ever giving up is a story unique among all nations we're the only country that has emerged from every crisis we've ever entered stronger than we got into it look folks that's what we're doing again.
Two years ago the economy was Reeling I stand here tonight after we've created with the help of many people in this room 12 million new jobs more jobs created in two years than any president's created in four years because of you all because of the American people two years ago.
And two years ago but had shut down our businesses were closed our schools were robbed of so much and today covert no longer controls Our Lives and two years ago democracy faced its greatest threats in the Civil War and today though bruised our democracy remains unbowed and Unbroken.
Thank you As We Gather here tonight we're ready in the next chapter in The Great American story a story of progress and resilience when world leaders asked me to Define America and they do believe it or not exciting to find it in one word and I mean this possibilities.
We don't think anything is beyond our capacity everything is a possibility you know we're often told that Democrats and Republicans can't work together over the past two years we've proved the cynics and naysayers wrong yes we disagreed plenty and yes there were times when Democrats went alone but time and again Democrats and.
Republicans came together came together to defend us stronger and safer Europe it came together to pass one in the one in a generation once in a generation infrastructure law Building Bridges connecting our nation and our people we came together to pass the most significant law ever helping victims expose the toxic burn pits and in fact.
Foreign in fact I signed over 300 bipartisan pieces of legislation since becoming president from reauthorizing the violence against women act the Electoral count Reform Act the respect for marriage act that protects the right to marry the person you love and to my.
Republican friends if we could work together the last Congress there's no reason we can't work together and find consensus on important things in this Congress as well I think folks you all are as formed as I am but I think the people sent us a clear message.
Fighting for the sake of fighting power for the sake of power Conflict for the sake of conflict gets us nowhere that's always been my vision of our country and I know it's many viewers to restore the soul of this nation to rebuild the backbone of America America's middle class and to unite the country.
We've been sent here to finish the job in my view for decades the middle class has been hollowed out and more than and not know one Administration but for a long time too many good paying manufacturing jobs move overseas factories closed down once thriving cities and towns that many of you represent became Shadows of what.
They used to be along the way something else we lost Pride our sense of self-worth I ran for president to fundamentally change things to make sure our economy works for everyone so we can all feel that pride in what we do to build an economy from the bottom up in the middle out not from the top down.
Because when the middle class does well the poor have a ladder up and the wealthy still do very well we all do well I know a lot of you always kid me for always quoting my dad but my dad used to say Joey and jobs about a lot more than a paycheck because you really would say this it's about a lot more than a.
Paycheck it's about your dignity it's about respect it's about being able to look your kid in the eye and say honey it's going to be okay and mean it folks so let's look at the results we're not finished yet by any stretch of the imagination but unemployment rate is at 3.4 percent a 50-year low.
Record the near record unemployment near record unemployment for Black and Hispanic workers we've already created your help eight hundred thousand good paying manufacturing jobs the fastest growth in 40 years thank you and where is it written.
Where is it written that America can't lead the world in manufacturing I don't know where that's written for too many decades we imported projects and exported jobs now thanks to what you've all done we're exporting American products and creating American jobs folks.
Inflation inflation has been a global problem because the pandemic disrupted our supply chains and Putin's unfair and brutal war in Ukraine disrupted energy supplies as well as Food Supplies blocking all that grain in Ukraine but we're a better position than any country on Earth right now but we have more to.
Do but here at home inflation is coming down here at home gas prices are down a dollar fifties from their Peak food inflation is coming down not fast enough but coming down inflation has fallen every month for the last six months or take-home pay has gone up additionally over the last two years a record 10 million Americans apply to.
Start new businesses 10 million and by the way every time every time someone starts in small businesses an act of Hope and Madam vice president I want to thank you for leading that effort to ensure the small businesses have access to Capital.
And the historic laws reenacted that are going to just come into being standing here last year I shared with you a story of American genius and possibilities semiconductors small computer chips the size of a fingerprint that power everything from cell phones to Automobiles and so much.
More these chips were invented in America let's get that straight they're invented in America we used to make 40 of the world's chips in the last several decades we lost our Edge we're down only producing 10 percent we all saw what happened during the.
Pandemic when chip factories shut down overseas today's automobiles need 3 000 chips each of those automobiles but American automobiles couldn't make enough cars because there weren't enough chips car prices went up people got laid off so did everything from refrigerators to cell phones we can never let that happen.
Again that's why that's why we came together to pass the bipartisan chips and science Act folks I know I've been criticized for saying this but I'm not changing my view we're going to make sure the supply chain for America begins in America the supply chain begins in America.
We've already created we've already created 800 000 new manufacturing jobs without this law before the law get kicks in with this new law we're going to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs across the country I mean all across the country throughout not just the coast but through the middle of the country as.
Well that's going to come from companies that have announced more than 300 billion dollars in investment in American manufacturing over the next few years outside of Columbus Ohio Intel is building semiconductor factories on a thousand acres literally a Field of Dreams it's going to create 10 000 jobs.
That one investment seven thousand construction jobs three thousand jobs in those factories once they're finished they call them factors jobs paying an average of a hundred and thirty thousand dollars a year and many do not require a college degree jobs.
Because we work together these jobs where people don't have to leave home to search for opportunity it's just getting started think about the new homes the small businesses the big the medium-sized businesses so much more that's going to be needed to support those 3000 those 3 000 permanent jobs.
And the factors that are going to be built talk to Mayors and governors Democrats and Republicans and they'll tell you what this means for their communities we're seeing these Field of Dreams transform to the heartland but to maintain the strongest economy in the world we need the best.
Infrastructure in the world folks as you all know we used to be number one in the world in infrastructure we've sunk to 13th in the world the United States of America 13th in the world and infrastructure modern infrastructure but now we're coming back because we came together and.
Passed the bipartisan infrastructure law the largest investment infrastructure since President Eisenhower's interstate highway system and folks already we've we've funded over 20 000 projects including major airports from Boston to Atlanta to Portland projects are going to put thousands of people to.
Work rebuilding our highways our bridges our railroads our tunnels ports airports clean water high-speed internet all across America Urban rural tribal and folks we're just getting started we're just getting started and I mean you sincerely I want to thank my Republican friends who voted for the law.
And my Republican friends who voted against it as well but I'm still I I still get asked to fund the projects in those districts as well but don't worry I promised I'd be a president for all Americans we'll fund these projects and I'll see you at the groundbreaking look.
This law this law will further unite all of America projects like Brent spent bridge in Kentucky over the Ohio River built 60 years ago badly needed repairs one of the nation's most congested Freight routes carrying two billion dollars worth of freight every single day across the Ohio River.
And folks have been talking about fixing it for decades but we're really finally going to get it done I went there last month with Democrats and Republicans and from both states to deliver a commitment of 1.6 billion dollars for this project while I was there I met a young woman named Sarah who's.
Here tonight I don't know where Sarah is the chef in the Box I don't know Sarah how are you well Sarah for 30 years for 30 years I learned she told me she'd been a proud member of the Iron Workers Local 44 known as known as the Cowboys in the sky.
The folks who built built Cincinnati skyline Sarah said she can't wait to be 10 stories above the Ohio River Building that new bridge God bless her that's pride and that's where also building we're building back Pride look we're also replacing poisonous lead pipes that go into 10 million homes in.
America 400 000 school and Child Care Centers so every child in America every child American drink the water instead of having permanent damage to their brain look we're making sure that every community.
Every community in America has access to Affordable high-speed internet no parent should have to drive by McDonald's parking lot to help to do their farm work online or their kids which many thousands were doing across the country and when we do these projects and again I get criticized this is why I make no excuses for it we're going to.
Buy American we're going to buy America folks and it's totally is totally consistent with International Trade rules buy America has been the law since 1933 but for too long past administrations Democrat and Republican have fought to get around it not anymore tonight I'm announcing new standards.
Require all construction materials used in federal infrastructure projects to be made in America made in America I mean it Lumber glass drywall fiber optic cable and I might watch American roads Bridges American highways are going to be made.
With American Products as well folks my economic plan is about investing in places and people that have been forgotten so many of you listen to me tonight I know you feel it so many of you felt like you've just simply been forgotten I made the economic upheaval of the past.
Four decades too many people have been left behind and treated like they're invisible maybe that's you watching from home remember the jobs that went away you remember them don't you Folks at home remember them you wonder whether the path even exists anymore for your children to get ahead without.
Having to move away well that's why I get that that's why we're building an economy where no one's left behind jobs are coming back pride is coming back because choices we made in the last several years you know.
This is my view of blue collar blueprint to rebuild America and make a real difference in your lives at home for example too many of you lay in bed at night like my dad did staring at the ceiling wondering what God names happens if your spouse gets cancer.
Or your child gets deadly ill or something happens to you what are you going to gain money to pay for those medical bills or you're going to have to sell the house or try to get a second mortgage on it I get it I get it with the inflation reduction act that I signed into law.
We're taking on powerful interest to bring health care costs down so you can sleep better at night with more security you know we pay more for prescription drugs than any nation in the world let me say it again we pay more for prescription drugs than any major Nation on Earth.
For example one in 10 Americans has diabetes many of you in this chamber do and then the audience but every day Millions need insulin to control their diabetes so they can literally stay alive insulin's been around for over a hundred years.
The guy who invented didn't even patent him because he wanted to be available for everyone it costs the drug companies roughly ten dollars a vial to make that insulin packaging it all you may get up to thirteen dollars but big Pharma has been unfairly charging people hundreds of dollars four.
To five hundred dollars a month making record profits not anymore not anymore so so many things that we did are only now coming to fruition we said we were doing this and we said we passed the law to do it but people.
Didn't know because the law didn't take effect until January 1 of this year we capped the cost of insulin at 35 a month for seniors on Medicare people were just finding out I'm sure you're getting the same calls I'm getting look there are millions of other Americans.
Who do not or are not on Medicare including two hundred thousand young people with type 1 diabetes in these needless insulin to stay alive let's finish the job this time let's cap the cost of instance for everybody at 35 dollars folks the big Farmer's still going to do very.
Well I promise you all I promise you they're going to do very well this is also this law also caps and won't go into effect on the 2025 cost out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors on Medicare at a maximum of two thousand dollars a year you don't have to pay more than two thousand dollars no.
Matter how much your drug costs are because you know why you all know it many of you like many of my family have cancer you know the drugs can range from 10 11 14 15 000 for the Cancer drugs if drug prices rise faster than inflation drug companies are going to have to pay Medicare back the difference.
We're finally and finally give me Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices bringing down bringing down prescription drug costs doesn't just save seniors money it cuts the federal deficit by billions of dollars by hundreds of billions of dollars.
Because these prescription drugs are drugs purchased by Medicare to make keep their commitment to the seniors well guess what instead of paying four or five hundred bucks a month you're paying 15. that's a lot of savings for the federal government and by the way why wouldn't we want that.
Now some members here are threatening and I know it's not a official party position so I'm not I'm going to exaggerate but certainly to repeal the inflation reduction Act as my coach that's okay that's fair as my football coach used to say lots of.
Luck in your senior year make no mistake if you try anything to raise the cost of producing jobs I will veto it look I'm pleased to say the more Americans helpful to have health insurance now than ever in history a record 16 million people are enrolled in the Affordable.
Care Act and thanks thanks for the Live sign last year saving millions of saving 800 a year on their premiums by the way that law was written and the benefit expires in 2025. so my plea to some of you at least in this audience let's finish the job and make these savings permanent.
Expand coverage on Medicaid look the inflation reduction Act is also the most significant investment ever in climate change ever Lauren you tell you took traded American jobs leading the world to a clean energy future I.
Visited the devastating aftermath of record floods droughts storms and wildfires from Arizona New Mexico to all the way up to the Canadian border more Timber has been burned that I've observed from helicopters then the entire state of Missouri and we don't have global warming not a problem.
In addition to emergency recovery from Puerto Rico to Florida to Idaho we're rebuilding for the long term new electric grids that are able to weather major storms and not prevent those forest fires roads and water system will stand the next big flood clean energy to cut pollution and create jobs and communities often left behind.
We're going to build 500 000 electric vehicle charging stations installed across the country by tens of thousands of IBEW workers and we're helping families save more than a thousand dollars a year with tax credits to purchase electric vehicles and efficient and efficient appliances.
Energy efficient appliances historic conservation efforts to be responsible stewards of our land let's face reality the climate creation doesn't care if you're in a red or blue state it's an existential threat we have an obligation not to ourselves but our children or grandchildren to.
Confront it I'm proud of how the how America at last is stepping up to the challenge we're still going to need oil and gas for a while but guess what no we do but there's so much more to do we got to finish the job and we pay for these investments in our.
Future by finally making the wealthiest and biggest corporations begin to pay their fair share just began well God I'm a capitalist I'm a capitalist but pay your fair share I think a lot of you at home a lot of you at home agree with me and many people that you know.
The tax system is not fair it is not fair look the idea that in 2020 55 of the largest corporations in America the fortune 500. made 40 billion dollars in profits and paid zero in federal taxes zero.
Folks simply not fair but now because of the law I signed billion dollar companies have to pay a minimum of 15 God loved them 15 percent that's less than a nurse pays and I need to be crystal clear I said at the very beginning under my plans as.
Long as I'm president nobody earning less than four hundred thousand dollars will pay an additional penny in taxes nobody not one penny but let's finish the job there's more to do we have to reward work not just wealth pass my proposal for the billionaire minimum tax you know there's a thousand.
Billionaires in America it's up from about 600 in the beginning of time but no billionaire should be paying a lower tax rate than the school teacher or firefighter I mean it think about it I mean look I know you aren't enthusiastic about that but think about it.
Think about it have you noticed Big Oil just reported as profits record profits last year they made 200 billion dollars in the midst of a global energy crisis I think it's outrageous why they invested too little of that profit to increase domestic production.
And when I talked to a couple of them they say we're afraid you're going to shut down all the oil wells and all the oil refineries anyway so why should we invest in them I said we're going to need oil for at least another decade and that's going to exceed and beyond that we're gonna need it.
Production if they had in fact invested in the production to keep gas prices down instead they used the record profits to buy back their own stock rewarding the CEOs and shareholders corporations ought to do the right thing that's why I propose we quadruple the tax on corporate stock BuyBacks and.
Encourage long long-term Investments they'll still make considerable profit let's finish the job and close the loophole to allow very wealthy to avoid paying their taxes instead of cutting the number of orders for wealthy taxpayers I just signed a law to reduce the deficit by 114 billion dollars by cracking down on Wealthy tax sheets.
That's being fiscally responsible for the last two years my Administration has cut the deficit by more than 1.7 trillion dollars the largest deficit reduction in American history under the previous administration the American deficit went up four years in a.
Row because those record deficits no president added more than the national debt in any four years than my predecessor nearly 25 percent of the entire national debt that took over 200 years to accumulate was added by just one Administration alone the last one.
They're the facts check it out check it out how did Congress respond to that debt they did the right thing they lifted the debt ceiling three times without preconditions or crisis they paid American bills to prevent an economic disaster of the country.
So tonight I'm asking the Congress to follow suit let's commit here tonight to the full-fated credit of the United States of America will never ever be questioned so my many of some of my Republican friends want to take the economy hostage I get it unless I agree to the economic plans.
All of you at home should know what those plans are instead of making the wealthy pay their fair share some Republicans some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security Sunset I'm not saying it's a majority let me give you some contact my office I'll give you a.
Copy I'll give you a copy of The Proposal that means Congress doesn't vote well I'm glad to see you and I tell you I enjoy conversion you know it means if Congress doesn't keep the programs the way they are they'd go away other Republicans say I'm not saying it's a.
Majority of you I don't even think it's even a significant but it's being proposed by individuals I'm not politely not naming them but it's being proposed by some of you look folks the ideas that we're not going to be we're not.
Going to be moved into being threatened to default on the debt if we don't respond folks so folks as we all apparently agree Social Security Medicare is off the off the books now right all right.
We got unanimity Social Security Medicare or Lifeline for millions of seniors Americans have to pay into them from the very first paycheck they started so tonight let's all agree and apparently we are let's stand up for seniors stand up and show them will not cut Social Security we will not cut Medicare.
Those benefits belong to the American people they earned it and if anyone tries to cut Social Security which apparently no one's going to do and if anyone tries to cut Medicare I'll stop them I'll veto it and look I'm not going to allow them to take away be taken away not today not tomorrow not ever but apparently it's.
Not going to be a problem next month when I offer my fiscal plan I asked my Republican friends to lay down their plan as well I really mean it let's sit down together and discuss our mutual plans together let's do that I can tell you.
The plan I'm going to show you're going to cut the deficit by another two trillion dollars and I won't cut a single bit of Medicare or self-security in fact we're going to extend the Medicare trust fund at least two decades because that's going to be the next argument how do we make keep it solvent right.
Well not raise tax anyone making under 400 Grand but will pay for it the way we talked about by making sure that the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share look look here's the deal they're not just taking advantage of the tax code they're taking advantage you.
The American Consumer here's my message to all of you out there I have your back we're already preventing Americans and receiving surprise medical bills stopping one billion dollar surprise bills per month so far for protecting seniors life savings.
By cracking down in nursing homes that commit fraud endanger patient safety prescribe drugs that are not needed millions of Americans can now save thousands of dollars because they can finally get a hearing aid over the counter without a prescription look capitalism.
Without confidence capitalism it's extortion is exploitation last year I cracked down with the help of many of you on foreign shipping companies that were making you pay higher prices for every good coming in the country I signed a bipartisan bill that cut shipping costs by 90 percent.
Helping American farmers businessmen and consumers let's finish the job past the bipartisan legislation of strength and strengthen and Trust enforcement and forbid and prevent big online platforms giving their own products an unfair advantage my Administration is also taking on junk fees those hidden surcharges too many.
Companies use to make you pay more for example we're making Airlines show you the full ticket price up front refund your money if your flight is canceled or delayed we reduce exorbitant Bank overdrafts by Saving consumers more than one billion dollars a year for cutting credit card late fees by 75 percent from thirty dollars to eight.
Dollars look junk fees may not matter to very wealthy but they matter to most other folks in homes like the one I grew up in like many of you did they add up to hundreds of dollars a month they make it harder for you to pay your.
Bills and afford that family trip I know how unfair it feels when a company overcharges you and gets away with it not anymore we've written a bill to stop it all it's called the junk fee prevention Act we're going to ban surprise Resort fees that hotels charge on your bill those.
Fees can cost up to 90 a night at hotels that aren't even resorts we the idea that cable internet and cell phone companies can charge you 200 or more if you decide to switch another provider give me a break we can stop service fees on tickets to concerts and sporting events and make.
Companies as close all the fees up front and will prohibit Airlines from charging 50 round trip for family just to be able to sit together baggies fees are bad enough Airlines can't treat your child like a piece of baggage Americans are tired of being we're tired of being played for suckers.
Surpassed past the Jump Street prevention act so companies stop ripping us off for too long workers have been getting stiffed but not anymore we're getting we're beginning to restore the Dignity of work for example.
I I should have known this but I didn't until two years ago 30 million workers have to sign non-compete agreements for the jobs they take 30 million so a cashier at a burger place can't walk across town and take the same job at another burger place and make a few bucks more and just.
Change but they just changed it because we exposed it that was part of the deal guys look it up but not anymore we're Banning those agreements so companies have to compete for workers and pay them what they're worth and I must tell you.
This is bound to get a response to my friends on my left but the right I'm so sick and tired of companies breaking the law by preventing workers from organizing past the pro Act because business had a right workers have a right to form a union let's guarantee all workers have a living wage.
Let's make sure working parents can afford to raise a family with sick days Paid Family Medical Leave affordable child care that's going to enable millions of more people to go and stay at work and let's restore the full child tax credit which gave tens of millions of parents a breeding room and cut child poverty in.
Half to the lowest level in history and by the way when we do all these things we increase productivity we increase economic growth so let's finish the job and get more families access to affordable quality housing let's get seniors who want to stay in their homes the care they need to do so let's give more breathing room to.
Millions of family caregivers looking after their loved ones past my plan so we get seniors and people with disabilities the home care and services they need and support the workers who are doing God's work these plans are fully paid for and we can afford to do them.
Restoring the Dignity of work means making education an affordable ticket to the middle class you know when we made public education 12 years of it Universal in the last century we made the best educated best paid we became the best educated best paid nation in the world.
But the rest was caught up it's caught up Jill my wife who teaches full time has an expression I hope I get it right kid any nation that out educates us is going to out-compete us Any Nation out education can now compete us folks we all know 12 years of education is not.
Enough to win the economic competition of 21st century you want to have the best educated Workforce let's speak finish the job by providing access to preschool for three and four years old studies show that children to go to preschool are nearly 50 percent more likely to finish high school and go on.
To earn a two or four year degree no matter their background they came from let's get Public School teachers a raise we're making progress by reducing student debt increasing Pell Grants for working in Middle Class families let's finish the job and connect students to career opportunities starting in high school.
Provide access to two years of Community College the best career training in America in addition to being a pathway to a four-year degree let's offer every American a path to a good career whether they go to college or not and folks folks in the midst of the cover crisis.
When schools were closed and we were shutting down everything let's recognize how far we came in the fight against the pandemic itself while the virus is not gone thanks to resilience of the American people and the Ingenuity of Medicine we've broken the cover grip on us covered deaths were down by 90 percent.
We've saved millions of lives and opened up our country we opened our country back up and soon we'll end the public health emergency but but that's called a public health emergency but we'll remember the toll and pain is.
Never going to go away more than a million Americans lost their lives to covet a million families grieving children and orphaned Empty Chairs the dining room table constantly reminding you that she used to sit there remembering them.
We remain vigilant we still need to monitor dozens of variants and support new vaccines and treatments so Congress needs to fund these efforts and keep America safe and as we emerge from this crisis stronger we're also got to double down on Prosecuting criminals who stole relief.
Money meant to keep workers in small businesses before I came to office you remember during that campaign the big issue was about inspector generals who would protect taxpayers dollars and were sidelined they were fired many people said we don't need them.
And fraud became rampant last year I told you the Watchdogs are back since then since then we've recovered billions of taxpayers dollars now let's triple the anti-fraud strike force going after these criminals double the statute of limitations on these crimes and cracked down on identity fraud by.
Criminal syndicates stealing billions of dollars billions of dollars from the American people and the data shows that for every dollar we put in the fighting fraud the tax service get back at least 10 times as much it matters it matters look cover left his scars.
Like the spike in violent crime in 2020. the first year of the pandemic we have an obligation to make sure all people are safe Public Safety depends on public trust as all of us know but too often that trust is violated join us tonight are the parents of Tyree Nichols.
Welcome I had to bury Tyree last week as many of you personally know there's no words to describe the heartache or brief of losing a child but imagine if you lost that child at the hands of the law imagine.
Having to worry whether your son or daughter came home from walking down the street playing in the park or just driving a car most of us in here have never had to have the talk the talk that brown and black parents have had to have with their children Bo.
Hunter Ashley my children I never had to have a talk with them I never had to tell them if a police officer pulls you over turn your interior lights on right away don't reach for your license keep your hands on the steering wheel imagine having to worry like that every single time.
Your kid got in a car here's what tyree's mother shared with me when I spoke to her when I asked her how she finds the courage to carry on and speak out the faith of God she said her son was quote a beautiful soul and something good will come of this imagine how much courage and carry that.
Takes it's up to us to all of us we all want the same thing neighborhoods free of violence law enforcement of enforcement earned the community's trust just as every cop when they pin on that badge in the morning has a right to be able to go home at night.
So does everybody else out there our children have a right to come home safely equal protection under the law as a covenant we have with each other in America we know police officers put their lives on the line every single night and day.
And we know we asked them in many cases to do too much to be counseling social workers psychologists responding to drug overdoses mental health crises and so much more in one sense we asked much too much of them I know most cops and their families are good decent honorable people the vast.
Majority if they risk and they risk their lives every time they put that shield on but what happened to Tyree in Memphis happens too often you have to do better give law enforcement the real training they need.
Hold them to higher standards help them succeed in keeping us safe we also need more first respondents and professionals to address the growing mental health substance abuse challenges more resources reduce violent crime and gun crimes more Community intervention programs more investment in housing education and.
Job training all this can help prevent violence in the first place when police officers or police departments violate the public Trust they must be held accountable with the support for the support of the families of victims.
Civil rights groups and law enforcement I signed an executive order for all federal officers Banning chokeholds restricting no knock warrants another key elements of the George Floyd Act let's commit ourselves to make the words of Tyler's mom true something good must come from this.
Something good and all of us all of us folks it's difficult but it's simple all of us in the chain in this chamber we need to rise to this moment can't turn away let's do what we know in our hearts we need to do.
Let's come together to finish the job on police reform do something do something that was The Plea of parents who lost their children Uvalde I met with every one of them do something about gun violence thank God thank God we did.
Passing the most sweeping gun safety law in three decades that includes things like that the majority of responsible gun owners already support enhanced background checks for 18 to 21 years old red flag laws keeping guns out of the hands of people are a danger to themselves and others.
But we know our work is not done join us tonight is Brandon say a 26 year old hero Brandon put his college dreams on hold to be at his mom's side his mom's side when she was dying from cancer all right and Brandon Brandon now works at the dance studio started by his grandparents.
Two weeks ago during the Lunar New Year celebrations you heard the studio door closed and you saw a man standing there pointing semi-automatic pistol at him he thought he was going to die but he thought about the people inside and that instant he found the courage to act and Wrestled a semi-automatic pistol.
Away from the gunman who had already killed 11 people in another Dance Studio 11. he saved lives it's time we do the same band assault weapons now ban them now once and for all I love the fight to do that in 1994. I mean in 10 years that ban was law mass.
Shootings went down after we let it expire in the Republican Administration mass shootings tripled let's finish the job and ban these assault weapons and let's also come together on immigration make it a bipartisan issue once again we know we now have a record number of personnel working to secure the Border.
Arresting 8 000 human Smugglers seizing over 23 000 pounds of fentanyl in just the last several months we've launched a new border plan last month unlawful migration from Cuba Haiti Nicaragua and Venezuela has come down 97 percent as a consequence of that but American Border problems won't be fixed until Congress Acts.
If we don't pass my comprehensive immigration reform at least past my plan to provide the equipment and officers to secure the Border and a pathway to citizenship for dreamers those on temporary status Farm Workers essential workers here in the people's house.
It's our duty to protect all the people's rights and freedoms Congress must restore the right and the Congress must restore the right that was taken away in Roe v Wade and protect Roe v Wade give Every Woman a constant right the vice president and I are doing everything.
Exact access to reproductive health care we Safeguard patient safety but already more than a dozen states are enforcing extreme abortion bans make no mistake about it Congress passes a national ban I will veto it but let's also pass it's also a Pontiac to ensure LPG lgbtq Americans.
Especially transgender young people can live with safety and dignity our strength our strength is not just the example of our power but the power of our example let's remember the world's watching I spoke in this chamber one year ago just days after Vladimir Putin Unleashed his brutal attack against Ukraine a.
Murderous assault evoking images of death and destruction Europe suffered in World War II Putin's Invasion has been a test for the ages test for America we test for the world would we stand for the most basic of principles will we stand for sovereignty we stand.
For the right of people to live free of tyranny will we stand for the defense of democracy for such defense matters to us because it keeps peace and prevents Open Season and would be aggressive and threatens our prosperity one year later we know the answer yes we.
Would and we did we did and together we did when America always does at our best we LED we United NATO we built a global coalition we stood against Putin's aggression we stood with Ukrainian people to deny we're once again joined by ukrainian's.
Ambassador to the United States she represents not her and just our nation but the courage of her People ambassador is our ambassador is here United we're in United our support of your country when you stand so we can all take a look at you because we're going to stand with you as long as it takes.
Our nation is working for more freedom more dignity more more peace not just in Europe but everywhere before I came to office the story was about how the People's Republic of China was increasing its power and America is failing in the world not anymore we made clear and I made my personal.
Conversation which have been many with President XI that we seek competition not conflict but I will make no apologies that we're investing and to make America stronger investing in American innovation and Industry will Define the future that China intends to be dominating.
Investing in our alliances and working with our allies to protect Advanced Technologies so they will not be used against us modernizing our military to safeguard stability and determine to deter aggression today we're the strongest position in decades to compete with China or anyone else in the world anywhere else in the world.
And I'm committed I'm committed to work with China where we can advance American interests and benefit the world but make no mistake about it as we made clear last week if China threatens our sovereignty we will act to protect our country and we did look.
Let's be clear when in the competition should unite all of us we Face serious challenges across the world but in the past two years democracies have become stronger not weaker autocracy has grown weaker not stronger name me a world leader who changed places with Xi Jinping name.
Me one name me one America's rallying the world to meet those challenges from climate to Global Health to food insecurity to terrorism to territorial aggression allies are stepping up spending more and doing more look.
The bridges were forming between partners in the Pacific and those in the Atlantic and those who bet against America are learning how wrong they are it's never ever been a good bet to bet against America never wow when I came to office most assured the.
Bipartisanship assumed was impossible but never believed it that's why a year ago I offered a Unity agenda to the nation as I stood here we made real progress together we passed the law and make it easy for doctors to prescribe effective treatments for opioid addiction we passed.
The gun safety law making historic investments in mental health we launched the arpa H drive for breakthrough in the fights against cancer Alzheimer's and diabetes and so much more we passed the heath Robinson packed act named after the late Iraq war veteran whose.
Story about exposure to toxic burn kits I shared here last year I understand something about those burn pits but there's so much more to do we can do it together join us tonight is a father named Doug from Newton New Hampshire he wrote Jill my wife a letter and me as well.
About his courageous daughter Courtney a contagious laugh his sister's best friend her sister's best friend he shared the story all too familiar to millions of Americans and many of you in the audience Courtney discovered pills in high school it spiraled into addiction.
And eventually death from a fentanyl overdose she's just 20 years old describing the last eight years without her Doug said there's no worse pain if their families turn pain to purpose working to end the stigma and change laws.
He told us he wants to start a journey toward American Recovery dug her with you fentanyl is killing more than 70 000 Americans a year thank you you got it so let's launch a major surge to stop.
Fentanyl production in the sale and trafficking with more drug detection machines inspection cargo stop pills and powder at the border working with courage like FedEx to inspect more packages for drugs strong penalties to crack down on fentanyl trafficking second let's do more mental health.
Especially for our children when millions of young people are struggling with bullying violence trauma we're them greater access to Mental Health Care at their schools we must finally hold social media companies accountable for experimenting or doing running children for profit there's time to pass bipartisan.
Reservation to stop big Tech from collecting personal data on our kids and teenagers online fan targeted advertising their children and impose stricter limits on the personal data that companies collect on all of this third must do more to keep this nation's one's.
Truly sacred obligation to equip those we send into Harm's Way and care for them and their families when they come home job training job placement for veterans and their spouses as they come to return to civilian life helping veterans afford the rent because no one should be homeless in America especially someone.
Who served the country foreign we had our first real discussion when I asked him to take the job I'm glad he did we were losing up to 25 veterans a day on suicide now we're losing 17 today to the silent scourge of suicide 17 veterans a day.
Are committing suicide more than all the people being killed in the wars folks VA is doing everything they can including expanding mental health screening proven programs of recruits veterans to help other veterans understand what.
They're going through get them the help they need we got to do more and fourth last year Jill and I reignited the cancer moonshot that I was able to start with President Obama asked me to lead our Administration on this issue.
Our goal is to cut the cancer death rates at least by 50 percent in the next 25 years turn more Cancers and death sentences to treatable diseases provide more support for patients and their families it's personal to so many of us so many.
Of us in this audience joining us are Morris and Candice an Irishman and a daughter of immigrants from Panama they met and fell in love in New York City and got married in the same Chapel Jill and I got married in New York City Kindred Spirits.
He wrote us a letter about his little daughter Ava and I saw her just before I came over she was just a year old when she was diagnosed with rare kidney disease cancer after 26 blood transfusions 11 rounds of radiation eight rounds of quinoa chemo.
One kidney removed give it a five percent survival rate he wrote how in the darkest moments he thought if she goes I can't stay many of you have been through that as well children I understand that like so many of you he read Jill's book describing our.
Family's cancer Journey and how we tried to steal moments of Joy where we could with Bo for them that glimmer of Joy was the half smile of their baby girl it meant everything to him they never gave up hope little Ava never gave up hope.
She turns four next month they just found out Davis beating the odds is on her way to being cured of cancer and she's watching from the White House tonight as she's not asleep already so the lives we can save for the lives we can say in the lives we've lost.
Let this be a truly American moment that rallies the country in the world together and proved that we can still do big things 20 years ago under the leadership of President Bush and countless Advocates and champions he undertook a bipartisan effort through pepfar to transform the global fight.
Against HIV AIDS it's been a huge success who thought big he thought large he moved I believe we can do the same thing with cancer let's end cancer as we know it cure some cancers once and for all folks.
There's one reason why we've been able to do all these things our democracy itself it's the most fundamental thing of all with democracy everything's possible without it nothing is the last few years our democracy has been threatened and attacked put at risk put to the test In This Very Room on.
January the 6th and then just a few months ago an unhinged big lie a sale and Unleashed a political violence the home of the then Speaker of the House Representatives using the very same language the insurrectionists used as they stalk these halls and chanted on January 6th.
Here tonight in this chamber is a man who Bears the scars of that brutal attack but it's as tough and as strong as resilient as they get my friend Paul Pelosi Paul Stanley foreign there's no place for political violence.
In America we have to protect the right to vote not suppress the fat fundamental right honor the results of our elections not subvert the will of people we have to uphold the rule of law and restore trust in our institutions of democracy and we must give hate and extremism in any form no Safe Harbor see.
Must not be a partisan issue it's an American issue every generation Americans faced a moment where they haven't been called to protect our democracy defendants stand up for it and this is our moment my fellow Americans we meet tonight at an inflection point.
One of those moments that only a few Generations ever face with the direction we now take is going to decide the course of this nation for decades to come we're not bystanders of History we're not powerless before the forces that confront us.
It's within our power of We the People we're facing the test of our time we have to be the nation we've always been at our best optimistic hopeful forward-looking a nation that braces light over dark hope over fear Unity stability over chaos we have to see each other not as enemies but as fellow Americans.
We're good people the only nation in the world built on an idea the only one other nations are defined by geography ethnicity but we're the only nation based on an idea that all of us.
Every one of us is created equal in the image of God a nation that stands as a beacon of the world a nation in a new age of possibilities so I've come to fulfill my constitutional obligation to report in the state of the union and.
Here's where my report because the soul of this nation is strong because the backboken backbone in this nation is strong because the people of this nation are strong the state of the union is strong foreign I'm not new to this place I stand here.
Tonight having served as long as about any one of you have ever served here but I've never been more optimistic about our future about the future America we just remember who we are we're the United States of America and there's nothing nothing beyond our capacity if we do it together God bless you all may God protect our truth.
Thank you President Joe Biden calling on Congress too in his words finish the job touting the laws passed so far during his presidency and calling for action on Democratic priorities from police reform to an assault weapons ban the president delivered a call for bipartisan Unity but he also slammed any Republicans who.
Want to alter Social Security and Medicare which got a wild response from some Republicans including a handful who yelled out and called the president a liar and it wasn't the only Interruption from Republican house members this is a special report from The Newsroom of the Washington Post I'm Libby Casey as we watch images here of the president.
Talking with Democratic senators let's go to Rhonda Colvin who's right outside right outside rather that house chamber Rhonda the speech lasted over an hour and was met with both Applause and jeers what were the highlights that's right a little over an hour I think what we just heard is sort of a preamble to a Biden reelection campaign.
Announcement he certainly hit the notes of weaving in all of the achievements he feels that he and the Democratic partying on the hill have been able to accomplish whether that was the chips act with the semiconductor factories whether that was infrastructure whether that was insulin prices he wove all of those achievements into that speech he.
Then also called upon Congress to do something about police reform we expected that we knew that there would be attendees who were associated with victims of police violence he told Congress to finish the job he also brought up an assault weapons ban and of course that was expected but those are issues right now that it does not look.
Like the hill can easily pass so he put it out there and said he wants them to take care of it we'll see if negotiations happen or not on those issues but he certainly took his time and I remember saying in our pre-show to this speech that I was going to look at the length of time he took today and he took a very long time to lay out his.
Case and of course we are expecting soon for him to announce that he wants to seek re-election James Homan let's talk about the reception in the chamber it was a raucous energetic chamber remember we were used to the covet era where people weren't there we're at 100 capacity there were lots of Applause.
Lines including a lot of Applause lines that Kevin McCarthy and Republicans stood for and the president really did walk that tightrope we were talking about earlier tonight saying at the beginning he would be a president for all Americans that he's going to give money to uh districts even if their member voted against the bill but then.
Clearly he's very very happy to use House Republicans now in the majority as a foil not just for 2024 but even for 2023 his willingness to mix it up uh with the the hecklers and the jeers shows a desire to do what Bill Clinton did in 1995 what Barack Obama did in 2011 because both of those presidents were able to win re-election by running.
Against House Republicans okay so let's talk about the substance of what he was saying and this question over the debt ceiling the debt ceiling fight is looming McCarthy said he wants to negotiate the White House has said this is not something we negotiate over we're just paying past bills and what got everybody riled up initially was the.
President saying there are some Republicans who want to go after Medicare and Social Security as a means to deal with this they'd rather do that than tax the wealthy totally and that actually is true there are some Republicans who are saying there is restructuring that can be done Mike Pence said it just a few days ago that.
This is a way that we could restructure Social Security not for as Mike Pence put it people with gray hair like me but for younger Generations it's almost like a throwback talking point from 20 years ago it's part of the conversation but the Republican party is changing and that's part of the tension there is that this is not Paul Ryan's Republican party.
You know four years ago he was speaker of the house five years ago now and uh you know Paul Ryan was on the ticket in 2012 they were talking about the need for entitlement reform and now you have Donald Trump out there on Truth social all the time saying don't touch Social Security or Medicare and so there is this tension inside the GOP uh where uh.
There are people like Ron Johnson and Rick Scott who are talking about uh taking on this third rail of American politics but for the most part the Republican party has tried to move Beyond uh the the politics of entitlement perform and scarcity and austerity and yet Rhonda there is of course a.
Question of just where Republicans would make those Cuts where they'd like to see spending halted for the future Rhonda exactly and that's something that I know I spent the whole week of these speaker vote those five days 15 rounds of votes and we as reporters were trying to figure out what did the hard-line.
Republicans want from the speaker to agree to we kept hearing that they wanted him to agree to cuts to spending but we never understood what those cuts were I remember being in the hallways asking about that and we weren't hearing anything from Republican hardliners on that issue so that's still a bit of a mystery we don't know exactly what they.
Want to use the debt the debt ceiling issue about but it remains to be seen how Congress as a whole handles the debt limit issue we do know that around the summertime we could go into default Janet Yellen who is in the crowd today she has said that this is a dire situation and it needs to be handled immediately so for the next.
Couple weeks you're going to see Congress figure their way forward with that and if you look at the Congressional calendar and you factor in their recesses they don't have much time to figure this out so as we saw in the speech today it was a point of contention when he brought up the debt ceiling he said he was not going to be.
Threatened on that issue and that Congress needed to do its duty of making sure their bills are paid but you know the reality is this is really going to be a tension point for the next few weeks here President Biden speaking with two retired justices of the Supreme Court Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer Mr.
President have him over for coffee it's like they have a lot to talk about if you were wondering why they are there they are retired justices and we did see five other justices present tonight including the Chief Justice Al Green Congressman there talking to the president having his moment with him you know James as Republicans have talked.
About what to cut they've talked about the quote unquote woke agenda and uh spending where there can be you know caps what what is the buzz phrase I'm looking for uh wasteful spending waste Fraud and Abuse thank you how could I not think of that something that probably every politician agrees uh can be cut as well as every American the.
Question is though where are the details uh you are seeing on your screen there that after this we'll have the Republican response Arkansas's brand new governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders will deliver that response in just a little while uh James she's been in office for less than a month so she's one of the sort of the freshest and newest.
Republicans I want to talk to you in a moment about why the choice of her but first let's talk about the man she used to work for Donald Trump and how President Biden went after his predecessor in this speech that's a really good observation Libby because it is rare for a president to call it his predecessor even of another party uh and.
He didn't name Donald Trump but he did say under the previous administration no president has added more to the national debt under Donald Trump again without naming him the deficit went up all four years and he said 25 percent of the entire national debt was added by Trump and then when the Republicans were jeering him ostensibly because a lot of.
That was coveted relief money that was supported by both parties he said check it out check it out this is a reminder that Donald Trump may or may not be the Republican Presidential nominee but he's an active candidate for the presidency he was putting out statements on on his uh social media platform during this speech and uh Joe Biden just as he's.
Happy to have House Republicans as a foil he's even happier to have Donald Trump as a foil even though the Washington Post ABC News poll that came out this weekend showed Trump narrowly ahead of Biden in a head-to-head match-up White House officials and Joe Biden himself believe that there is no one they're better positioned to run.
Against in 2024 than Donald Trump Rhonda let's go back to you on Capitol Hill right outside of Statuary Hall talk to us about the guests tonight the guest of first lady Jill Biden the second gentleman Doug em Hoff and also other guests that you know members of Congress were bringing to the chamber tonight uh well we heard President Biden note.
That he had invited the Ukrainian Ambassador back for a second year to highlight that that war is still going on with Russia and that America is so dedicated to helping Ukraine in that effort we also saw the parents of Tyree Nichols of course he's the Tennessee man who was killed by police officers that video was released and and many.
Americans agreed how vicious and violent it was that was to allow Biden to discuss the need for police reform there was also parents who are familiar with the Battle of cancer in their family of course that's something that Biden with the cancer moonshot has brought up back when he was candidate Biden and it's a continued effort by his administration.
We've talked about Bono probably the the most well-known name household name out of the the group that was invited here as guests he of course has worked in humanitarian Aid worked with the AIDS crisis and he was invited for that there was also a holocaust Survivor to highlight Doug amhoff the second gentleman's work with combating.
Anti-Semitism so it was really an array of topics that you see the White House wanted to put out there by the guests that they invited we also know that some members of Congress wanted to highlight how the Dobbs decision impacted their state I know there was one senator who brought a woman who had to cross state lines to go get a an abortion after.
Dobbs was decided over the summer so you know when guests are invited by either the members or the president first lady it really is to highlight issues that the parties care about yeah congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz brought a guest who had that same experience because of the Striking down of Roe v Wade also.
Guests James of the president and first lady there was a couple that came from Texas who uh lost their pregnancy and then the mother future mother uh was put at Medical risk because she could not get a doctor to perform the procedure so there were people present in this chamber tonight who the president didn't give a call out to who still had.
Powerful stories at the White House wants to highlight and so part of this just from a brass tax political perspective is that they had people from all over the country and ostensibly there will be local coverage in Texas in the Texas newspapers and on Texas television stations about this couple and their very very powerful story this.
Tradition dates back to Ronald Reagan in the early 1980s there was a plane crash right before the state of the union and Reagan called out someone who jumped into the uh Potomac to save a bunch of passengers who had been downed and it it you know it now there's so many people that everyone feels uh they want to bring in and my hunch is that in the.
Drafts they wrote out sections for each of these people who were in the guest box you know Bono obviously big bold name he President Biden mentioned pepfar which Bono was a big supporter of tackling HIV AIDS but didn't mention Bono by name but a lot of people can see him sitting there and know can make that connection know what it's about uh.
Called scutniks after Lenny scutner who was the man who jumped into the river to save someone after that uh airplane crashed into the 14th Street Bridge here in Washington DC and President Reagan praised him so publicly and now that tradition stands today so James where does the president Go From Here both literally where does he go from here and.
Also metaphorically yeah so literally he's going to Madison Wisconsin and he's going to Jacksonville Florida it's sort of the the desire to make the tale of the speech longer the president will talk about social security and Medicare in Florida he'll talk about jobs infrastructure in Wisconsin uh I think we got a taste of what we're going to.
See more of from Biden which is he to me sounded a little trumanesque in his brand of populism tonight talking about how they're trying to screw us and the big companies are against us whether it's the pharmaceutical companies or the hotels charging your Resort fees even though they're not Resorts which was a funny line and that uh emphasis on the.
Junk fees prevention act which Republicans didn't stand for I don't expect that's necessarily going to pass but it's one of those things that uh I'm sure polls and tests really well and it allows Joe Biden to show that he's fighting inflation because those are the fees that cost conscious people feel but also shows that he's fighting for them.
That he's on their side and it is reminiscent in some ways of Bill Clinton in his 1995 a State of the Union Address after the schlacking of the 94 midterms embracing sort of what seemed like small ball things like V chip in telephone uh or in televisions or school uniforms but it showed that it said something about Bill Clinton's.
Values and the the junk fee riff which was pretty long in that speech it seems like something we're going to hear a lot more of from Biden and also reflects the kind of president he's going to be in year three of his term Rhonda let's talk about where Republicans go from here what is their agenda in the coming hours days and weeks.
Well actually a lot of them are near me and behind me in a packed Statuary Hall giving their reaction to this speech I'm I'm certain and we'll try to talk to some of them in our post show but I believe a lot of them will talk about the border and and the comments he made about that that is one area that they really want to highlight and say that.
The Biden Administration has failed in um and of course we are awaiting the Arkansas governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders to deliver the Republican response shortly I know uh Kevin McCarthy the speaker of the house had said last week that she was chosen to show a fresh young face with the Republican party she is the currently the youngest governor.
In America she's 40 years old and they want to highlight that and I've I've been reading of some cuts from her expected remarks shortly and and she's going to be pretty partisan which of course that's what that Republican response or the party other than the president's response after a State of Union usually is she's going to focus on.
The economy and and blame quote the lift for uh taking the money away from Americans she's going to talk about culture War issues something that she has made a centerpiece of the early weeks of her governorship which started last month so this this might be a fiery Republican response and if folks remember her she was the press secretary.
To president Trump they were often spars and combative press briefings with the press and we've been wondering is that the tone she's going to strike tonight it looks like from some of the excerpts that yes that might be the tone so Rhonda you're saying that Republicans are not hanging out in the chamber like some of the house Democrats are waiting.
For a photo opportunity with the president yes now there may be some Republicans in the chamber I don't know if I can verify that but there are many out here as well as Democrats everyone wants to give their response to what Biden said uh to the media we've all been camped out here all day for this moment to hear what.
They are reacting to and what parts of the speech stood out to them but I am noting that Biden has taken a really long time to exit in the last state of the unions I have covered I don't quite remember presidents staying this long but of course as he said at the end of the speech he has been a part of Congress longer than many of those who.
Are currently in office of course he he spent time as a senator over 30 years one of the longest serving senators in U.S history so this is kind of you know maybe a little bit of a field trip and old memories form Democrats waiting for a chance to get a photograph with the president as he makes his way slowly out of the chamber.
Just moments after minutes really after the president does finally leave the house chamber we'll hear from Sarah Huckabee Sanders Governor Huckabee Sanders now James as Rhonda said youngest governor in America right now the first woman governor of Arkansas she was sworn in on January 10th so she's been in office for all of four.
Weeks an interesting choice by Republicans to pick her yes they want to show a woman yes they want to show someone relatively young but in Americans Minds she's linked to Donald Trump and she doesn't have a track record yet as an actual office holder in her state right and I think some of that you know there has already.
Been VP chatter about Sarah Sanders I think she's perceived as sort of neutral and acceptable even though you're right in the eyes of Americans she's Associated as a spokeswoman for Trump I think the DeSantis campus very comfortable with her delivering the response it's not someone who might run for president.
And so she can sort of speak writ large for the party I'll say to Rhonda's point about how long Biden's taking in the chamber it's really true it is a reflection of something interesting which is in that Washington Post poll a lot of Democrats say they don't want Biden to be their nominee that they'd rather have someone fresh and new uh you.
Know his approval rating nationally is 42 percent uh and some of these people Debbie Dingle there uh that he's talking to the Widow of John Dingle Democratic stalwart uh she's in a safe District but uh Marcy kaster who he was talking to a few minutes before that she's in a district that Donald Trump carried I Believe by double digits after.
Redistricting and it says something that these house Democrats want to still be photographed want to be seen with Joe Biden it I think speaks to his strength and resiliency uh certainly it's sort of the elite level of the democratic party uh we saw this a little bit during the Democratic National committee meeting on Friday night in Philadelphia where the.
Crowd was really chanting four more years that perhaps the kind of the leaders of the party are uh more supportive of Biden being their standard Bearer than the rank and file of the of the democratic party Rhonda how does the president get this message to penetrate throughout America and and change some of those poll numbers members the White.
House certainly hopes that James was talking about something that the White House and also Congressional Democrats are concerned about how does he relay the message of something like infrastructure which of course takes time for people to really see the benefits of of course everyone can agree that American roads Bridges.
Need to be fixed but until you see that work happening uh you you just may not agree that he's doing all that he can so some of the proposals that did go through Congress in the last term are things that take a lot of time to be felt by the American public so what he's probably going to do especially if he's going to go and campaign from here is to.
To go to small towns go to the Midwest like he is planning to do this week and and really sell actual results that he has done because there is that disconnect there is that perception of some of these things that they did get through didn't exactly weren't felt by the American public so it is an uphill crime for the Biden Administration to.
Prove that these things did work piranha is in the very busy and bustling Statuary Hall it's right outside of the house chamber and so you can see all of those members of Congress Milling around her she'll be talking to some of them in just a moment but do stay tuned because in addition to that we'll hear the Republican rebuttal momentarily by.
Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders of Arkansas James as you've talked to democratic sources and Democratic members of Congress how fiery did they want Joe Biden to be tonight and do you think they will be satisfied with the line he tried to crisscross over and sort of hopscotch around bipartisanship and yet he threw he threw some punches I.
Think they'll be uh they'll be happy one Democrat who's sort of ambivalent about Biden on Capitol Hill texted me to say he's old but he still has gas in the tank uh which I think is actually kind of a prominent view over there so value scene in the fighting Spirit and the kind of that he's still got the fight that he's still got the energy they they.
Don't really like it at the very end of that speech he started yelling and often that's a way for people to show that their passionate about something that they're excited and energetic that's not necessarily what they want to see but they do want to see the fiery fighting spirit I said trumanesque a few minutes ago I think that that's very much what.
Biden is trying to go for Rhonda let's talk about how different this speech is than the past few speeches because of the pandemic describe for us the atmosphere of What It's Like on Capitol Hill tonight we heard someone behind me mention that this feels like some sort of post-pandemic event because people don't.
Quite remember how we used to cover State of the Union there are so many people here in Statuary Hall this of course is where for years media broadcasted from on this night for the last few years we've been in another house office building and covering this from a distance but this year saturated Hall is back and it's also the site of.
The current Speaker of the houses weekly press briefings that's been a change this year he is usually Gathering us down the way Beyond these columns I'm standing next to and that's a little different he explains that he likes this room a lot that it reminds him of Lincoln because there is a star on the floor that shows where President Lincoln.
When he was in Congress where he sat so that's been something new too the use of saturated Hall but there are so many people here and I don't quite remember it being like this in the last few years and of course that was likely due to cope I remember the chamber people had masks on we didn't really see that this year also members were told to invite.
Guests but make them virtual guests so we would often get emails the day of State of the Union where members would tell us you know they're virtual guests back home so a little bit of a return to Norms I would say it feels like here and everyone seems like they want to stick around I have been to say to the unions in the past few years where everyone.
Kind of wanted to pack up and go home but it seems like people are sticking around with me the party tonight rather than everybody leaving to go to the party you are at the party you can see on your screen in addition to Rhonda you see there the governor's mansion in Arkansas that's in Little Rock and that's where Governor.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be speaking in just a moment we expect her address to last around 10 minutes that's the typical length of time that the rebuttals last as you heard from Rhonda we expect it to have a political punch James we are expecting it to be a partisan speech it will be a partisan speech it will be very sort of antibiot.
And aimed squarely at the president and it will talk a lot about immigration I think that that was an area where you saw some of the strongest Republican reaction shots of Ted Cruz went uh kind of grimacing when Biden said help me secure the Border I can't do it without you that's been their biggest thing that they're hammering uh Biden on for his.
They say failure to do I have no doubt that Governor Sanders will similarly drive that message she will also talk about the economic issues uh inflation the price of eggs that kind of thing and we haven't really talked about foreign policy because Biden really did leave that to the end I had a little bit on China a little bit on Ukraine but it.
Really was a speech focused on domestic policy because ultimately the president knows that's how he'll be judged let's go now to Little Rock Arkansas I'm Sarah Huckabee Sanders being a mom to three young children me not to believe every story I hear so forgive me for not believing much of anything I heard tonight from President.
Biden from out of control inflation and violent crime to the dangerous border crisis and threat from China Biden and the Democrats have failed you They Know It And You Know It and it's time for a change tonight let us reaffirm our commitment to a Timeless American idea.
That government exists not to rule the people but to Serve the People Democrats want to rule us with more government control but that's not Who We Are America is the greatest country the world has ever known because we're the freest country the world has ever known with the people.
Who are strong and resilient five months ago I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer it was a hard time for our family particularly our kids Scarlet Huck and George but we kept our faith and persevered thanks to exceptional doctors here in Arkansas a successful surgery.
And the grace of God I am cancer free through it all I couldn't help but think about my mom she was 20 years old and in her first year of marriage when she was diagnosed with spinal cancer the doctors told her she might not live.
And if she did live they said she'd never walk again and if she did walk she definitely never have children the daughter she was told she'd never have was just sworn in as the new governor of Arkansas and is speaking to you tonight adversity and fear of the unknown can.
Paralyze us but Faith propels us to charge boldly ahead we can't stand still in the face of great challenges you and I were put on this Earth for such a time as this to charge boldly ahead I'll be the first to admit.
President Biden and I don't have a lot in common I'm For Freedom he's for government control at 40. I'm the youngest governor in the country and at 80 he's the oldest president in American history I'm the first woman to lead my state.
And he's the first man to surrender his presidency to awoke mob that can't even tell you what a woman is in the radical lefts America Washington taxes you and lights your hard-earned money on fire but you get crushed with high gas prices empty grocery shelves and our children are taught to hate one another on.
Account of their race but not to love one another or our great country whether Joe Biden believes this madness or is simply too weak to resist it his administration has been completely hijacked by the radical left the dividing line in America is no longer between bride or left the choice.
Between normal or crazy it's time for a new generation of Republican leadership upon taking office just a few weeks ago I signed executive orders to ban CRT racism and indoctrination in our schools eliminate the use of derogatory term latinx in our government repealed.
Coveted orders and said never again to authoritarian mandates and shutdowns Americans want Common Sense from their leaders but in Washington the Biden Administration is doubling down on crazy President Biden inherited the fastest economic recovery on record the most secure Border in history.
Cheap abundant homegrown energy fast rising wages a rebuilt military and a world that was stable and at peace but over the last two years Democrats destroyed it all despite Democrats trillions in Reckless spending and mountains of debt we now have the worst border crisis in American.
History as a mom my heart breaks for every parent who has lost a son or daughter to addiction a hundred thousand Americans a year are now killed from drug overdoses largely from fentanyl pouring across our Southern border.
You have to bind Administration refuses to secure the border and save American lives and after years of democrat attacks on law enforcement and calls to defund the police violent criminals roam free while law abiding families live in fear beyond our border from Afghanistan to.
Ukraine from North Korea to Iran President Biden's weakness puts our nation and the world at risk and the president's refusal to stand up to China our most formidable adversary is dangerous and unacceptable President Biden is unwilling to defend our border defend our skies and defend our people.
He is simply unfit to serve as commander-in-chief and while you read the consequences of their failures divided Administration seems more interested in woke fantasies than the hard reality Americans face every day most Americans simply want to live their lives in Freedom and peace.
But we are under attack in a left-wing culture War we didn't start and never wanted to fight every day we are told we must partake in their rituals salute their flags and worship their false Idols all while big government colludes with big Tech to strip away the most American thing there is.
Your freedom of speech normal crazy and it's wrong make no mistake Republicans will not surrender this fight we will lead with courage and do what's right not what's politically correct or convenient.
Republicans believe in an America where strong families thrive in safe communities where jobs are abundant and paychecks are rising where the freedom our veterans shed their blood to defend is the birthright of every man woman and child these are the principles Republican.
Governors are fighting for and in Washington under the leadership of Senate Republicans and speaker Kevin McCarthy we will hold the Biden Administration accountable down the street from where I sit is my alma mater Little Rock Central High as a student there.
I will never forget watching my dad Governor Mike Huckabee and President Bill Clinton hold the doors open to the Little Rock Nine doors that 40 years earlier had been closed to them because they were black today those children once borrowed from the schoolhouse are now heroes.
Memorialized in bronze at our state house I'm proud of the progress our country has made and I believe giving every child access to a quality education regardless of their race or income is the Civil Rights issue of our day tomorrow I will unveil an education.
Package that will be the most far-reaching bold conservative education reform in the country my plan empowers parents with real choices improves literacy and career Readiness and helps put a good teacher in every classroom by increasing their starting salary from one of the lowest to one of.
The highest in the nation here in Arkansas and across America Republicans are working to end the policy of trapping kids in failing schools and sentencing them to a lifetime of poverty we will educate not indoctrinate our kids put students on a path to success.
It's time for a new generation to lead This is Our Moment this is our opportunity a new generation born in the waning Decades of the last century shaped by economic booms and stock market busts forged by the Triumph of the Cold War and the tragedy of 9 11.
A generation brimming with passion and new ideas to solve age-old problems a generation moored to our deepest values and oldest traditions yet unafraid to challenge the present order and find A Better Way Forward if we seize this moment together can once again be the land of the free and the home of the brave.
During my two and a half years at the White House I traveled on every foreign trip with the president a trip I will never forget was on December 25th of 2018. my husband Brian and I had just cleaned up wrapping paper that was shoved into every corner of our house thanks to our.
Three kids when I had to walk out on my own family's Christmas unable to tell them where I was going that night because the place I'd be traveling was so dangerous they didn't want anybody to know that the president was going to be on.
The ground even for a few hours we boarded Air Force One in complete and total darkness there were no lights on the plane no lights on the runway our phones and computers shut down and turned in we were going completely off the grid nearly 12 hours later.
In the pitch black of night we landed in the war-torn part of western Iraq it was again a similar scene no lights on the plane no lights on the runway the only thing you could see was coming from about a mile away in a dining hall where hundreds of.
Troops who were in the fight against Isis had gathered expecting to celebrate Christmas with senior military leadership from around the region they had absolutely no idea president and first lady were about to walk into that room and when they did.
It was a sight and a scene and a sound I hope I never forget the room erupted men and women from every race religion and region every political party every demographic you can imagine started chanting in perfect unison.
Over and over and over again USA USA USA it was an absolutely perfect picture of what makes our country great one of the young soldiers yelled from the back Mr President I re-enlisted in the military because of you.
And the president said and son I'm here because of you shortly after that young Soldier came up to me he said Sarah you have a tough job told him what I do is nothing you take bombs and bullets that's a tough job and in a moment that I know I'll cherish.
For the rest of my life that Soldier reached up and he pulled the brave rifles patch he wore on his shoulder and he placed it into my hand sign of ultimate respect and he said Sarah we are in this together overwhelmed with emotion and speechless.
I just hugged him with tears in my eyes and a grateful heart for Our Heroes who keep us free that young man and everyone who has served before him all of those who serve alongside him and the thousands we know who will be called upon to serve after him deserve to know they have a country and.
A community back home doing our part in the fight for freedom America is great because we are free it today our freedom is under attack in the America we love is in danger President Biden and the Democrats have failed you and it's time for a change.
A new generation of Republican leaders are stepping up not to be caretakers of the status quo but to be change makers for the American people we know not what the future holds but we know who holds the future in his hands and with God as our Witness we will show the world that America is.
Still the place where Freedom Reigns and Liberty will never die thank you God bless you and God bless America Arkansas governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders giving the Republican response to the State of the Union drawing a contrast with President Biden in age and freshness and Leadership she's held.
Office for less than a month she had tough words for the president she called him unfit to serve as commander-in-chief and she derided what she called woke fantasies so Rhonda let's talk about the governor's goals here you know she touted things like education and security but she whipped up a lot of fear by stoking the culture wars.
That's right and for those who watched her campaign as Governor it was very similar to some of the things that she said there trying to create that divide between uh the politics of the right and the left saying that our freedoms are being taken away if it's under uh if America is under uh the left's control so she definitely did not hold back in.
Some of the comments she made of course we knew she would talk about her work with uh the culture wars she talked about how in her first weeks as governor of Arkansas she banned a critical race theory of course critical race theory is not taught in Arkansas in K-12 but she said it was a preemptive measure and she talked about the Border saying that.
Biden has failed there I thought it was interesting though how she ended the speech she talked uh gave an anecdote about being with the Trump White House and how she traveled to see troops and would never forget how when they saw the first lady and former president Trump they Enchanted USA and said she hopes she never forgets that so it was an.
Interesting uh way to end that Republican response but perhaps it is uh a moment where Republicans are getting ready for potentially a Biden versus Trump rematch so uh that was a very interesting way for her to end that Republican response but we do know that according to speaker McCarthy she was chosen because of her age she's the.
Youngest Governor right now at 40 and she was to be that fresh young face to counter Biden who of course as she mentioned is uh 80 years old so I think what we heard from her was expected and and she did what Republicans set out to do with their response choice you know James started her speech by just using her name Sarah Huckabee.
Sanders you know not saying I'm the governor sitting in the the governor's uh Mansion trying to have that very uh you know reachable ironically much like Joe Biden is able to do that very uh sort of folksy delivery they both ended their speeches with the call to you know God Bless America it's sort of funny sometimes to.
Think about that the divisions that are sometimes uh created perhaps uh with so much intention let's talk about the vision of the Republican party that she's putting forth yeah so Rhonda pointed out the contrast 40 years old versus 80 years old but then she also said it's time for a new generation of Republicans a new generation is stepping.
Up uh and while she did talk about President Trump and the trip to Iraq and all that I mean she clearly does represent turning of the page uh and so it's it's hard not to see it that way ultimately uh while she delivered it in a very calm manner that was not a particularly nuanced speech and ultimately one of the real questions is.
You know when she says that this is a choice between normal and crazy she's kind of apocalyptic rhetoric like this is a choice between woke fantasies and hard realities educate not indoctrinate the question is do the American people see Joe Biden as crazy and part of Joe Biden's political strength is that he.
Just doesn't come across that way even when he is raising his voice he does not come across as uh purveying woke fantasies uh or being crazy and so in that sense it's the challenge for Republicans where Sarah Sanders is clearly ready to play that role of attack dog perfectly willing to be very partisan.
Throw red meat fight the culture wars but ultimately when you use that kind of apocalyptic language it risks falling flat with actually undecided voters who are listening to the substance of what she's saying I want to play some of President Biden's speech from earlier tonight James that sort of hits on this question of how connected he is to the.
American people and how in Sarah Sanders version of America he might be on this crazy woke leftist dead and said he was focused on infrastructure and infrastructure development and the bipartisan bill that was passed with with a lot of Republican Senators really jumping in to get it over the finish line so let's listen to this it's a.
Central achievement of his administration and he did make sort of a joke about how even though some Republicans keep fighting against it they do want the money that's coming into their towns and States let's listen I want to thank my Republican friends who voted for the law and my Republican friends who voted.
Against it as well but I'm still I I still get asked to fund the projects in those districts as well but don't worry I promised I'd be a president for all Americans we'll fund these projects and I'll see you at the groundbreaking hasn't invited him earlier in his speech tonight James what do you make of that I.
Think that that was the key line that showed that he can get that balance of using Republicans as a foil but also saying I'm a president for all Americans I'm going to help you whether or not you voted for me that is a very very powerful message uh in some of Joe Biden's strongest moments putting aside the legislative achievements have been.
After things like the natural disaster or the tornado in Kentucky where he can go to a really red County in a red State and and talk to people or Naples in Florida after the Hurricanes he's just he's very good at connecting with people and uh and that is his political strength so I think it is an illustration that he can thread that.
Needle between uh running hard against Republicans mixing it up on the floor but also being presidential uh Rhonda Let's Talk About Kevin McCarthy Speaker of the House standing there behind President Biden during the speech analyzed for us his his body language and some of the reactions that he had.
Yeah I tried to look at his body language of course he did smile and laugh and clap at some of the moments when all members were clapping I know early in the speech Biden did a little bit of a joke with him saying that I want to work with you I don't know that makes you any more popular with your your caucus but there were times where.
You saw him have that stern look specifically when they were talking about the debt limit and when Biden was saying he wasn't going to be threatened over that issue and then he also talked about social security and that he would not let them put social security cuts to Social Security on the table in negotiations you did see a sterness from.
Him so again this is kind of a part of what the hill is like after State of the Union that it's back to business it's back to a lot of the partisanship that will get in the way of a lot of the things that the president said he wants to get done done so there is going to be a struggle but you did see the the leader at least appear to agree with.
Biden on some points which is you know often that does happen with speakers and the president giving the the address but he does have have a road to go down right now especially when it comes to the hard-line Republicans who are uh asked him to make concessions in order to get their vote to become speaker it remains to be seen what those exactly.
Those concessions were and how they might play out in any future legislation and James there were some theatrics going on there and that's not to say that both sides don't engage in theatrics because they do we all remember when speaker Pelosi at the time stood up and shredded ripped in half then president Trump's speech but we did.
See on Kevin McCarthy sort of a drowsiness a sort of a somulent listening look at times which is not unintentional you're aware the cameras are on you as you were sitting in this incredibly prominent spot on the house floor very much he has his own constituency he has his 222 members that he has to keep in mind and think about.
And and the conservatives watching at home the early this morning he was on Hugh Hewitt's radio show and Hugh Hewitt was saying you should light the speak the text of the speech on fire uh if Pelosi ripped it up and McCarthy said no no they had a house Republican conference meeting this morning uh where McCarthy reminded his members that they.
Should assume that the camera is always on them and that uh the mics are always on and to be careful of not saying anything that might get picked up on a hot mic so to your point McCarthy very much was putting on a performance for the camera yeah at times he shushed his caucus when they were yelling out liar or you lie or were pushing back or.
Saying secure the border to President Biden because that plays to Biden's Advantage if if Republicans look overly raucous and unruly and disrespectful and lacking decorum it does make Joe Biden look presidential in some ways it risks diminishing him when he gets into the verbal fisticuffs with people like Marjorie Taylor green but Joe Biden.
Would love if the face of the Republican party was Marjorie Taylor Greene or Matt Gates screaming at him or Lauren bobert and that's why McCarthy and those are the members he struggles to control the most uh especially Bo burning Gates he he did tell them earlier today please just be respectful don't play into Joe Biden's hands so he was not shouting out.
And yelling things but he did show his own body language as sort of boredom and disinterest yeah exactly and he has he's going to come out tomorrow and say we do want to work with the president on border security uh it's ridiculous that he's saying that he's trying to work with us you know he hasn't and they'll they'll try to litigate some of this.
Stuff but a lot of it is them litigating to their own base uh to conservatives uh and and McCarthy is because he doesn't have a large majority to play with he is really focused on keeping his Coalition together let's talk about the poor forgotten Senate so much focus on of course the house and the Republican leadership in the house let's talk about.
The role of the Senate right now as they listen to this speech tonight yeah it's you know on the debt ceiling which was kind of I think some of the big news tonight and that it does kind of show that this is going to be very tense uh I think the markets haven't priced in the real danger that this could be workmanship Mitch McConnell is not the.
Focus you know he's very hands off he's saying this is uh like Kevin McCarthy and Joe Biden work it out uh even though he has not quite as much but almost as much power over the outcome of this fight and it is a reflection of the state of the house versus the Senate uh a lot of vulnerable Democratic members are up for.
Reelection in 2024 whether Christian Cinema Joe manchin uh Sherrod Brown in Ohio John tester in Montana so uh I was watching those folks carefully when we had the wide shots because they are in states that Joe Biden assuming he runs again probably will not win in 2024 even if he wins the presidency and so they have to also figure out how how closely.
Do you tie yourself to the fortunes of this President uh who you're going to be on the ticket with in two years and so that also changes the dynamic you have fewer of those kinds of moderate Democrats left in the house who have those considerations than you do in the Senate let's talk about the body language as some of those individuals.
Like Senator manchin yeah and so mansion and Cinema both sat on the Republican side sitting among Republicans and they stood up a bunch of times when Republicans didn't but sitting there is is designed to convey Cinema now and independent uh and Mansion essentially needs basically half of Republican voters in West Virginia to vote for him.
In order to win that they're willing to work with both sides both of them are trying to position themselves as deal makers who can build Bridges and so their their role and their body language was one of not wanting to be overly gleeful and supportive of the president uh but also wanting to show that they're on the.
Team it's it's a tough needle to thread uh and uh in in it's easy to forget how much disdain a lot of those Democratic colleagues especially on the house side feel for the mansions in the cinemas who they blame for not blowing up the filibuster last year to pass voting rights legislation gun control etc etc when they had the chance when they had.
Everybody they had the house they had the Senate they had the White House James let's talk about what happens next in this Congress what is on the agenda we heard tonight what President Biden wants to move forward on we heard the wish list many of which are just dreams with this republican-led house but but what is this body of the house what does.
The senate have in front of it in terms of actual work it needs to get done moving forward so right now we're still in the messaging phase where House Republicans are in control for the first time in four years so there are just passing every day they're moving legislation that they know will never become law because it won't ever get.
Taken up in the Senate Biden would never sign it requiring federal workers to go back to work something that they're voting on this week is uh to try to overturn a new DC City municipal crime Bill uh because the the home rule situation but all of that is just about showing Republicans or trying to govern and and then setting up a fight with the.
Senate when it comes to actually governing we have a couple months on the debt ceiling that is the big thing and then there are a bunch of other things where there could be room for bipartisanship fentanyl cancer uh you know but there were also a lot of things that Biden called for just like House Republicans passing messaging bills that.
They know have no chance Biden talking about the pro act that's a top priority for organized labor unions it's never going to come up in the house uh you know talking about an assault weapons ban never going to come up in the house we're still at the stage where both sides are posturing we're we're still a couple months away from them being like.
Okay now let's actually figure out where we might be able to come together and get something done one thing that we heard the president talk about tonight was the unity agenda that he laid out last year in the State of the Union so what is the progress report James as we look back on the last year of the Administration has he been able to hit.
Some of those goals pretty good you know obviously they had control last year so they were able to hit a lot of their goals but uh the veteran burn pits we talked about tonight or he talked about cancer that has a lot of bipartisan support uh suicide addressing the Mental Health crisis has a lot of support he basically was able to make progress.
On all four of his main pillars of the unity agenda all right James we talked about what the president does in the next couple of days but how does he penetrate and get the word out to the American public we've been talking about this ABC Washington post poll that you laid out for us at the very beginning of the night that showed some pretty dismal.
Numbers in terms of the penetration of Americans feeling the impact of some of the laws that the Biden team is very proud of getting passed and also connecting Biden's agenda with the improving economy with some of the successful things that he has been able to do yeah and that's it's repetition is key you have to keep driving this.
Message and keep trying to take credit but it's hard because you just can't tell people to feel things that they don't feel if someone's angry you can't tell them not to be angry and Biden has to tell people look I'm making all these changes we heard him tonight actually when he was talking about insulin the costs of reforms went into effect on.
January 1st and people haven't felt it yet but that's the kind of message we'll hear more from let's go back to Rhonda Colvin live on Capitol Hill in Statuary Hall Rhonda with felonious Floyd he is the brother of George Floyd our representative I'll start with you you are going to be a part of reintroducing the George Floyd.
Justice and policing act which is the police Reform Bill that President Biden spoke about tonight can you tell us about the timeline of when that will be reintroduced and what do current negotiations look like were there a lot of negotiations going on first of all and we don't know what form the bill will be but we do know that the.
Introduction of the bill previously that passed the house is a solid commitment to police reform but as well recognizing the importance of good policing and the final thing that it does is that it answers the pain of the many families that suffered prior to Tyree Nichols and now Tyree Nichols in the brutal beating that showed that that is not.
Representative of policing in America today that is not represent of the thousands of good police and that there is an urgency and a necessity of ensuring that we do get a bill so I'm going to be open the Senate is open we're working with the civil rights groups the Congressional Black Caucus the White House but one thing we do know.
One thing I think is urgent that the bill is done in 2023 and frankly done in the next couple of months in order to help these families and in order to not see another one of these incidences occur again does it have a House GOP support right now I know there were sticking points with the last times it went through have you been talking to.
Them and do you see any uh promise there any hope I absolutely do when the president spoke tonight he really spoke to America he didn't label it as a Republican bill a democratic Bill what he said was is that everyone should be able to go home to their families safely we discussed that issue and I'm so glad he captured it police should go home to.
Their family and Tyree George Floyd Brianna Taylor should have been able to sleep in our bed and and and Tamir rice should have been able to play in a park when he talked about it from that perspective Republicans stood up and applauded so we have I believe a number of Republicans that we are going to look to collaborate with to be able to work.
On it in the house and I think there are some Senate Republicans who believe that in order to change the infrastructure of policing to not have bad cops move from City to city or bad cops stay on a force or bad cops interact with the community we need to do something so we truly have better police community relations that it is.
Real and that we are if you will equaling the Constitution that says we all are protected by the equal protection of the law and Mr Floyd I know you have been on the hill before in the aftermath of your brother's death why was it important for you to come back here tonight I must come back.
Too many families too many families I had to sit there and watch all these families pour their heart out today and including me tears were just everywhere and let me tell you something it's 20 20 when my brother was murdered it's 2023 the bill still hasn't been passed they need to revive the George Floyd police today take it off the table.
And put it where it needs to be it needs to be out and Broad for all these police officers to be held accountable period bottom line too many families like nine I had to watch Tyree Nicholas and those wounds will reopened and I couldn't sleep for three to four days it's a sad situation and I don't want to break down thinking about it but his mom.
Is going through so much and there's so much I can do but a mother and watching all of these mothers Tamir writes all of these people they had kids who were murdered by the hands of police officers the people who were sworn are oath to protect and serve so America has to get better because we can't keep having this happen.
I'm with congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee she's constantly on the battlefield and I'm telling her about it with her anytime she's a great person she's a prominent leader and she will be one of the most prominent leaders of all time take it now she needs to be one of the next presidents of the United States something that I'm telling you of this.
World so like I said once before Pastor George Floyd just as policing that because I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired of people being murdered innocent bystanders innocent people these are brothers these are sisters this is somebody kid somebody's son somebody daughter and we have to sit here and.
Come to Washington just for this this law should have been passed period thank you so much Mr Floyd and representative and I'll send things back to you all in the studio all right Rhonda Colvin thank you so much and thanks to Rhonda and all of our Capitol Hill team also thanks to James Homan and.
So many of our other colleagues who reported tonight and covered the State of the Union thank you for watching with The Newsroom of the Washington Post I'm Libby Casey we will leave it there have a good night The Washington Post Newsroom delivers breaking events around the world as they happen unrivaled reporting from the.
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3 thoughts on “Biden’s 2023 Speak of the Union deal with – 2/7 (FULL LIVE STREAM)”
This clown would skedaddle a nuclear holocaust into a gargantuan ingredient and unbelievable accomplishment.
1:56:28 what he real mentioned ???
Biden reads out lies to the overall public.