President Biden Delivers Historic State of the Nation Speech, Adresses China
by FARUK IMAMOVIC | VIEW 304
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden addressed a joint session of Congress for the first time since Republicans took control of the House of Representatives, delivering a powerful and optimistic State of the Nation address. Biden called for unity in a divided Congress, praised job growth, and addressed the war in Ukraine and the US' strategic competition with China.
The President's address lasted 73 minutes, with applause and Republicans' insults punctuating his speech. “Make no mistake: As we made clear last week, if China threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country.
And we did,” Biden said in his speech.
Biden's Call for Unity
Biden made a strong appeal for unity, calling on Republicans and Democrats to work together. "To my Republican friends, if we could work together in the last Congress, there is no reason we can’t work together in this Congress as well,” he said.
The President emphasized the resilience and strength of the American economy, with unemployment falling to a nearly 54-year low in January, and praised the creation of 12 million jobs. Biden also pointed out that the US democracy remains "steadfast and unbroken." "Today, although damaged, our democracy remains steadfast and unbroken.
The story of America is a story of progress and resilience. We are the only country that has come out of every crisis stronger than when we entered it. That's what we're doing again," Biden added.
Biden's Economic Vision
Biden directly appealed to a demographic that has recently turned to the GOP, saying, "So many of you feel like you’ve just been forgotten...Amid the economic upheaval of the past four decades, too many people have been left behind or treated like they’re invisible." The President pledged to continue efforts to reduce inflation and defend welfare and health benefits.
“I get that,” he said. "You wonder whether a path even exists anymore for you and your children to get ahead without moving away”. Biden also criticized pharmaceutical companies for charging too much for insulin, accused technology companies of conducting a profit-making "experiment" on children, and took aim at the profits of oil companies, calling for higher taxes on billionaires.
The President called on all members of Congress to "rise to this moment" and address the problem of police brutality. "All of us in this chamber, we need to rise to this moment. We can’t turn away. Let’s do what we know in our hearts we need to do.
Let’s come together and finish the job on police reform. Do something," he said. Biden also hailed the passage of the most sweeping gun safety law in three decades, including enhanced background checks and red flag laws, as a step towards reducing gun violence.
"That includes things that the majority of responsible gun owners support, like enhanced background checks for 18 to 21-year-olds and red flag laws keeping guns out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves and others," he said.
Biden's first address to a joint session of Congress was a historic moment in US history, as he projected optimism, called for unity, and laid out his vision for the future of the country.