President Biden’s 2022 State of the Union Address

Posted by on Mar 9, 2022 in Current Events

Every year, the president delivers an annual message to a joint session of Congress called the State of the Union Address. This speech covers issues affecting the country, such as the economy, domestic and international affairs, and an update on the president’s agenda and accomplishments. President Biden delivered this year’s State of the Union Address on March 1, 2022. Here, btw takes a closer look at some of the key takeaways from his speech, as well as the response from Republicans.

Crisis in Ukraine

As Biden spoke, a Russian convoy was already heading toward the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. So, the first piece of the address was given over to this international crisis. Biden described a world where authoritarian regimes are growing stronger, and it is up to democracies to stand together to defeat them. He underscored the unity of NATO allies, who are working together to place economic restrictions on the Russian government. The president also stated that U.S. ground troops will not be sent to Ukraine. However, he warned, the conflict could have an impact on Americans, notably with higher gas prices and other economic challenges.

The Economy

In his speech, President Biden laid out a four-point “Unity Agenda” for addressing economic inflation and lowering economic costs for American families. Biden’s plan will include increasing U.S. manufacturing instead of importing goods from other nations. This would reduce dependence on foreign supply chains. He also wants to reduce the costs of everyday items such as medicine, childcare expenses, and utilities. Biden also promoted fair competition between companies and eliminating barriers to good jobs.

Agenda & Accomplishments

President Biden had a a 41 percent approval rating. (This is a rating based on an average of several polls that ask Americans if they approve or disapprove of the job that the president is doing.) Biden also focused on some of the accomplishments of his presidency. The bipartisan infrastructure plan that passed last year will generate construction jobs and help fix roads, bridges, across the country. He also highlighted the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. Judge Jackson has served as a public defender in Washington, D.C., and has also worked under three federal judges during her career. Biden also mentioned the American Rescue Plan that provided financial relief for many Americans through the pandemic. He also discussed his desire for new gun laws and additional funding for law enforcement to increase public safety in the United States.

COVID-19 Response

The White House had planned to roll out a new phase of the coronavirus response plan last week. However, this was delayed by the crisis in Ukraine. Instead, Biden addressed the issue by saying that it is now safe for most Americans to begin returning to their normal routine, which includes not wearing masks if vaccinated. The president urged all Americans to get vaccinated, to be ready in case a new coronavirus variant develops. Members of Congress or audience members were not required towear masks during the address. Neither Biden nor Vice President Kamala Harris wore masks during the address. Biden urged Americans to stop using the disease as a dividing line, and instead come together to begin fully living life with one another again.

Republican and Democratic members of Congress all stood and applauded when Biden asked them to show the world that the U.S. stands with Ukraine and against the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Republicans also applauded loudly when Biden pledged to provide more funding for law enforcement. However, that show of solidarity didn’t last, with few Republicans visibly supporting the president’s economic plan.

The Republican Response

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds delivered the official Republican response to the address. She criticized the White House’s as weak on foreign policy. She used the examples of pulling out of Afghanistan and failing to respond to North Korean military aggression to make her argument. Reynolds said that this weakness emboldened Putin to invade Ukraine. She blamed overspending by Biden and the Democrats for the current inflation problem, and a rise in crime on weak borders. She also argued that parents should be able to control public school curriculum and practices.

Dig Deeper Who was the first president to deliver a State of the Union Address? Why?