The State of the Union: How Mr. Biden Looked at the Time to Stand up for the Bills and the Correspondence with Congress
The alternative view of Mr. Biden, put forth by many labor historians and activists, is that while the president has in fact been more obliging to unions and maintained better relationships with union leaders than his recent Democratic predecessors, the difference is one of degree rather than kind.
Gabriel Winant, a labour historian at the University of Chicago, said that Mr. Biden wasgested in interesting ways. “But it doesn’t seem like he has the stomach to see the gestures through.”
Americans still view his presidency skeptically — he is under water in recent opinion polls — and a looming standoff over raising the national debt limit to pay the country’s bills could cause some chaos this year. Republicans hold power in Washington despite not having a large majority and they demonstrated that by placing a political opponent behind Biden during his speech.
Facing a national audience as he approaches a likely reelection campaign, Biden used the State of the Union to tell Americans he’s accomplished more than they may realize with massive investments in infrastructure and the Inflation Reduction Act.
McCarthy is now third in line to the presidency and the top elected Republican in the country. He wields enormous power over what can be enacted into law. They will need to work together.
Biden gave niceties to the congressional leaders. For many Americans, this may be their first time hearing of Jeffries. Read more about him.
The Great American Story: How Americans Think about Biden and the Problem of the Economy and Social Security: An Annotated Fact Checked President-Biden Sotu
Democrats lost control of the House in the November election, and that resulted in Pelosi stepping down as Democratic leader. It’s an almost entirely new — and much younger — leadership team for the first time in years.
Biden’s number is accurate: the US economy added 12.1 million jobs between Biden’s first full month in office, February 2021, and January 2023. In any previous four-year presidential term, that number is higher than it is now. However, it’s important to point out that Biden took office in a very unusual situation and that it’s difficult to compare this to other periods.
This felt very much like a reelection pitch, asking people to look past their fears about inflation and the economy to take a longer view of the Biden years so far.
As we gather here tonight, we are writing the next chapter in the great American story, a story of progress and resilience. When world leaders ask me to define America, my answer is one word: possibilities.
In addition to the infrastructure spending and gun legislation, the parties worked together on a number of other issues. They are far apart on a number of issues, including immigration reform and government spending.
While infrastructure and support for Ukraine remain two things with bipartisan support, having a GOP majority in the House will mean more scrutiny for this type of spending.
Bipartisan laws that protect the right to marry a loved one: The Violation Against Women Act, the Election Count Reform Act and the Respect for Marriage Act
In fact, I signed over 300 bipartisan laws since becoming President. The Violence Against Women Act, the Electoral Count Reform Act and the Respect for Marriage Act are examples of laws that protect the right to marry a loved one.
These are serious issues. The act is supposed to make sure that there will not be insurrection 2.0. The Respect for Marriage Act signified a complete evolution on the issue of marriage in a generation.
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.
Working together is not just a request. In order to raise the debt limit, fund the government or do much of anything else, Biden will need to work with the Republicans who now control the House.
Biden’s “good-paying” qualifications are subjective and can’t be verified independently of the inflationary rates or oil prices: An annotated fact checked by Biden
To build an economy from the bottoms up to 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.
As my Dad used to say, a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It is about your dignity. It’s about respect. It’s about being able to see your kid and say, “Hello”, and mean it.
It was a gamble for Biden to brag about the jobs data because the Federal Reserve, by raising interest rates, is actively trying to slow down the job market and raise the unemployment rate as a way to combat inflation.
Biden’s claims are accurate. The Black or African American unemployment rate was 5.4% in January 2023, just above the record low of 5.3% set in August 2019. The Hispanic or Latino unemployment rate was 4.5% in January 2023, not too far from the record low of 4.0% that was set in September 2019 — though the 4.5% rate in January 2023 was a jump from the 4.1% rate in December 2022.
The “good-paying” qualification is subjective and can’t be independently verified for all of them, even though Biden’s figures are correct.
Biden claims that is correct. He did not mention that gas prices are still much higher than when he took office. And it’s important to note that presidential policy has a limited impact on gas prices, which are determined by a complex global interplay of supply and demand factors.
Why We Are Seeing Business: A Fact Check of the Biden-Biden Presidential Investment in 2022 and the Road to More Jobs for America
This is true. There were about 5.4 million business applications in 2021, the highest number since 2005 (the first year for which the federal government released this data for a full year), and about 5.1 million business applications in 2022. The number of high-propensity business applications that turned into real businesses reached a record in 2021 and was second highest in 2022, but not every application will turn into a real business.
Semiconductors are the small computer chips that are the size of a finger, and they power everything from cellphones to automobiles. These chips were invented right here in America.
We lost our edge over the last few decades and we are now producing only 10%. When chip factories overseas closed, we all saw what happened.
The prediction Biden made about future job creation is beyond the scope of a fact check. But his claim about companies having announced $300 billion in manufacturing investments during his presidency is accurate; the White House provided CNN with a list of these publicly announced investments. Sometimes companies end up investing less than they say they will.
We are coming back because the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was passed and it is the biggest investment in infrastructure since President Eisenhower began the interstate highway system.
Airports, ports, pedestrian walkways, snow-melting systems. These are infrastructure projects big and small that are sprinkled throughout the country. Read more about some individual projects from CNN’s Katie Lobosco.
Bringing Back Pride to Work: Representatives of the U.S. Senate and Speaker of the Joint Select Committee on Economic and Climate Issues
Here are some of the lawmakers who have done this in the past. Sen. Paul of Kentucky, Rep. Gosar of Arizona and others are members of congress.
The nation’s most congested freight routes carry over $2 billion worth of freight each day. It has been talked about for a long time, but we are finally going to fix it.
White House officials decided to change the title of Biden’s agenda to “build back better” as it looked like it would be dead. It worked. Maybe the correlation wasn’t exactly a straight line, but Biden and his team resuscitated a scaled-back version of the economic and climate proposals that served as the cornerstone of the proposal. Flash forward to Tuesday night, and Biden had a new frame for what that agenda created: “We’re building back pride.”
We’re also replacing poisonous lead pipes that go into 10 million homes and 400,000 schools and childcare centers, so every child in America can drink clean water.
I want to invest in places and people who haven’t been seen in awhile. Amid the economic upheaval of the past four decades, too many people have been left behind or treated like they’re invisible.
Jobs are returning because of the choices we made in the last two years. The blue- collar plan to rebuild America will help you change your life.
Biden needs to acknowledge how his economic populism will address the industries of the 2020s rather than those of the 1950s and 1960s. Today’s high-tech sector favors its employees with more education than many Americans can afford, whereas the service sector jobs are less unionized, have little long term security and aren’t always unionized.
The Inflation Reduction Act and the Affordable Care Costs of Seniors in the U.S.: The Biden Act is Moving Too Slowly
Too many of us lay in bed at night worrying about what will happen if we get cancer, or if we have a child with a sick parent.
I get it. With the Inflation Reduction Act that I signed into law, we’re taking on powerful interests to bring your health care costs down so you can sleep better at night.
Millions of people need the blood sugar-control product called “insulin” every day. It has been around for a long time. It costs drug companies just $10 a vial to make.
There are millions of people who aren’t on Medicare, including 200,000 young people withType I Diabetes who needinsulin to live.
This is a key issue for many Americans, but it faces a major lobbying effort from pharmaceutical companies. A Texas congressman and a consumer rights advocate wrote for CNN that Biden has been moving too slowly.
If there are many expensive cancer drugs, for example, that can cost up to $10,000, $12,000 and $14,000 per year, this law caps the out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors on Medicare at a maximum $2,000 per year.
What’s in Biden’s Inflation Reduction Law? And how Congress can do it if Congress wants to lift the debt limit
Biden was talking here about the massive Inflation Reduction Act, passed by Democrats, which Republicans have written off as wasteful spending. Read about what’s included in the law.
Interest has skyrocketed in plans offered to individuals under theAffordable Care Act, as most Americans still get their health insurance through their employers.
Actually, as CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein has written, it’s a great irony of climate change politics that red states often feel more pain.
Biden has promised to not raise taxes on people making less than $400,000 a year, but his efforts to get government to do more might be challenged.
We have learned a lot in recent years about how billionaires avoid paying taxes. Calls have grown to fix the tax system, but most tax laws, like the one Trump signed into law, move in the other direction, cutting taxes.
Businesses argue that raising taxes will cut down on their investment in the economy. Further raising a tax on corporate stock buybacks might encourage them to put more investment back in.
Instead of cutting the number of audits of wealthy tax payers, I signed a law that will reduce the deficit by $114 billion by cracking down on wealthy tax cheats.
Biden’s boast leaves out important context. In the three years of Biden’s presidency, the federal deficit fell by over $1 trillion but it’s difficult to tell how much credit he deserved for this reduction. Biden did not mention that the primary reason the deficit fell so substantially was that it had skyrocketed to a record high under then-President Donald Trump in 2020 because of bipartisan emergency pandemic relief spending, then fell as expected when the spending expired as planned. Independent analysts say that the effect of Biden’s actions, including his laws and orders, has added to the current and projected future deficits.
Republicans are demanding some spending cuts in return for raising the debt limit since they now have power in the House. Economists warn that defaulting on the debt could send the economy into a tailspin. This will be major drama until June or so, when the debt limit must be raised — or else.
Some of my Republican friends want to take the economy hostage unless I agree to their economic plans. It is a good idea for you to know what their plans are.
McCarthy shook his head and there were cries of no from Republicans. These are not the views of most Republicans, and McCarthy has said he won’t cut Medicare and Social Security. But he also must appease fringe GOP members if he wants to remain speaker.
Biden said, “Contact my office, I’ll give you a copy of the proposal.” Even though he does not think it is a majority of Republicans, he said that it is being proposed by some of them. Biden is referring here to a controversial proposal by Sen. Rick Scott of Florida.
The idea is that if we don’t respond then we won’t be put in a position to default on the debt. We all agree, that Social Security and Medicare are no longer on the books. All right. He told the crowd that they got unanimity.
The most popular pledge for any American president is this one. Biden kept talking. “If anyone tries to cut Social Security, which apparently no one wants to do,” he said.
We need to wait to see what Biden’s plan does. Republicans haven’t explained what specific cuts they would impose. McCarthy has said he would not cut the safety net programs or the defense budget.
I will not raise taxes on anyone making under $400,000 a year. I plan to pay for the ideas I talked about tonight by making the rich and big corporations pay their fair share.
There were multiple examples in this speech of Biden vilifying corporations and the wealthy — and a warning to them that he wants more taxes from them.
Care Costs, Pay, and Childcare: Pre-K Programs, Career Opportunities, and Education in the United States, and Implications for Children and Families
Here’s my message to all of you out there: I have your back. We’re already preventing insurance companies from sending surprise medical bills, stopping 1 million surprise bills a month.
Let’s get seniors who want to stay in their homes the care they need to do so. And give a little more breathing room to millions of family caregivers looking after their loved ones.
“Junk fees may not matter to the very wealthy, but they matter to most folks in homes like the one I grew up in,” Mr. Biden said. It adds up to hundreds of dollars a month.
For example, 30 million workers had to sign non-compete agreements when they took a job. So a cashier at a burger place can’t cross the street to take the same job at another burger place to make a couple bucks more.
Let’s also make sure working parents can afford to raise a family with sick days, paid family and medical leave, and affordable child care that will enable millions more people to go to work.
This is true. The child tax credit was the main factor in the halving of the child poverty rate. The bulk of the reduction was due to the enhancement.
When the House was controlled by Democrats, they wanted to deliver these things. To think they can do it now that they have less power sounds good in a speech, but is wishful thinking.
The Democrats did not get the backing of the Democrats that they wanted for a new universal pre-K program.
Studies show that children who go to pre-school are nearly 50% more likely to finish high school and go on to earn a 2- or 4-year degree, no matter their background.
Let’s finish the job, connect students to career opportunities starting in high school and provide two years of community college, some of the best career training in America, in addition to being a pathway to a four-year degree.
A Brief History of the COVID-19 Covid-19 Crisis: Biden, Manchin, Sinema, Black Americans, and Workforce Fraud
As with universal pre-K, Democrats — failing to secure support from Republicans and their full party — failed to enact a universal community college program. The West Virginia Democrat, who faces reelection in 2024, was a big topic of the speech as Biden did not mention him. It was Manchin, along with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who refused to go along with party leaders and pass a more ambitious agenda last year. Manchin did not wish to change the Senate’s filibuster.
And folks, in the midst of the COVID crisis when schools were closed, let’s also recognize how far we’ve come in the fight against the pandemic itself.
The total documented Covid-19 death toll in the US is more than 1.1 million. It was still among the top causes of death in the US in 2022, per early data, and the life expectancy has fallen by nearly 2.5 years since 2020, according to a recent report by CNN’s Deidre McPhillips.
And as we emerge from this crisis stronger, I’m also doubling down on prosecuting criminals who stole relief money meant to keep workers and small businesses afloat during the pandemic.
Now, let’s triple our anti-fraud strike forces going after these criminals, double the statute of limitations on these crimes, and crack down on identity fraud by criminal syndicates stealing billions of dollars from the American people.
The Republicans promised to investigate this type of fraud. As CNN’s Tami Luhby recently reported, pandemic jobless benefits fraud likely tops $60 billion.
This was an interesting transition from fears of violent crime, which Republicans have seized on, to frustration with police, which particularly affects Black Americans.
The dead boy whose father was killed: A touching moment in the fight for gun laws and policing in the wake of the recent Supreme Court ruling
The parents of the dead boy are with us tonight. There are no words to describe what it is like to lose a child.
The parents of Tyre Nichols received an extended standing ovation during the address, marking an emotional moment in the push for police reform. Here, RowVaughn and Rodney Wells, who came as first lady Jill Biden’s guests, stood up and received bipartisan applause.
This was a moving moment in the speech, with Nichols’ mother looking on — and lawmakers under pressure to revive an attempt at new national policing standards.
I signed an order banning choke holds and prohibiting no-knock warrants for federal officers after receiving support from the families of victims, civil rights groups, and law enforcement.
It also includes things like red flag laws keeping guns from being used by people who are a danger to themselves and others, and background checks for young people, which the majority of gun owners support.
CNN’s Emma Tucker has a look at all gun control laws passed in 2022, including the federal legislation. However, a recent Supreme Court ruling has called into question the foundation of many state gun laws. The fight over gun laws is far from over.
He grabbed the semi-automatic pistol away from the man who had already killed 11 people at another dance studio.
Immigration Reform, Prosperity and Freedom: What Do We Need to Do? – The United Way aims to keep the Dreamers at the border
Bipartisan efforts to pass a comprehensive immigration law failed during the Bush and Obama administrations. Republicans and Democrats will act on this issue, although they would not go in the same direction.
We now have a record number of personnel working to secure the border, arresting 8,000 human smugglers and seizing over 23,000 pounds of fentanyl in just the last several months.
If you don’t pass immigration reform, I will provide the equipment and officers to secure the border. And a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, those on temporary status, farm workers, and essential workers.
This sounded like the kind of thing that could happen — pairing a largely Republican priority on more border funding with a largely Democratic priority to help Dreamers (undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children).
The Vice President and I are doing everything we can to protect access to reproductive health care and safeguard patient privacy. There are more than a dozen states with extreme abortion prohibitions.
It is not very likely that the Senate would pass a national abortion ban with a 60-vote supermajority and there are multiple Republicans who support some version of abortion rights.
It matters to us that such a defense will keep the peace and prevent open season for would be attackers to threaten our security and prosperity. One year later, we know the answer.
The US-China War and Russia’s Implications for the United States and the Security Council: An Annotated Fact Checked President-Bensotu
There is clearly majority support to continue supporting Ukraine with US firepower, but there are also powerful skeptics in the new GOP majority. McCarthy has promised there will be no more “blank checks” for Ukraine.
Both the US and China are making their militaries to protect against one another. The downing of a Chinese spy balloon was just a symptom of that larger rivalry, which ranges from trade to military power.
I will make no apologies that we are investing to make America strong. China is intent on dominating, and investing in American innovation will help define the future.
There is a growing domestic political divide about how to stand up to China. Many Republicans say that Biden isn’t doing enough.
Biden also put an ad-lib here. “Name me a world leader who’d change places with (Chinese President) Xi Jinping,” he said. I need to know who named me one. I need to know the name of one.
It is interesting that all of the foreign policy he mentioned was focused on this. He did not mention the recent devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
The world must meet the challenges of climate, global health, food security, terrorism, and territorial aggression.
Biden was against economic independence but wanted the US to be a leader in trade and democracy.
There are bridges in the Pacific and the Atlantic. People who bet against America are learning how wrong they are.
Bipartisan compromise on fentanyl and mental health: Two examples of young people being killed in Memphis, Memphis, and other tragedies
There were two different stories of young people being killed in this speech. In Memphis there was a fatal police encounter with Nichols and another person with Fentanyl.
There is definitely room for bipartisan agreement on fentanyl. But it was interesting to hear Biden talk about harsher penalties when in recent years there has been a move toward more treatment for drug abusers.
Second, we need to do more to help our children with their mental health. When millions of young people are struggling with bullying, violence, trauma, we owe them greater access to mental health care at school.
Legislation is needed to prohibit Big Tech from collecting personal data on kids and teenagers online, banning targeted ads to children, and imposing stricter limits on their personal data.
Another area for bipartisan compromise? Republicans want to crack down on Big Tech, but they want to make sure that there is no bias against conservatives.
Third, let’s do more to keep our nation’s one truly sacred obligation: to equip those we send into harm’s way and care for them and their families when they come home.
The VA is doing everything it can to help veterans find the help that they need, including expanding mental health screenings and a program to help vets understand what they are going through.
The American Dream: Defending Democracy, Protecting Democracy, and Protecting the Children of AIDS. Tonight, My fellow Americans, I meet the Speaker of the House of Representatives
Our goal is to cut the death rate from cancer by 50% over the next 25 years. Turn more cancers from death sentences into treatable diseases. And provide more support for patients and families.
For the lives we can save and the lives we have lost, let this be a truly American moment that will show the world that we can do big things.
The US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, is arguably the most successful US foreign policy in decades. It expires at the end of this year, although there will certainly be a push to renew it. It is proof that the Republicans and Democrats can work together. Biden notably wants that to be the model for his cancer effort.
The home of the then- Speaker of the House of Representatives was the site of political violence just a few months ago. Using the very same language that insurrectionists who stalked these halls chanted on January 6th.
We must all speak out. There is no place for all this political violence in America. In America we should not suppress the fundamental right to vote. We honor the results of the elections and don’t do anything to undermine them. Trust in our institutions of democracy must be restored by restoring the rule of the law.
It is notable that Republicans lost in many of the marquee races featuring election-denying candidates last November. It will be a test of US democracy to see if faith in elections, eroded in recent years, begins to repair.
Biden made the effort to protect democracy sound like a war here. Generations being called on to protect democracy, is similar to the phrase used in previous wars.
Tonight, my fellow Americans, we meet. One of those moments, when only a few generations have the chance, where the decisions we make now will decide the course of the world for decades to come.
We’re not bystanders to history. We are not powerless before the forces that confront us. It is within our power, of We the People. We are facing the test of our time and the time for choosing is at hand.
Creating a Nation in the Image of God: The Problems of the Working Class in Democrat Politics with White Voters. Insights from Mr. Biden
Everyone is created equal in the image of God. A nation that has stood the test of time. A country in a new age of possibilities.
Because the soul of this nation is strong, because the backbone of this nation is strong, because the people of this nation are strong, the State of the Union is strong.
Democratic problems with the working class are not limited to white voters. Mr. Biden is appealing to people who are sensitive to high prices, because some blue-collar voters have migrated to the Republicans.
Democrats want white voters who are not college-educated to focus on economic interests rather than social policy, because it will convince them to vote for the party.
He mentioned his efforts to lower insulin costs in addition to the pocketbook issues that most consumers are familiar with. He identified “exorbitant” bank overdraft charges; credit card late fees; “resort fees” charged by hotels; change-of-service fees by cable and internet providers; and airline “surcharges.”
The Times and Democracy: Myth America: Historians take on the Biggest lies and legends about our past, and the State of the Union address by Joe Biden
The Times reporters cover politics. Our journalists are independent observers. Times staff members are not allowed to campaign for candidates or support political causes. This also includes giving money to, or raising money for any political candidate or election cause, and marches or rallies in support of a movement.
The Democrats are also taking that approach. On his first full day in office, Josh Shapiro signed an executive order that will eliminate the requirement of a four-year degree for thousands of state jobs.
Editor’s Note: Julian Zelizer, a CNN political analyst, is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. The New York Times had a good review of his book, “Myth America: Historians take on the Biggest lies and legends about our past.” Follow him on Twitter @julianzelizer. The views expressed in this commentary are his own. There is more opinion on CNN.
The State of the Union address by President Joe Biden gave Democrats good reason to cheer. The president embraced the type of populism that Democrats have traditionally championed and provided a welcome antidote to the cultural red meat the GOP typically throws at working and middle class America as a way to back out of their supply-side economic agenda.
On Tuesday, Biden spoke about his vision for building an economy from the bottom up and the middle out, while empathizing with workers who are struggling to make ends meet.
The Great, the Bad and the Good: The Bidens of Economic Popullism and the Hard Sell Zelizer in Truman’s 1948 Re-election
His Democratic successors did a good job with politics. In 1948, President Harry Truman was reelected despite a poor showing in the polls, as part of Roosevelt’s Fair Deal.
President Lyndon Johnson offered a full menu of economic support to working Americans, including Medicare and federal spending on education, as part of his Great Society. His landslide victory against the Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona in 1964 revolved around eviscerating his opponent’s opposition to core programs like Social Security that working families counted on. Historian Michael Kazin documented how the Democratic Party’s appeal has been its attempt to achieve a kind of moral capitalism.
Biden has a tough road ahead as times have changed. While the president offered a robust vision of how federal investment has and could create jobs in key sectors such as the semi-conductor industry and infrastructure, the kinds of manufacturing jobs that were at the heart of federal investment between the 1930s and 1960s have vastly diminished and are not likely to return.
Biden needs to devote as much energy to combating this distrust as he does to the promise of more robust government intervention. The good news for the president is that voters often express very positive views of specific public policies when the conversation shifts away from more abstract conversations of trust in the government.
He can combat distrustful sentiment if he can talk about concrete programs, such as raising the possibility of Republicans cutting Social Security and Medicare spending and frequently mentioning legislation that funds local building projects or subsidizes clean vehicles. Biden has traveled to Florida to convince voters that he supports Social Security and Medicare, setting a contrast to Sen. Rick Scott of Florida. Scott doubled down on his plan to sunset federal programs every five years during an appearance on CNN Thursday, denying any desire to cut Social Security and Medicare.
How to Win Over Swing Voters: The Case for a Reconciliation of Party Politics, Culture War, Chaos, and Political Aspects
It is a difficult challenge to win over swing voters, especially those who might be turned away by the GOP’s culture war agenda and chaos, although in the past presidential elections it can be done. The recent midterms also showed that it is possible for voters to break with expected patterns.