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President Biden Gives His First State of the Union Speech

The president discussed Ukraine, the economy, and other key issues.

By:  |  March 2, 2022  |    689 Words
GettyImages-1238865534 Joe Biden

Joe Biden gives SOTU with VP Kamala Harris (left) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (right) (Photo by Saul Loeb – Pool/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden gave his first State of the Union address on March 1, 2022. The annual speech is a chance for the president to tell Congress and the American people how things are going in the country and what he wants to do next. So, what did Biden discuss?

Russia and Ukraine

Biden came out of the gate with stern words for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russia recently invaded its neighbor, Ukraine. Biden said Putin had started the attack on Ukraine “thinking he could make it bend to his menacing ways, but he badly miscalculated.” Instead, “he met with a wall of strength he never … imagined. He met the Ukrainian people.”

President Biden continued, saying the U.S. and Europe stand with the Ukrainians:

“He thought he could divide us at home, in this chamber, in this nation. He thought he could divide us in Europe as well. But Putin was wrong. We are ready. We are united and that’s what we did, we stayed united.”

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(Photo by Sarahbeth Maney-Pool/Getty Images)

Biden outlined that together with allies, the U.S. has put “powerful economic sanctions” in place to punish Russia.

The Economy

The president then moved on to talk about America’s economy.

Biden claimed the nation has “created over 6.5 million new jobs just last year. More jobs created in one year than ever before in the history of the United States of America.” Many of these jobs have come as the COVID lockdowns end, causing people to return to the workplace. Another result of the pandemic has been a rise in the prices of common household items. This increase in the cost of things is called inflation. Biden stated that “my top priority is getting prices under control.”

Any Other Business?

The president talked about other subjects that affect Americans.

Police: Biden proposed more funding and training for the nation’s police forces.

Immigration: With thousands of people crossing into the U.S. illegally at the southern border, the situation has become hard to manage. “We need to secure the border and fix the immigration system,” Biden announced. He said he wants to pass new laws on the issue.

COVID: Biden encouraged Americans to get the coronavirus vaccine. “We’ll never give up on vaccinating more Americans,” he said. He also called for an end to shutdowns of schools and businesses.

Finally, the president wrapped up his speech with a “Unity Agenda for the Nation,” which includes things “we can do together.” His plan contains points such as:

  • Improve mental health, especially among children.
  • Support veterans.
  • End cancer. Biden asked Congress to fund health research to “drive breakthroughs” in cancer and other diseases.
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(Photo Courtesy of the Committee on Arrangements for the 2020 Republican National Committee via Getty Images)

Republican Rebuttal

After the State of the Union, the president’s opponents normally give their own televised speech in response. It’s their chance to present a different point of view. Since President Biden is in the Democratic Party, the rebuttal speech was given by a Republican: Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds.

Reynolds criticized Democrats for their reaction to the COVID pandemic, saying they were too harsh with their rules. She also blamed Biden’s policies for rising prices, adding that many families are suffering from the high cost of food and other essential items.

The governor criticized Biden over how he has handled international issues, saying the president has shown weakness on the world stage.

Democrat Rebuttal

In an unusual move, members of the president’s own party also chose to give a rebuttal. In fact, not just one but two groups within the Democratic Party responded to Biden’s speech. The rebuttals were given by Michigan Representative Rashida Tlaib and Texas Representative Colin Allred.

Some have suggested these unusual replies show the president’s party is not united behind him. Both Democrats praised some of Biden’s ideas but said he has not gone far enough to change the country.

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