President Biden Delivers 99th State of the Union Address, Focusing on Economy, Healthcare, and China
President Joe Biden is set to deliver his State of the Union address to Congress and the nation on Tuesday evening. It will be the 99th such speech since George Washington’s first in 1790 and Biden’s second in-person address since taking office. During the speech, Biden is expected to reflect on the accomplishments of the last two years and lay out his agenda for the upcoming year as he gears up for a potential re-election bid.
The White House has announced who will be joining First Lady Jill Biden in the viewing box, and the guest list serves as a roadmap to Biden’s initiatives and priorities thus far. Biden’s speech is expected to address a range of pressing issues, such as inflation, Covid-19, mass shootings, police reform, infrastructure, and the war in Ukraine. After the address, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will deliver the Republican response.
Biden’s speech comes at a time of great political division in the United States. Republicans won back the House in the last election, and are eager to investigate Biden’s handling of classified documents, his family’s business dealings, and the administration’s Covid-19 and immigration policies. Rep. George Santos, an embattled New York Republican, will bring Michael Weinstock, a former volunteer firefighter who responded to Ground Zero on 9/11, as his guest.
Biden will likely call for a quadrupling of the 1% tax on stock buybacks that took effect in January, as well as a new minimum tax on billionaires. He is also expected to address his administration’s efforts to make healthcare more affordable and push back against Republican obstructionists.
The president is also likely to discuss the country’s relationship with China. Last week, a Chinese surveillance balloon flew into US airspace, prompting a diplomatic backlash from China and accusations of weakness from Republicans. Biden is expected to use this incident to emphasize the importance of competing with Beijing.
Finally, Biden will highlight the economic successes of the last two years, such as the lowest unemployment rate since 1969 and inflation that is easing. He will also emphasize the struggles of struggling Americans and the need to remain vigilant against potential threats. Despite the divisions in Congress, Biden will be hoping for some degree of bipartisanship to help move his agenda forward.
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