What did Biden address in his State of the Union speech? Here is a bulleted recap of some of the major moments from his address:
Infrastructure: Mentioned his plans for creating more jobs, modernizing highways and bridges, as well as his plans to fund technology efforts/innovation and expand the electric car industry.
National Economy: Touted the 2021 economic growth (rebound from the pandemic, 5.5% growth), regarded this surge as "unprecedented."
Ukraine: Began by pledging his support for Ukraine, warned Putin and Russia that their economy is going to suffer badly, as the Ruble has already decreased in worth/value by 30%. Recognized the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, reiterated the amount of support worldwide for Ukraine, including Switzerland, a country notorious to opt out of helping other countries during times of conflict.
Policing: In a bit of a surprise, Biden stated that his administration wants to fund police rather than defund them; other prominent democrats within the past year or two have mentioned that local jurisdictions and municipalities should defund police, so I am curious how they will respond to Biden's proclamation.
Healthcare: Seeks to lower the cost of prescription drugs, namely insulin (cap at $35); he recognized a family that has type 1 diabetes and spoke about the financial hardships that they have had to face. Believes that a governmental regulation is necessary for achieving this goal. Fund advanced research project agencies to help fight cancer.
COVID-19 Vaccinations: Explained how the U.S. has sent thousands of vaccines throughout the world in order to help the world overcome the lasting effects of the global pandemic. Believes we can do better than "living with it," and instead, "get back to normal." Showed sympathy for those who have lost a loved one to the virus.
Gun Reform: Urged Congress to pass universal background checks in order to protect Americans, refuted the notion that background checks would "infringe upon the right to bear arms."
Supreme Court: Thanked Justice Stephen Breyer for his years of service and then introduced his nominee for the Court, Ketanji Brown Jackson, a Harvard graduate and a judge on the U.S Appeals Court.
Immigration: Wants to provide a path to citizenship for Dreamers and make reforms to immigration.
Taxes: Wants to tax minimum large corporations a minimum of 15% of their profits annually. He reiterated that there will be no tax increase for those making less than $400,000 a year (I believe he meant federally).
Pro choice, pro LGBTQ: Recently, there have been congressional efforts and laws in certain states to make abortions illegal and to encourage schools to tell parents if their kid may be gay; Biden expressed his concern relating to these respective issues, telling the Supreme Court to uphold Roe v. Wade, and to LGBTQ individuals that“I’ll always have your back as President; be yourself so you can reach your G-d given potential.”
Military/Veteran Benefits: Talked about the military and how their exposure to burn pits during times of service may lead to future health issues such as cancer; revealed that Beau Biden, his eldest son who served in the military, may have developed brain cancer as a result of his service.
Analysis/Thoughts: Biden definitely attempted to remain optimistic throughout the course of his speech, telling Americans not to worry about national security issues and to begin resuming normal activities in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. He repeatedly discussed the economic growth, namely from 2020 to 2021. At times, there seemed to be bipartisan support, with House of Representatives members standing and applauding for the President. However, he did make a lot of bold promises, and did not exactly address address how some of his initiatives would be paid for; after all, supplying the nation with affordable health care, ample jobs, improved roadways, affordable gas prices, and affordable higher educational opportunities is fiscally challenging.
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