President Joe Biden delivered his first State of the Union Address on Tuesday, March 1 to discuss Ukraine, the economy, the infrastructure plan and more.
Biden opened his speech in support of Ukraine while calling out Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. He announced that the Ukrainian Ambassador of the United States, Oksana Markarova, was in attendance as a guest of first lady Jill Biden and she received a standing ovation from both parties.
“Freedom will always triumph over tyranny,” Biden said. “Six days ago (Putin) sought to shake the very foundations of the free world, thinking he could make it bend to his menacing ways, but he badly miscalculated. He thought he could roll into Ukraine and the world would roll over instead he met with a wall of strength he never anticipated or imagined. He met Ukrainian people.”
Biden also announced that he will be closing all American airspace to Russian airlines and putting economic sanctions on Russia.
“Tonight I say to the Russian Oligarchs and corrupt leaders who have bilked billions of dollars off this violent regime, no more,” Biden continued. “I mean it. The United States Department of Justice is assembling a dedicated task force to go after the crimes of the Russian Oligarchs. We are joining with European allies to find and seize their yachts, their luxury apartments, their private jets. We’re coming for your ill-begotten gains. And tonight, I’m announcing that we will join our allies in closing off American airspace to all Russian flights, further isolating Russia and adding additional squeeze on their economy. He has no idea what’s coming.”
Next Biden started to discuss inflation and his plan to help costs go down for American families. He highlighted the American Rescue Plan while also criticizing the previous administration’s economic plan leading to mixed reactions from Congress.
“Our economy grew at a rate of 5.7% last year, the strongest growth in nearly 40 years, the first step in bringing fundamental change to our economy that hasn’t worked for the working people of this nation for too long,” Biden said. “…Invest in America. Educate Americans. Grow the workforce. Build the economy from the bottom up and the middle out, not from the top down because we know when the middle class grows, the poor have a way up and the wealthy do very well.”
Biden also talked about infrastructure in America, highlighting the Infrastructure Law that congress passed and Biden signed into law last November where he thanked both parties in their efforts to get that bill passed.
He further announced that they will start fixing 65,000 miles of highway and 1,500 bridges.
“When we use taxpayer dollars to rebuild America, we are going to do it by buying American: buy American products, support American jobs,” Biden said.
Biden then laid out his plan to fight inflation saying his plan includes cutting the cost of prescription drugs, energy costs, and child care while also stating that nobody earning less than $400,000 a year will pay more money in taxes, saying that big companies and the wealthy need to start paying their fair share.
Biden also briefly mentioned investing in Community Colleges.
“Let’s increase Pell Grants and increase our historic support of HBCUs, and invest in what Jill, our first lady who teaches full-time, calls America’s best-kept secret: community colleges,” Biden said.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued new mask guidelines which loosen the mask guidelines previously stated which Biden mentioned and said, “Thanks to the progress we have made this past year, COVID-19 need no longer control our lives.”
Following the update, Biden spoke on the common sense steps America needs to take regarding the pandemic including being protected by vaccines and treatment, preparing for new variants, ending the shutdown of schools and businesses, and continuing to vaccinate the world.
Biden then mentioned his nomination for the Supreme Court, Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.
“A former top litigator in private practice,” Biden explained. “A former federal public defender. And from a family of public school educators and police officers. She’s a consensus builder. Since she’s been nominated, she’s received a broad range of support including the Fraternal Order of Police to former judges appointed by Democrats and Republicans.”
He also discussed immigration in which he stated, “if we are to advance liberty and justice, we need to secure the border and fix the immigration system.” This sparked a response from GOP lawmakers, shouting, “Build the wall.”
He also mentioned women’s rights and LGBTQ+ rights, stating that women should always have the right to choose as well as urging Congress to pass the Equality Act which would be a monumental step for LGBTQ+ rights.
Biden then announced his Unity Agenda which included beating the opioid epidemic, providing better mental health care, supporting veterans, and ending cancer as we know it.
“The state of the union is strong because you, the American people, are strong,” Biden said in his closing remarks. “We are stronger today then we were a year ago and we will be stronger a year from now than we are today. This is our moment to meet and overcome the challenges of our time and we will as one people, one America, the United States of America.”
To watch and read the full 2022 State of the Union, visit here.