President Joe Biden began by his State of the Union speech by addressing the “First Lady and Second Gentleman”.
He addressed the chief justice jokingly asking for a “court order” lamenting that his wife was attending a sporting event tomorrow/next week when he had to “stay home”
“Speaker I don’t wanna ruin your reputation but I look forward to working with you” he said to new speaker of house Kevin McCarthy
The president congratulated the new leader of the house democrats as “the first African American minority in history” Hakeem Jeffries, adding , “He won this by the fact I campaigned for him”.
The president boasted of creating 12 million jobs saying this was, “more jobs created in two years than any president had created in four years”.
He said that two years ago “Covid had shut down our businesses” and “robbed” schools of so much
“Today Covid no longer controls our lives,” he said adding that, “two years ago democracy faced its greatest threat since the civil war and today though bruised our democracy remains unbowed and unbroken”.
He said that time and again both parties “came together” to “defend a stronger and safer Europe”
He congratulated the parties came together to pass “the most significant law ever” helping victims exposed to “toxic bird pits”.
He continued that in his view it was the job of the government to rebuild the middle class who he described as the “backbone” of the county.
“For decades the middle class has been hollowed out for more than in not no one administration but over a long time”, he said.
Biden said he ran for president to “fundamentally change things” and to “make sure” that the “economy works for everyone”.
Biden continued that the unemployment rate of 3.4% was a “50 year low” and a “near record” unemployment rate for “black and Hispanic workers”.
He said that 800,000 manufacturing jobs had been created asking where it was written that “America can’t lead the world in manufacturing jobs”.
He said that the US was now “exporting American products and creating American jobs” after decades of not doing so.
He went on to blame the rising rate of inflation on the “distribution to supply chains” he says were cashed by Covid and “Putin’s unfair and brutal war in Ukraine” says this has “disrupted energy supplies and food supplies blocking all that grain in Ukraine”
He said companies had announced $300 billion in investment in the United States “over the next few years”, calling the location of a new Intel plant “literally a field of dreams”.
He vowed that thousands of jobs paying $130,000 a year would be created, many of which he said would not “require a college degree”.
Biden said that in order to support the best economy in the world the US requires “the best infrastructure in the world”
“Now we’re coming back” he said, crediting the passing of the bipartisan infrastructure law saying this was “the largest investment in infrastructure since president Eisenhower’s interstate highway system”.
He said 20,000 projects had been sponsored that would put thousands to work on highways, bridges, railways, tunnels, airports etc. saying, “We’re just getting started”.
“We’re making sure that every community in America has access to affordable high speed internet”he said lamenting that no parent in America should have to drive by a “McDonalds’ parking lot” to help their kids do homework claiming that “many thousands” of people were doing “across the country”.
He spoke about the cost of prescription medication saying that insulin had been around for 100 years and that the “guy who invented it didn’t even patent it because he wanted it to be available for everyone”.
In spite of this he claimed that it costs drug companies roughly $10 a vial “to make that insulin” but that “big pharma” has been “unfairly charging people” $400 ~ $500 a month “making record profits” – “Not any more” he said to resounding applause.
He said the cost of insulin was now $35 a month for “seniors on Medicaid”.
“Big pharma is still going to do very well, I promise you all” he said.
He called for the negotiation of drug costs saying that bringing down the cost of prescription drugs cuts the federal deficit by “100s of billions of dollars”, adding that he would “veto” any attempt to raise the cost of prescription drugs.
He said that in the last two years his administration had cut the tax deficit by 1.7 trillion dollars adding that no president had added to the national deficit more than his predecessor.
To boos and heckling from the crowd he blamed the Trump administration for racking up “nearly 25%” of the United States’s federal debt saying it had taken 200 years to accumulate the total sum.
In response to the crowd’s reaction he said, “They’re the facts, check it out”.
He said some republicans wished to let the wealthy avoid paying taxes and wanted Medicare and social security “sunset”, which drew shouts and challenges from the republican representatives present.
In response to challengers from the crowd he said he was “politely” not naming those he claims are behind the moves.
The president’s comments left many in the crowded seemingly dumbfounded and shouts of “liar” could be heard.
He then received a broad standing ovation after saying that social security and Medicare were not open for discussion adding “Let’s stand up for seniors,”.
He said although covid was not gone deaths were down by 90% adding that “millions of lives had been saved” and that the “country had been opened back up”.
“More than a million Americans lost their lives to covid,” he said, adding that many were constantly reminded of those they had lost.
He noted a “spike in crime in 2020” saying “we have an obligation” to ensure that “all people are safe”.
He welcomed the parents of Tyre Nichols, a young African American man who was killed at the hands of 5 African American police officers.
He claimed that as a white person he “never had to have the talk” with his children that “brown and black” parents do.
“I never had to tell them that if a police officer pulls you over, turn on your interior lights right away, don’t reach for your license, keep your hands on the steering wheel”. he said adding, “Imagine having to worry about that every single time”.
He said that police officers were “asked too much of” and that the majority of them were good people who “risk their lives every time they put that shield on”, but that they should be “held to higher standards”.
He added that “police officers who violate the public trust must be held responsible”.
He called for the immediate banning of “assault weapons” citing the recent shooting at a dance hall in California.
The president called for congress to “restore the right” that was “taken away” in Roe -v- Wade saying the vice president and he were “doing everything” to protect access to ‘reproductive healthcare’.
He vowed to veto any national ban on abortion should one be passed by congress.
He also called for a bipartisan “equality act” to ensure lgbt people can “live with dignity”.
He said Putin’s “murderous” invasion of Ukraine was a test for ‘America and the world’ on whether the “most basic principals” would be defended.
He added that it was a challenge to “stand for democracy” and that one year in from the invasion it was proven that America had “stood against Putin’s aggression”.
Seeming to forget her name, he invited the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States, to stand “so we can all take a look at ye”, vowing that the US would stand by Ukraine “as long as it takes”.
He spoke of the importance of securing the US’s southern border with Mexico saying that tens of thousands of human traffickers had been intercepted and tons of narcotics seized.
Biden said that 70,000 Americans die from fentanyl use annually to which members of the crowd could be heard shouting “it’s your fault”.
He called for more drug detection machines at the border and for companies like FedEx to “inspect more packages”.
Biden also called for job training and placement for veterans and their spouses “as they return to civilian life” adding that nobody, especially someone who served the country, “should be homeless in America.”
He said that 17 veterans a day were currently dying by suicide saying this was “more than all the people killed in the wars”.
Biden claimed that the man who invaded the home of speaker Nancy Pelosi had ‘used the same language’ as the protesters he accused of invading congress on January 6th 2020 calling the incident “a brutal attack” that “never should have happened”.
The president called for democracy not to be a “partisan issue” saying it was “an American issue”.