On Tuesday, Joe Biden gave the second State of the Union Address of his presidency where he touted the few accomplishments of his administration and outlined his future goals while in office. Biden surprisingly pushed many Republican-style policies on infrastructure, manufacturing, and jobs. “My economic plan is about investing in places and people that have been forgotten. Amid the economic upheaval of the past four decades, too many people have been left behind or treated like they’re invisible,” he stated.
But Biden did make sure to fire some shots across the aisle when he “proposed an assault weapons ban, the codification of abortion rights, a new tax on billionaires and labor union protections — none of which has any realistic chance of passage while the GOP holds the House majority.” Here are Biden’s biggest talking points from the address:
Pelosi Is The Greatest Speaker Ever
In a moment that must have made millions of Americans either laugh out loud or scream at the TV Biden stated, “I want to give special recognition to someone who I think will be considered the greatest speaker in the history of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.” We were thankfully spared from having to see Pelosi behind Biden the entire night but this was quite the way to kick things off. Pelosi stepped down from Democratic leadership after the midterm elections, replaced by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.
Working Class and Manufacturing Jobs
Biden touted his administration’s accomplishments in the jobs sector, especially that of the working class. “For decades, the middle class was hollowed out,” he said. “Too many good-paying manufacturing jobs moved overseas. Factories at home closed down. Once-thriving cities and towns that many of you represent became shadows of what they used to be.” Biden said he ran for president “to make sure the economy works for everyone.”
“American-made lumber, glass, drywall, fiber optic cables,” he said. “And on my watch, American roads, American bridges, and American highways will be made with American products.”
He also announced, “new standards to require all construction materials used in federal infrastructure projects to be made in America.”
The Climate Crisis
Biden said “the climate crisis doesn’t care if you’re in a red or blue state” and called it “an existential threat” At one point he said that America is going to need oil for at least 10 years which brought laughs from Republicans who know it will be far more than that. He later went off-script, saying, “We’re still going to need oil and gas for a while.”
Biden once again said he wants to ensure that wealthy Americans and big businesses pay their “fair share” of taxes. He said that “no billionaire should pay a lower tax rate than a school teacher or a firefighter.” Now because of the law that he signed, “billion-dollar companies have to pay a minimum of 15%.” Biden stated that in 2020, “50 of the largest corporations in the U.S. made $40 billion in profits and paid zero in federal income taxes.”
Gun and Police Reform
“When police officers or departments violate the public trust, they must be held accountable,” said Biden. He also pointed out his executive order, the George Floyd Act, which restricts chokeholds and restricted no-knock warrants.
Biden then pivoted to gun reform and said that congress was right to respond to the Uvalde massacre with new legislation. “Thank god we did. Passing the most sweeping gun safety law in three decades,” he said. “Ban assault weapons once and for all!” he later demanded.
Biden called on lawmakers to “restore” abortion rights after the Supreme Court last year overturned Roe v. Wade.
“The vice president and I are doing everything to protect access to reproductive health care and safeguard patient safety,” Biden said, noting that states across the country have implemented abortion bans and restrictions.
“Make no mistake about it. If Congress passes a national ban, I will veto it,” the president vowed.
“We now have a record number of personnel working to secure the border, arresting 8,000 human smugglers and seizing over 23,000 pounds of fentanyl in just the last several months,” he said. Biden urged Congress to pass his plan to provide border supplies and officers to keep the nation secure. He also recognized the trafficking of fentanyl as a major crisis and urged that the government start a major campaign to stop the production. “It’s your fault!” several Republicans shouted.