Biden delivers second State of the Union


Courtesy/ Wikimedia Commons

Joe Biden addressed Congress to give his report on the current state of the nation

Patrick McGann, News Editor

President Joe Biden addressed Congress to deliver his second State of the Union address on Capitol Hill. The highly anticipated speech covered an array of topics, including the national debt, pharmaceutical prices, abortion, and foreign relations with China. With Biden’s political future unknown, he spoke in front of 2024 hopeful Kamala Harris and turmoil-inciting Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy. 

Biden began his address by highlighting his economic accomplishments, which he cites to be a record low unemployment rate and a job creation rate higher than any president in modern American history. He claimed a 3.4 percent unemployment rate. 

“We have created more jobs in two years than any president has in an entire term,” Biden said to an animated left side of the House chamber. He ended his opening segment on a note of bipartisanship, saying, “We do not think anything is beyond our capacity. Everything is a possibility. We’re often told Democrats and Republicans cannot work together. But over the past two years, we have proven codecs and naysayers wrong.”

Biden then fired off a list of accomplishments his administration has accomplished over the last year. These accomplishments include lowering the cost of over-the-counter drugs, codifying LGBTQ marriage across all states, creating strong relationships with foreign countries, lowering record-high gas prices, and most importantly, passing major legislation such as the bipartisan Infrastructure Act, arguably the biggest accomplishment of the Biden presidency. 

Throughout his speech, President Biden received unwavering applause from the left side of the chamber and eerie silence, mixed in with some heckles, from the right side. At one point. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) was caught yelling “Liar” at the Commander-in Chief when Biden said certain Republicans were looking to completely eliminate certain programs like Social Security and Medicare. Green’s unprovoked outburst caused groans amongst both sides of the aisle and a visible shush from Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). Greene was one of the Republican members of the Freedom Caucus who made it difficult for McCarthy to win the speakership. 

Biden also recognized a few special guests who were invited to be present for the annual speech. He recognized the parents of Tyre Nichols during his recognition of police brutality and the strained relationship between African Americans and law enforcement. Paul Pelosi was present, after his home intruder attack right before the 2022 midterm elections. U2 star Bono was mentioned during Biden’s brief mentioning of cancer research advancements, a topic that hits home for the president. Brandon Tsay, Monterey Park shooting survivor, was also recognized by Biden for his brave action during the mass shooting in California. Each guest received a standing ovation from both Republicans and Democrats. 

Biden concluded his speech by speaking on the power and strength of American democracy. “It is within our power, of we the people. We are facing the test of our time. We must be the nation we have always been at our best, optimistic, hopeful, forward-looking. A nation that embraces light over dark, hope over fear, unity over division. Stability over chaos. We must see each other not as enemies, but as fellow Americans,” Biden said with an emphasis he did not have up until this point in the speech. “So I have come to fulfill my constitutional obligation to report on the state of the union. And here is where I am at in my report. Because the soul of this nation is strong, because the backbone of this nation is strong, because the people of this nation,” Biden said to a standing ovation before walking away from the podium. 

With Biden’s political future unknown, he addressed an uneasy nation regarding his accomplishments as president. The majority of Americans do now want him, or Vice President Kamala Harris, to run for president in 2024, but Biden, who will then be 82, has not made a formal announcement on his intentions.