World

State of the Union live: Biden denounces ‘menacing’ Putin and vows to tackle inflation and Covid – as it happened | US news








State of the Union summary

That’s it from us tonight. Here’s how the night unfolded as Joe Biden delivered his first State of the Union address:

  • Biden sharply condemned Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, celebrating America’s “unwavering resolve that freedom will always triumph over tyranny”. “Six days ago, Russia’s Vladimir 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,” Biden said at the start of his hour-long speech. “He thought he could roll into Ukraine, and the world would roll over. Instead, he met a wall of strength he never anticipated or imagined: he met the Ukrainian people.” The Ukrainian ambassador to the US, Oksana Markarova, attended the speech as Jill Biden’s guest and received a standing ovation.
  • Biden confirmed that the US will ban Russian planes from its airspace, following the example of the EU and Canada. “He has no idea what’s coming,” Biden said of Putin. The US president also delivered a strong rebuke to Russian oligarchs, saying the West is “coming for your ill-begotten gains”.
  • Biden outlined his strategy for fighting inflation, which has reached a 40-year high in the US. The president said the US needs to invest in American supply chains to both lower prices and provide good-paying jobs for many workers. “I think I have a better idea to fight inflation: lower costs, not your wages,” Biden said. “Instead of relying on foreign supply chains, let’s make it in America.”
  • Biden said the US has reached “a new moment” in its fight against coronavirus, as its number of cases decreases after the country passed the peak of its Omicron surge. “Tonight I can say we’re moving forward safely back to more normal routines,” Biden said. He also encouraged offices to reopen, saying, “It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again.”
  • In the Republican response to Biden’s speech, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds attacked Democrats over rising prices and their pandemic-related policies. “The president and Democrats in Congress have spent the last year either ignoring the issues facing Americans or making them worse,” Reynolds said, blaming Biden’s agenda for pushing gas and food prices higher.

The US politics blog will be back tomorrow for more coverage of the White House’s response to the Ukraine crisis and reactions to the State of the Union. See you then.








Delivering the progressive, Working Families Party response to Biden’s speech, Michigan representative Rashida Tlaib touted the president’s “Build Back Better” agenda and asserted that “no one fought harder for President Biden’s agenda than progressives.”

Tlaib promised that progressives would continue to work with Biden to pass policies that benefit workers and address climate change. She emphasized progressive policy goals including raising the minimum wage, strengthening social safety nets and transforming “our broken immigration system into one where immigrants are welcomed, not vilified.”

On Ukraine, Tlaib said that the “US and our allies must work together towards an immediate cease-fire and a diplomatic resolution to the conflict that de-escalates and saves lives”.

“We need a humanitarian response to this crisis, and we must welcome Ukrainian refugees from all walks of life to the United States,” she added.

At multiple points in her address, Tlaib referenced policy goals that reach beyond what Biden and moderate Democrats have endorsed. But she repeatedly emphasized commonalities among Democrats’ goals – and contrasted them against the right-wing and Republican agenda.

“I’m a lifelong Democrat and I’m also part of the Working Families Party, because I believe that our government must put the needs of working families first,” Tlaib explained

Reflecting on the past year, she said: ‘We showed the potential of an administration and Congress that act together… We showed how our government can be in the service of the working class majority, not just the wealthy few.”








Cori Bush, the progressive representative of Missouri who spent some 400 days campaigning on the streets of Ferguson following the police killing of Michael Brown, points out that the president “didn’t mention saving Black lives once” in his speech tonight.

Cori Bush
(@CoriBush)

With all due respect, Mr. President. You didn’t mention saving Black lives once in this speech.

All our country has done is given more funding to police. The result? 2021 set a record for fatal police shootings.

Defund the police. Invest in our communities. https://t.co/t0n0EpHMwd


March 2, 2022

The president’s full-throated endorsement of policing and call to “fund them, fund them” isn’t surprising – he’s been consistent on this point – but it’s nonetheless a letdown for progressives who pushed to reform policing following nationwide protests against police violence in 2020.

Updated








Kim Reynolds applauded herself for pressuring Iowa schools to reopen in the fall of 2020, before any coronavirus vaccines were available.

“I was attacked by the left. I was attacked by the media. But it wasn’t a hard choice. It was the right choice,” Reynolds said in the Republican response to Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech.

“And keeping schools open is only the start of the pro-parent, pro-family revolution that Republicans are leading in Iowa and states across this country. Republicans believe that parents matter.”

It’s worth noting that essentially all schools in the US have now reopened, and Biden emphasized the importance of keeping schools open in his speech.

“Our schools are open. Let’s keep it that way. Our kids need to be in school,” Biden said.








Updated








In the Republican response to Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds attacked Democrats for their response to rising prices in the US.

“The president and Democrats in Congress have spent the last year either ignoring the issues facing Americans or making them worse,” Reynolds said.

“They were warned that spending trillions would lead to soaring inflation. They were told that their anti-energy policies would sent gas prices to new heights, but they plowed ahead anyway, raising the price at the pump by 50% and pushing inflation to a 40-year high.”

In his State of the Union address, Biden outlined his strategy for lowering prices by strengthening American supply chains, while noting that the US and its allies are releasing 60 million barrels of oil from their reserves to address rising gas prices.

“I think I have a better idea to fight inflation: lower costs, not your wages,” Biden said.








Student loan payments are set to resume on 1 May after a pandemic pause, and advocates for loan forgiveness are disappointed that the issue didn’t get a mention tonight.

The Debt Collective
(@StrikeDebt)

Student loan debt wasn’t mentioned tonight — not once. #SOTU


March 2, 2022

Americans owe a startling $1.73tn in student loans, according to the Federal Reserve. A majority of Americans have favored loan forgiveness in recent polls, and the issue has been a major priority for progressives. Biden could take executive action, forgoing the need for support from moderate Democrats and Republicans in Congress, but has shown an unwillingness to do so.








Reynolds delivers Republican response to Biden’s State of the Union

The governor of Iowa, Kim Reynolds, is now delivering the Republican party’s response to Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech.

Reynolds attacked Biden’s domestic policies, arguing that Democrats’ agenda had weakened America’s standing as it confronts the global crisis of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“It’s time for America to once again project confidence. It’s time to be decisive, it’s time to lead,” Reynolds said. “But we can’t project strength abroad if we’re weak at home.”

MSNBC
(@MSNBC)

“We can’t project strength abroad if we’re weak at home,” Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds delivers GOP response to #SOTU. pic.twitter.com/YSvP9cn4vq


March 2, 2022








Joe Biden’s first State of the Union speech clocked in at 62 minutes, with the president concluding his speech shortly after 10pm ET.

That means Biden’s speech was the shortest first State of the Union speech since George W Bush addressed Congress in 2002, according to C-SPAN.

In comparison, Donald Trump’s first State of the Union speech in 2018 ran for 80 minutes, while Barack Obama’s 2010 remarks were a bit shorter at 69 minutes.

CSPAN
(@cspan)

Length of first State of the Union addresses in the C-SPAN era.#SOTU #SOTU2022 #SOTU22 pic.twitter.com/6c1bKg09Kg


March 2, 2022








Joe Biden mingled with lawmakers and other attendees of his State of the Union speech after he concluded his remarks.

The president shook hands with Justice Stephen Breyer, who received a standing ovation after Biden applauded his decades of service on the supreme court.

Biden could be heard telling Breyer that he has “enormous respect” for him.

ABC News
(@ABC)

Pres. Biden and retiring Justice Stephen Breyer share a moment following the State of the Union. https://t.co/SLfrkxjM7F #SOTU pic.twitter.com/vnjEHLXQ08


March 2, 2022








And Joe Manchin’s response to Biden’s latest appeal…

Alex Bolton
(@alexanderbolton)

Joe Manchin jokes “they just can’t help themselves” when asked about Biden trying to revive the key elements of his Build Back Better agenda.

“I don’t know where that came from,” he jokes.

“Nothing’s changed,” he said.

“That was a little bit far,” he added.


March 2, 2022








The climate crisis got just two quick mentions today – once in the context of modernizing transportation infrastructure and once in the context of lowering energy costs.

Considering that just yesterday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), issued its “bleakest warning yet” of the consequences of inaction, and considering that Biden touted climate action as a major campaign priority, it’s a notable omission.

In Congress, Biden’s climate agenda has been all but derailed by Joe Manchin, the West Virginia senator who made a fortune from coal and tonight sat on the Republican on the GOP side of the aisle. The president’s re-brand of his “Build Back Better” agenda as an economic package can lower costs for Americans and the federal government is largely an appeal to win Manchin’s support.

Updated








Biden concludes State of the Union speech

Joe Biden has now concluded his State of the Union speech, after speaking for a little over an hour on everything from the Russian invasion of Ukraine to the US economy and the country’s fight against coronavirus.

Ending his speech on an optimistic note, the president said he is more hopeful than ever about America’s future.

“The state of the union is strong because you, the American people, are strong. We are stronger today than we were a year ago. And we’ll be stronger a year from now, than we are today,” Biden said as he wrapped up his speech.




Biden departs after delivering his address.

Biden departs after delivering his address. Photograph: Sarahbeth Maney/AFP/Getty Images

“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.”

The blog will have reactions to the speech and more analysis of the president’s remarks coming up, so stay tuned.

Updated








Joe Biden commended Stephen Breyer’s decades of service on the supreme court, as the liberal justice prepares to step down from his post.

“An Army veteran, constitutional scholar, and retiring justice of the United States Supreme Court. Justice Breyer, thank you for your service,” Biden said.

Breyer then received a standing ovation in the House chamber, and the justice briefly covered his face as he smiled in reaction to the loud applause.

CSPAN
(@cspan)

President Biden: “Justice Breyer, thank you for your service.” #SOTU #SOTU2022 pic.twitter.com/qYyktm9gSe


March 2, 2022

Updated








Joe Biden once again rejected calls from some of the progressive members of his party to defund the police, instead saying police departments need to be funded to keep neighborhoods safe.

“We should all agree the answer is not to defund the police. The answer is to fund the police with the resources and training they need to protect our communities,” Biden said.

“I ask Democrats and Republicans alike: pass my budget and keep our neighborhoods safe.”

Updated








US has reached ‘a new moment’ in fight against Covid, Biden says

Joe Biden said the US has reached “a new moment” in its fight against coronavirus, as the number of US cases decreases after the country passed the peak of its Omicron surge.

“For more than two years, Covid has impacted every decision in our lives and the life of this nation. And I know you’re tired, frustrated and exhausted,” Biden said.

“Tonight I can say we’re moving forward safely back to more normal routines. We’ve reached a new moment in the fight against Covid-19.”

Biden pointed to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new guidelines allowing more Americans to go mask-free because of declining case rates.




Biden promised America had ‘reached a new moment in the fight against Covid-19’.

Biden promised America had ‘reached a new moment in the fight against Covid-19’. Photograph: Getty Images

The president also announced that starting next week, Americans will be able to order more free coronavirus tests from the federal government.

The president then called on offices to reopen, saying, “It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again. People working from home can feel safe to begin to return to the office.”

Updated

Related Articles

Back to top button