Story by News Editor Ellie Youngs
On Tuesday, February 7, President Joe Biden delivered the annual state of the Union speech to 27.3 million people, the second smallest audience for this event in the past 30 years.
There was a lot that was covered in this speech, so here are some of the highlights:
The power of the middle class. Throughout his speech, President Biden emphasized the importance of empowering members of the middle class to make a better America. Whether it be about accessible health care, or cracking down on tax breaks for the wealthy, President Biden spoke out about how middle-class citizens should not have to go further into debt while large corporations are given breaks. He stated that “no billionaire should pay a lower tax rate than a school teacher or a firefighter,” and he also said that “Americans are tired of being played for suckers.”
Big plans for infrastructure. After explaining how the United States went from being number one in the world for infrastructure to number thirteen, he brought up the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that had been passed. This has since funded over 20,000 new projects and provided 800,000 new jobs for Americans. President Biden put an emphasis on putting an end to outsourcing American jobs, and instead exporting more American products to create more jobs.
Maintaining support for Ukraine. While last year’s speech was largely formed around the war that broke out in Ukraine, President Biden still made sure to echo his sentiments from the previous speech this year as well. Biden addressed Ambassador Oksana Markarova and stated that “America is united in our support for your country… We will stand with you as long as it takes.”
Common Ground. President Biden had previously warned the nation about the dangers of subscribing to extremist rhetoric. In his speech, he praised the House and the Senate for being able to come together and pass bipartisan legislation that would better the nation as a whole, and he advised that attitudes like this would need to continue if America wants to see real monumental change.
Finishing the job. This is something that Biden references multiple times throughout his speech; there are so many steps forward that the nation has taken, but the job isn’t done. Biden said that he is hoping to work toward finishing the job while in office; “that’s always been my vision for the country: to restore the soul of the nation, to rebuild the backbone of America—the middle class—to unite the country.” Biden is soon expected to announce his 2024 reelection campaign, and many people foresee this being his campaign slogan.