Address includes unusual back and forth with GOP lawmakers
President Joe Biden delivered his first address to a Congress that is split with calls to raise taxes on the wealthy, extend more social aid to the needy and rule out cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
With Speaker of the House Kevin McCarty sitting over his shoulder for the first time since Republicans won the House, Biden stated that “because the soul of this nation is strong, because the backbone of this nation is strong, because the people of this nation are strong, the State of the Union is strong.”
The address focused on economics and the economy as President Biden in his State of the Union address noted that inflation, caused by “the pandemic that disrupted supply chains and [Russian President Vladimir ] Putin’s war that disrupted energy and food supplies,” while high, has started to come down.
Among the issues he pushed for were a cap on insulin prices, increasing Taxes on profitable companies, pushed for new gun legislation, the codification of abortion rights, support for Ukraine and a call to defend democracy.
Sen. Bob Menendez
“Since President Joe Biden took office two years ago, more jobs have been created in the U.S. than in the last four presidencies combined. While our nation is still recovering from the devastating effects of the pandemic, Democrats in Congress executed a clear and effective agenda to make our economy stronger and more resilient.
“Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, we will create 100,000 new good-paying clean energy jobs which is good for the economy and families’ pocketbooks. Under this historic legislation, and thanks to my smoothing provision, we capped out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries at $2,000 annually. And most importantly, seniors will not pay more than $35 per month out of pocket for insulin.
“As we continue to fight for fairer markets globally, the U.S. is much better positioned now thanks to the CHIPS and Science Act to sharpen our competitive edge in science and technology, revitalize domestic manufacturing and strengthen American supply chains while creating good-paying jobs. And in the face of growing authoritarianism, President Biden has reinvigorated American leadership on the world stage and strengthened critical alliances demonstrating our commitment to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.
“There’s much more to be done, like fixing our broken immigration system while upholding our domestic and international asylum laws, and expanding access to child care and education, but the Republican House majority won’t advance any policies to solve any of these, they just want to chase headlines on right-wing news networks to score political points.”
Rep. Josh Gottheimer
“I was very pleased to hear President Biden talk about how we need to take a commonsense and bipartisan approach to governing — especially in a narrowly divided Congress. Last Congress, working alongside the President, I fought for and successfully helped get signed into law the once-in-a-generation Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs and insulin, historic bipartisan gun safety legislation, the CHIPS and Science Act to stand up to China and boost domestic manufacturing, and the PACT Act to get the backs of our veterans,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), Co-Chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus. “There are many bipartisan issues where both Democrats and Republicans can work together, including addressing opioid addiction and the mental health crisis, lowering taxes investing in cancer research and fighting to help end cancer, continuing to boost domestic manufacturing, and competing with China by building on the bipartisan CHIPS bill we got signed into law.” Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr.
“Tonight, Joe Biden was right to take a victory lap for this government. On metric after metric, the American union is strong. Last month our economy added over half a million jobs, again obliterating the naysayers. Unemployment rates are at the lowest levels in 54 years. Over 12,000,000 jobs have been created on the President’s watch. Our industrial might is rushing back to American soil from overseas lands. The Inflation Reduction Act Democrats enacted a few months ago has reportedly already created 100,000 jobs with more on our horizon. Drug prices will be cut. Insulin is capped for millions. Inflation is falling. Gas prices at the pump are plunging. Our vaccine policies have saved millions of American lives. In three words: America is back.
“President Biden effectively framed the two competing visions of our country. The President has laid a blueprint for America’s tomorrow that builds on these successes and we are acting upon it. Conversely, after a month in power, Republicans’ first bill would increase the deficit and protect millionaire tax cheats, they have offered resolutions condemning Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin, empowered extremists, unveiled a middle tax hike, created an anti-police committee, and are now threatening to topple the entire American economy unless they’re allowed to gut government funding the to bone and destroy social service programs. Republicans strive for a world of yesterday; Democrats believe in an America for tomorrow. We saw that again tonight.”
Rep. Tom Kean, Jr.
President Biden missed a crucial opportunity to choose a better path forward for our country tonight. Instead of reaching across the aisle with a willingness to take on the huge challenges we face today, he chose to double-down on the policies that have failed Americans the past two years. This Congress needs to lead for the next two years and offer common sense solutions that will break the back of inflation, stop Fentanyl from pouring over our border, and put America in a position of strength around the world again. Our country must do better, and it is going to take a completely different path than the agenda the President laid out tonight. This Congress will keep its commitment and lead our country to a better future.
Gov. Phil Murphy
New Jersey Republican State Chairman Bob Hugin
“From surging inflation to falling wages, New Jerseyans are undoubtedly worse off under Joe Biden and Phil Murphy’s failed leadership. Biden and Murphy both claim to have lowered costs for families, but anyone who visits a grocery store or pays a home heating bill knows the truth. The consequences of their radical, inflationary policies are baked into every single economic decision we make.”
“This year, New Jerseyans will go to the ballot box and put a check on the disastrous effects of the deadly combination of the Biden-Murphy agenda.”
Rep. Mikie Sherrill
“Tonight, we heard the President reflect on the accomplishments we have delivered for the American people and lay out an agenda that we can all work together on: increasing public safety, growing the middle class, investing in American manufacturing, making healthcare affordable, and expanding early childhood programs.
“We have set new records for jobs created, economic growth, wage increases, and shrinking unemployment with common-sense solutions. Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Gateway Tunnel Project is fully funded, which will shorten commute times and keep our economy moving forward in North Jersey. With the Inflation Reduction Act, seniors only have to pay $35 for insulin and families can take advantage of credits that will help households save money on major energy expenses, such as driving and home heating and cooling. We boosted domestic manufacturing of microchips to ensure that we address the semiconductor shortage and reduce the prices of everyday goods. In the past two years, we prioritized building a stronger America.
“However, we know that more work needs to be done. We will outcompete China by leveraging America’s innovative and competitive spirit. We must fight for childcare for every family across the country, which will help Americans get back to work, increase economic productivity, and create lifelong benefits for our children’s development and well-being. We will make our communities safer by combating gun violence and supporting our law enforcement.
“Looking into the crowd of colleagues, I was proud to see the unwavering support for Ukraine and their fight against Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion. We saw tonight that there is far more that unites us as Americans. I am prepared and ready to work with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to continue this critical work and deliver for NJ-11.”
Rep. Rob Menendez
“Tonight, President Biden was clear in his State of the Union – Democrats are delivering for the American people and defending working families and democracy. I am pleased that he highlighted key victories for the Eighth Congressional District and for America – lowering the cost of prescription drugs, battling climate change, reinvigorating American manufacturing, investing $1.2 trillion in the infrastructure of our cities and towns, and passing the first gun safety legislation in decades.
“President Biden not only accomplished this in two years, but he did it while rebuilding our institutions and our democracy after the damage inflicted by a President who worked only to stay in power, instead of working to uplift the American people.
“But our work is not done – so as the President said tonight – ‘Lets finish the job.’
“There are still far too many people in our district and across the country who are struggling to make ends meet. Which is why we need to continue working For The People.
“Together, with the President, we must and we will stand with working families to continue to build our economy from the bottom up and the middle out.
“I support the President and the Democrats’ agenda that includes finally achieving comprehensive immigration reform, protecting abortion access nationwide, creating more affordable childcare options for families across America, restoring and expanding the Child Tax Credit, expanding the $35 insulin price cap to all Americans, and ensuring tax fairness for working and middle class Americans.”
“I am committed to working with President Biden and the House Democrats to finish the job.”
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