The State of the Union address is one of the most important speeches of the year. It sets the tone for the year ahead and gives us a glimpse into the future of our nation. This year, President Joe Biden delivered his second State of the Union address, a speech that was both a victory lap and a plea for cooperation.
Standing in front of Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, President Biden celebrated the strong job growth and legislative achievements of the past year and called for bipartisan cooperation to continue the progress. He also touted the 300 bipartisan laws he signed and reminded everyone that fighting for the sake of fighting, power for the sake of power, and conflict for the sake of conflict gets us nowhere.
But despite Biden’s pleas for cooperation, he was met with heckles and boos throughout his speech. He called out Republicans for wanting to cut funds for Social Security and Medicare and accused them of boasting of the benefits of the bipartisan infrastructure law they opposed. He also took jabs of his own, joking that money would still go to Republican districts even if they voted against the infrastructure bill.
The speech also touched on a number of issues, from the opioid crisis to the codification of federal abortion rights. Biden also pushed for wealthy individuals and corporations to pay more taxes, renewing the expanded child tax credit and eliminating junk fees for people paying for entertainment.
In response to Biden’s speech, newly elected Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders gave the official GOP response, focusing heavily on culture war issues and casting Biden as out of touch with the American people. She criticized Democrats for their “radical” social policies and accused them of colluding with big tech to strip away freedom of speech.
This year’s State of the Union address was a reminder of how divided our nation is and how much work there is to be done to bring us together. It’s up to all of us to find common ground and work together to make our nation a better place for everyone.