Biden Spotlights Job Creation, Bipartisanship In State Of Union Address To Divided Congress


President Joe Biden in his second State of the Union address on Tuesday night called on Congress to pass several bills and touched on topics ranging from America's economy, the debt crisis, abortion rights, and gun violence to rising tensions with China, but did not speak about running again for office. 

Here are the key highlights of Biden’s speech:

  • Biden began his speech by underscoring the creation of 12 million new jobs and the strong state of the economy. He said COVID-19 no longer “controls” the lives of Americans.
  • The president highlighted bi-partisanship and how Republicans and Democrats worked together to pass important legislation saying he signed over 300 bi-partisan pieces of legislation. He said he hoped that the process would continue in the new Congress.
  • Biden said the unemployment rate was at a 50-year low of 3.4%, “a near-record low unemployment for Black and Hispanic workers.”
  • The president said inflation was a global problem due to the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, but he said the U.S. was better positioned than any other country. He highlighted low gas prices and said food inflation was coming down.
  • Biden highlighted the passage of the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act in the wake of the semiconductor shortage that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic and emphasized the “supply chain starting in America.”
  • The president said the U.S. had sunk to the 13th position in the world in terms of infrastructure but added that the Infrastructure bill would change that. He said the U.S. was “just getting started” when it came to infrastructure, even though 20,000 projects had already received funding.
  • Biden said all construction materials, including lumber and fiber optic cables, would be made in America for infrastructure projects.
  • The President called on Congress to cap the cost of insulin at $35 for everyone, including those not on Medicare. He said the law caps the cost of drugs for seniors on Medicare at $2,000 a year. “Make no mistake: If you try to do anything to raise the cost of prescription drugs, I will veto it," he said.
  • Biden asked Congress to lift the debt ceiling, saying Republicans lifted the limit three times under the watch of "my predecessor" without preconditions or crisis. “Tonight, I’m asking this Congress to follow suit.”
  • The president received jeers from Republicans after saying some of them wanted to take the economy hostage and end Medicare and Medicaid.
  • He pointed to those who want to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act, which he believes to be the most significant investment against climate change. Biden reiterated his commitment to electric vehicles, saying 500,000 charging stations would be built to address the “existential threat” of climate crisis.
  • Biden said he was a capitalist but described the tax system as unfair as Fortune 500 corporations pay near-zero taxes. "No billionaire should be paying a lower tax than a school teacher or a firefighter,” he said, to heavy applause.
  • He proposed quadrupling the taxes on stock buybacks, saying Big Oil made $200 million in the midst of an energy crisis as the companies bought back their own stocks to enrich their management. 

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