Three takeaways from Biden’s State of the Union speech

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Here are some of the takeaways from US President Joe Biden’s speech to Congress on Tuesday that could set the stage for his re-election in 2024:


Biden, a Democrat, told congressional Republicans who questioned his legitimacy and threatened to block his policies that “there’s no reason we can’t work together.”

Many Republicans found reason to disagree even before he began his speech.

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who once served as Trump’s press secretary, dismissed Biden’s speech in a prearranged response.

“In radical left America, Washington taxes you and sets fire to your hard-earned money,” she said.

And while Democrats quickly burst into applause, Republicans applauded only occasionally and remained silent as Biden recounted his administration’s accomplishments. A few Republican members remained in their seats throughout.


Republicans’ loudest jibes came when Biden accused Republicans of planning cuts to Social Security and Medicare, which some members of the party had proposed but whom Biden said he would not name.

“Liar!” – shouted the representative of the Republican Party of the United States Marjorie Taylor Green.

We never said that! said Byron Donalds, another House Republican.

Biden, who appeared to be on the verge of losing control of the room, seized on Republican lawmakers’ apparent support for popular old age and healthcare programs to say, “I love the appeal.”

“We have achieved unanimity,” he continued. “Social Security and Medicare are a lifeline for millions of older people. Americans should pay them from the very first paycheck they started. So tonight, so we all agree, and we seem to agree, let’s stand up for the elderly.”

“Get up and show them! We will not cut social security!” Biden said gleefully to applause as MPs from both parties stood up.

The story goes on


Biden used much of his ostensibly bipartisan pitch by attacking corporations ranging from what he called “Big Pharma” to “Big Oil” and “Big Tech.” Biden accused pharmaceutical companies of overpricing insulin, but made no mention of their role in quelling the COVID-19 pandemic.

He accused tech companies of running a commercial “experiment” on children, said oil companies were making too much money, and argued for higher taxes on billionaires.

“Large corporations don’t just use the tax code,” Biden said. “They are taking advantage of you, the American consumer.”

(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; additional reporting by Graham Slattery and Dan Whitcomb; editing by Howard Goller)

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