State of the Union and Republican response: messages and reactions | 7 February 2023
2023 State of the Union: Latest Updates
2023 State of the Union: Live Updates
- State of the Union set to begin at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT: How can I watch or stream?
- Labor Secretary Marty Walsh is tonight's designated survivor.
- What issues is President Biden expected to addressduring the annual event?
- A look back at the tradition that is the State of the Union
- Republican response to be delivered by Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders
Watch the address live:
Both parties are standing by their spokesperson
Democrats are raving about President Biden's address, and Republicans share the same fervor for Sarah Huckabee-Sander's response. In the coming days, any changes in opinion tonight will become more clear.
The response to Biden's speech has been very positive from the base. A CNN poll found that over seventy percent of those watching agreed with the message. However, information on the approval of Republicans of the governor's speech will be an interesting data point. The governor's speech addressed the "culture war," and the "woke mob," which may play well with the base, could further isolate more moderate members of the party.
The tone is shifting towards one that is more hopeful as Gov. Huckabee-Sanders talks vision and plan as the leader of Arkansas.
Sarah Huckabee-Sanders will release an education bill that "empowers parents," and also increases the starting salaries for teacher"from one of the lowest to one of the highest"
"We are in a leftwing culture war that we never wanted to fight."
The tone of the Republican response so far has been fear and darkness.
"His adminstration has been completely hijacked by the radical left."
After seeing the president's speech, it may be hard to convince independent voters that Biden is a proud member a "woke mob."
The GOP goes with culture war topics for their response.
The Republican response begins
The speech has now ended. I, Maite Knorr-Evans, will bring you some reactions to the speech, as well as coverage of the Republican response, once it gets underway.
Conservative commentator John Ziegler says the president sounded good tonight
John Ziegler said "Fightin' Joe" was out tonight and that while Republicans likely disagreed with the content of the president's speech, that they "should admit" that he sounded good.
President Biden speaks to the terrible reality of suicide among veterans. More veterans die from suicide each year than soldiers killed in active duty.
President Biden asks Congress to act to end the opioid epidemic.
Bipartisan USA chant breaks out in the chamber
Rep. Marjoree Taylor Green is shushed.
"If Congress passed a national abortion ban, I will veto it."
On gun violence, President Biden calls attention to Brandon Sai, who confronted a gunman in his grandparent's dance studio.
The young man managed to get ahold of the semi-automatic weapon, and to ensure no one finds themself in Brandon's situation, Biden called on Congress to ban assault weapons.
President Biden reiterates the standard talking points on police reform.
More training, more community intervention programs, and accountability.
He did not call for the end of qualified immunity.
President Biden welcomes the family of Tyre Nichols.
President Biden will go after scammers who stole unemployment benefits and other public funds during the pandmeic.
"Pass the Pro Act because workers have a right to join a union."
"Airlines cannot treat your children like baggae."
President Biden and Congress agree to keep Medicare and Social Security intact and make no cuts.
"Social Security and Medicare are off the books now?" asks Biden.
Kevin McCarthy claps a little.
Companies now have to pay at t least 15 percent in corporate income tax...
"That's a lower tax rate than a nurse," remarked Biden.
We are onto climate change.
President Biden says any bills that increase healthcare costs will be vetoed.
"Let's cap the cost of insulin at $35 for everyone."
It costs pharma companies $10 to produce a vial of insulin.
Biden sounds a lot better than many had predicted.
He is striking a hopeful but empathetic tone; able to celebrate his adminstration's achievements without sounding out of touch.
"That's why we are building an economy where no one is left behind."
Has Biden created 800,000 jobs?
Biden claims 800,000 manufacturing jobs have been created since he took office. However, the claim is a bit misleading.
In January 2020, there were 12.79 million workers employed in the manufacturing sector. In January 2023, that figure was 12.99 million. That is only a difference of 200,000 jobs, not 800,000.
However, the pandemic decimated the sector, so when President Biden took office, only 12.19 million workers remained in the manufacturing sector. The 800,000 is this difference.
It is impressive that 200,000 manufacturing jobs have been added in addition to those that have been recuperated. Donald Trump did not see the same level of growth in that sector during his presidency. During his time in office, manufacturing jobs grew from 12.38 to 12.79 million; a difference of 400,000 total.
"We lost our edge."
Ten million Americans applied to start a new business last year
"We are in a better position than any country on earth."
Bipartisanship gets a shout-out. Three hundred pieces of legislation have been passed with votes from both parties since Biden took office.
One word to describe the United States of America
President Biden begins by touting the 12 million jobs that have been created since he took office.
New leadership in the House get a shoutout
President Biden congratulates Kevin McCarthy and the Republicans on their victory. He also praised Hakeem Jeffries, the first Black minority leader in US history.
President Biden is making his way to the podium...
Who is the designated survivor for tonight's State of the Union?
Labor Secretary Marty Walsh is tonight's designated survivor.
Sec. Walsh has recently announced that he will be leaving the administration. He will be the first high-ranking cabinet official to leave his post during President Biden's term.
First Lady Jill Biden has entered the chamber and Paul Pelosi has scored a seat next to Bono.
Far-right representatives Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert will be on the aisle Presidnet Biden will enter the chamber to...
Senators make their way into the chamber
The Senate's newest independent member, Kyrsten Sinema, was seen walking into the chamber with Republican Mitt Romney.
While President Biden is likely to attack Donald Trump, Speaker Kevin McCarthy has asked him to avoid using the phrase "extreme MAGA Republicans."
Bono, the Irish singer, is in the building as a guest of First Lady Jill Biden.
President Biden and the First Lady head to the capitol
President Biden tells reporters he is "feeling good" as he begins the short trip to Capitol Hill.
Leaders begin filing into the chamber... the president will arrive within the next half hour.
Senator Ed Markey shows off his choice of pin for tonight's State of the Union
The Massachusetts senator has decided to wear a pin gifted to him by Planned Parenthood which reads "ABORTION."
During his speech, President Biden will likely mention the need to enshrine the right to abortion in federal law. However, now that the Republicans have taken control of the House of Representatives, no such protections will be passed during this Congress.
Last year, when Democrats had control of the House and Senate, there were not enough votes to repeal the filibuster and protect the rights Roe had afforded until June.
The question of whether or not the Republicans will mention abortion in their response to the president's address will be answered by Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee-Sanders.
Senator JD Vance says he wants President Biden to mention the opioid overdose
Newly elected Senator JD Vance (R-OH) spoke briefly with reporters today about the topics he hopes to hear the president mention during the State of the Union.
One of these issues is the opioid epidemic, which now claims the lives of over one-hundred thousand people annually in the United States. Little has been done in Washington about this issue, which profoundly affects both red and blue states.
Senator Vance also accused the president of refusing to negotiate with Republicans, a low blow considering the ongoing meetings with House leadership over the debt ceiling. Speaker McCarthy visited the White House last week to discuss a possible deal to increase the debt limit, and while no agreements were made, both sides said the talks were productive.
What is President Biden likely to say about the economy during the State of the Union?
Inflation continues to be one of President Biden’s most pressing economic problem, and while price growth is slowing, it is still increasing.
Compared to March 2020, prices are on average, fifteen percent higher across goods and services included in the Consumer Price Index.
Since January 2020, on average, families are spending 23.3 percent more at the grocery store, renters are paying 13.6 more for housing, and the price of health insurance has risen almost nine percent. Meanwhile, average wages have fallen by three percent, in real terms, over the same period.
These facts, which come from Biden’s own Labor Department, do not align too well with the message from the White House that “wages are up, inflation is down, and more Americans have health insurance than ever before.”
Sure, wages are up, but only in nominal terms.
Yes, prices fell in January, but they are still up double digits compared to 2020.
As for healthcare, more Americans may be insured, but they are paying the most expensive bill on record for it.
President Biden’s speech risks isolating voters if, instead of focusing on the economic hardship being felt across the country, he only promotes his own achievements. The White House understands this, and on Monday, POTUS tweeted, “All told, between higher prices and lower wages, lack of competition between businesses costs the median American household $5,000 a year.”
Striking the right tone will be critical for President Biden since this year’s State of the Union will likely be his last major address before announcing his decision on whether to seek another term. A formal announcement has yet to be made, but the president has alluded to running again. As much as the speech is focused on where the state stands, the address is an opportunity to explain what another term could look like —an opportunity team Biden is sure to take advantage of.
2023 State of the Union Address: Who is invited and who is delivering the Republican response?
The response to the State of the Union is always provided by the party not in power, meaning this year, the public will hear from a Republican once President Biden finishes his address.
The GOP has tapped Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee-Sanders to deliver the response this year. The country became familiar with now Gov. Huckabee-Sanders after her stint as White House Press Secretary under President Trump. After leaving Washington, she decided to run for governor, the same position held by her father years ago. Gov. Huckabee-Sanders was elected in November, becoming the first woman to hold the office.
Read more in our full coverage about the issues Gov. Huckabee-Sanders is likely to mention in her response.
Recent polls show tough environment for Democrats
A recent poll by CBS shows that President Biden faces a country disappointed with leadership in Washington.
Only eighteen percent of respondents reported that their financial situation had improved thanks to "Biden's policies." Additionally, many feel that his policies are making political divisions worse.
However, based on other surveys, many of the policies proposed by the Biden administration, like universal pre-K, capping families' expenditure on childcare, and expansions to Social Security, are popular. But, with Senator Joe Manchin in the Senate blocking many of these programs, the White House has not been able to press forward. The White House could risk doing too little and not providing support to families, who then see the behavior of the Biden administration as overly self-congratulatory.
What time does the State of the Union start?
The President's address will begin at 9 pm ET, 8 pm CT, 7 pm MT, and 6 pm PT.
The White House will stream the speech live at the link below.
State of the Union: What will President Biden say about foreign policy?
Internationally, the address takes place weeks before the one-year mark of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and increasing tensions with the Chinese government.
On China, President Biden is likely to warn Chinese Communist Party officials against messing with the USA. A bit of saber raddling always makes it into these speeches. Comments on the commitment of the US to protect Taiwan’s sovereignty are to be expected.
Russia, and more specifically, President Vladimir Putin, are likely to be mentioned. President Biden will condemn the Russian war of aggression and may also spend some time passing the work of NATO to support Ukraine. Nearly a year into the conflict, peace is far from the horizon, millions have been displaced, thousands of civilians have been injured and killed, and the country’s infrastructure has been obliterated. Most Americans support the US providing assistance to Ukraine, but polls are showing that the share of public who think too much aid is being sent is growing.
Read more on what can be expected from the speech in our full coverage.
Marjorie Taylor Greene will try to "own the libs" by bringing a balloon to the SOTU
After the Chinese balloon saga consumed an entire news cycle, it seems that Rep MTG has not had enough fun with the story.
The Georgia congresswoman plans to bring a big white balloon to the State of the Union to remind Biden, of what she sees, as his inability to act.
More recently, reports have shown that under President Trump, three Chinese balloons entered US airspace. During these instances no actions were taken by the Department of Defense to take them out.
The State of the Union is a "big speech," what does it take to write?
The guys over at Pod Save America explained what it was like to write the State of the Union during the Obama years. One of their main complaints centered on how policymakers had little awareness of how hard they made the writing process.
Every department that forms part of the president's cabinet, the Vice President's office, and leaders on Capitol Hill will all want their issues mentioned, and tying them all together represents a major challenge.
Designated survivor protocols are underway
Each year, one member of the President's cabinet is selected to stay away from the event to ensure that governance, at least in some form, could continue if a major attack took place.
The designated survivor for this year's State of the Union has yet to be announced. However, DC resident David Hookstead has tweeted a video of several helicopters heading to the White House, marking the beginning of the designated survivor protocol, just a few hours before the address is set to begin
NPR will provide bilingual coverage of the State of the Union for the first time
NPR has announced that they will provide coverage in Spanish and English of President Biden's State of the Union address for the first time.
In doing so, public news organizations hope to expand the audience of the speech and include more viewers in the discussion over the country's current crossroads.
Issues from climate change to abortion rights to immigration are likely to be covered and the constituencies that care about these issues are not only English speakers. For more details on how to access this coverage, check out the link below.
2023 State of the Union: What are the main issues President Biden may speak about? Immigration, economy...
President Biden will address the nation for his second State of the Union (SOTU) tonight.
The annual speech comes at a frustrating and uncertain time for the country.
Racked by another brutal murder at the hands of police, escalating tensions with China, historic levels of inflation, and low unemployment, many will be tuning in to understand better the direction President Biden hopes to take the country.
For more on what issues you can expect to hear about during the address, check out our full coverage.
2023 State of the Union Address: Date, time, how to watch Biden’s speech on TV and online
President Biden will make his way over to Capitol Hill later tonight for his second State of the Union address. The event is set to begin at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT and will be carried on most major networks. For details on how to watch, check out our full coverage.
2023 State of the Union: What is the designated survivor and who will it be this year?
For lovers of the TV program Designated Survivor, there is high interest in which member of President Biden's cabinet will be kept away from Capitol Hill during the address. The designated survivor is chosen to ensure that in the case a major attack on the capitol is carried out, there would exist some form of continuity of government.
Last year, the responsibility fell to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.
The cabinet member who will serve as the designated survivor has yet to be announced. However, for more on the history of the position, you can check out our full coverage.
Welcome to AS USA's live blog following this year's State of the Union address.
President Biden will make his way to Capitol Hill a little later this evening to address Congress, the Supreme Court, and his cabinet for the 2023 State of the Union.
The event will begin at 9 pm ET, and we will be bringing commentary on the speech as it is delivered. Until then, we will follow the latest developments regarding what the president is expected to mention and the political climate surrounding the address.
The Republican response will be delivered by Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was elected in November. She is the daughter of Mike Huckabee who also served as governor.
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