In Tuesday night’s State of The Union speech, President Joe Biden focused his comments on a theme to “finish the job,” proposing new taxpayer-paid benefits, focusing on the more than 20,000 projects related to the infrastructure bill, and highlighting climate policy in the Inflation Reduction Act.
“The climate crisis doesn’t care if your state is red or blue. It is an existential threat,” he said.
In post-speech analysis, economists estimate that the speech proposed $5 trillion of new spending, including a laundry list of spending goals such as paid family and medical leave and childcare, government-funded pre-school for 3- and 4-year-olds, and two years of government-funded community college.
“More resources to reduce violent crime and gun crime; more community intervention programs; more investments in housing, education, and job training,” he said.
Among the projects Biden mentioned from the infrastructure bill were replacement of bridges and water pipes containing lead, plus expanding broadband across the country. The broadband problem was highlighted during the government-mandated COVID restrictions across the nation that closed in-person learning for schools. He announced that all construction materials for the infrastructure bill projects will be required to be made in America, including lumber, glass, drywall, and fiber optic cable.
“Too many people are treated like they were left behind and invisible,” he said. “That’s why we are building an economy where no one is left behind. Jobs are coming back.”
Amid historic inflation since he took office during the pandemic, Biden focused his comments on the cooling of prices in recent months, and blamed inflation and supply chain problems on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“Here at home, gas prices are down $1.50 a gallon since their peak. Food inflation is coming down. Inflation has fallen every month for the last six months while take-home pay has gone up. Additionally, over the last two years, a record 10 million Americans applied to start a new small business,” said Biden.
Consumer prices are up 13.4% since Biden took office, and the national debt has ballooned to $2.78 trillion – $517 billion above what the Congressional Budget Office said it otherwise should be, and largely driven by the post-COVID American Rescue Plan. Inflation costs N.C. families an estimated $7,800 annually.
“The President has dedicated his entire tenure in office thus far to pushing massive spending increases for far-left policies such as $400 billion in welfare for wealthy environmentalists and big corporations, $500 billion slush fund to states and localities packed with waste, more than $330 billion canceling student loans for wealthy borrowers, and $80 billion to double the size of the IRS,” the U.S. House Republican Caucus responded in a Fact Check press release on Tuesday.
There was also no mention of the Chinese spy balloon that was allowed under Biden’s administration to sail across the country last week, over key military installations, before being shot down by an Air Force jet Saturday off the coast of South Carolina. Instead, Biden referred to the relationship with China as a “competition.”
“But make no mistake: as we made clear last week, if China threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country. And we did,” he said. “And let’s be clear: Winning the competition with China should unite all of us. We face serious challenges across the world.”
Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders delivered the Republican response to Biden’s speech. Sanders called for new ideas and new leadership from younger, liberty-minded Americans.
“I’d be the first to admit President Biden and I do not have a lot in common. I’m for liberty, and he’s for government control,” said Sanders. “At 40 I’m the youngest governor in the country. At 80 he’s the oldest president in history. I’m the first woman to lead my state, and he’s the first man to surrender his presidency to a woke mob who cannot even tell you what a woman is.”
When Biden mentioned the fentanyl overdose deaths, now the top cause of death among young people, Republicans lawmakers in the chamber shouted a chorus of “border, border.”
“Let’s also come together on immigration, make it a bipartisan issue,” he said. “American border problems will not be solved until Congress acts. If you don’t pass my comprehensive immigration reform, let’s at least pass a plan to provide the equipment and officers to secure the border.”
Biden also called for a pathway to citizenship for dreamers, people who were brought to the United States illegally as children and remain here as adults. Sen. Juan Ciscoani, R-Arizona, delivered a Spanish rebuttal saying Biden does not seem to understand the problem at the border.
“The American dream feels more unattainable, and sadly President Biden fails to show the leadership and provide any valuable solution,” he said in Spanish.
At times through the speech Republicans objected to his statements, with some booing and shouting “liar,” particularly when he floated the narrative that Republicans were trying to sunset Medicare and Social Security. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, was among those caught on camera with a look of bewilderment at Biden’s accusation, and his expression quickly became viral on Twitter.
The vehement objection from the chamber seemed to rattle Biden, but on social media, his supporters gave him credit for getting Republicans to “agree” not to end the entitlements, and dug up video of Lee at an event 13 years ago talking about ending entitlements.
“I don’t think it’s the majority of you, OK?” said Biden, “As we all apparently agreed, OK, Medicare and Social Security are off the table,” said Biden. “If anyone tries to take away Medicare, I’ll veto it.”
Response to the speech from North Carolina’s delegation has fallen along party lines, with Republican Sen. Thom Tillis offering a video response.
Rep. Alma Adams, D-12th District, offered support for the president on Twitter.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, seated behind the president, was closely watched for reaction and laughed at some points, including when Biden said that the nation needed oil for “at least the next 10 years.” He posted on Instagram, “Have you ever had really good seats to a really bad sports event?”
The post Hey, big spender: Biden’s speech pitches billions in new programs first appeared on Carolina Journal.