UNITED STATES NEWS

What to watch in Biden’s 1st State of the Union address

Mar 1, 2022, 3:15 PM | Updated: 3:57 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden sat through many State of the Union speeches as a senator and vice president. On Tuesday night, he’ll deliver the address himself.

But it comes at a challenging time for Biden, who is weighed down by public disapproval of his handling of the economy and the pandemic. The address also comes days after Russia opened war against Ukraine, despite U.S.-led efforts to prevent military conflict. And it follows Biden’s announcement last week of his candidate for an opening on the Supreme Court.

WHERE DO I WATCH OR LISTEN?

The speech is set for 9 p.m. EST and will be broadcast by the major networks and cable news TV channels. The White House plans to stream it at WH.gov/live, as well as on its YouTube, Facebook and Twitter pages. Live coverage will also be provided by C-SPAN, C-SPAN Radio and C-SPAN.org. NPR is streaming the speech on its website, npr.org, and on its app, in addition to offering live coverage to its member radio stations.

It’s one of the largest audiences Biden will command this year. An estimated 26.9 million people across 16 television networks watched his address to a joint session of Congress last year, which was not a State of the Union speech. That was the smallest audience for the yearly presidential speech since at least 1993.

HOW WILL BIDEN DESCRIBE THE STATE OF THE UNION?

The White House wouldn’t tell in advance. But whether times are good or bad, presidents generally have been consistent in opening these speeches by declaring that “the state of our union is strong ” or words very much like it.

Barbara Perry, director of presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, thinks Biden should go further and acknowledge at the outset that people are feeling pinched by rising prices for everyday staples like food and gas.

“Say the state of the union is strong and say why he thinks that,” Perry said, “but then admit that people are feeling pain and say what he’s doing to try and correct that.”

WHAT WILL BIDEN TALK ABOUT?

Biden will “absolutely use the word inflation” and talk about his plans for reducing costs, said White House press secretary Jen Psaki. He’ll also call on Congress to act on his now-stalled proposals for lowering the cost of child care, elder care and prescription drugs, she said.

Biden will explain the U.S. role in Russia’s war against Ukraine, including rallying the West to support the Ukrainian people, who want to remain independent, Psaki said. Just 26% of those surveyed in a recent Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll said the U.S. should have a major role in the conflict.

Biden can also be expected to discuss Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, his nominee for an upcoming opening on the Supreme Court.

WILL THINGS LOOK DIFFERENT BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC?

Mask-wearing will be optional for those attending the address. That’s thanks to updated mask guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week due to a sharp drop in cases, hospitalizations and deaths caused by the omicron strain of the coronavirus.

Biden will not wear a mask, Psaki said Tuesday. Face coverings were required last year when he addressed Congress.

All members of Congress were invited to attend. Attendance was limited last year and guests were banned to allow for social distancing. Guests also will not be allowed Tuesday.

COVID-19 tests and social distancing measures will still be required of attendees.

At least a half dozen lawmakers, including Reps. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., and Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., both members of the committee investigating last year’s Capitol riot, and Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., were not expected for the speech after they reported positive COVID-19 tests.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, said he would skip the speech rather than participate in what he called COVID “theater.” “I’m just not taking any more COVID tests unless I’m sick,” he said.

ARE THERE SECURITY CONCERNS?

While there aren’t any specific or credible threats related to the speech, law enforcement officials aren’t taking any chances and have again put up fencing around the U.S. Capitol. Police cars with flashing lights are stationed at major intersections and highways and the National Guard is on standby. No one wants a repeat of the events of Jan. 6, 2021, when a violent mob stormed the building and interrupted the certification of Biden’s 2020 presidential victory.

HOW WILL REPUBLICANS RESPOND?

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has the assignment. Reynolds is the first woman elected governor of that state. She also was the first governor to require schools to reopen for full-time, in-person learning.

Republican leaders portray GOP-led states as doing a better job on the pandemic than the federal government, which is led by Democrats. Reynolds pushed back against mask and vaccine mandates, and spoke skeptically about the effectiveness of masks to slow the spread of the virus.

Separately, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., will deliver the Working Families Party response, the party announced. Tlaib will offer support for Biden’s agenda, urge Democrats to pass policies that meet people’s needs and rally progressives to build strong majorities in the midterm elections.

WHAT ABOUT THE FIRST LADY?

Jill Biden will take her customary seat in the gallery overlooking the House chamber with a group of in-person guests that includes Oksana Markarova, Ukraine’s ambassador to the U.S.; Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen; and Intel CEO Patrick Gelsinger.

WHAT IS BIDEN’S HISTORY WITH THE STATE OF THE UNION?

Biden was a U.S. senator for 36 years and sat in the audience for many State of the Union addresses. After becoming vice president in 2009, Biden sat at the rostrum, with the House speaker, for President Barack Obama’s State of the Union addresses.

___

Associated Press correspondent Kelly Daschle contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

United States News

Associated Press

North Texas shooter kills 2, wounds 3 cops, takes own life

HALTOM CITY, Texas (AP) — A gunman killed two people and wounded four others, including three police officers, before taking his own life Saturday evening in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, police said. Haltom City Police Det. Matt Spillane said early Sunday that all of those wounded in the shooting in a residential neighborhood had non-life […]
1 day ago
FILE - In this Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011 file photo, Associated Press Special Regional Correspondent f...
Associated Press

Hope and despair: Kathy Gannon on 35 years in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Afghan policeman opened fire on us with his AK-47, emptying 26 bullets into the back of the car. Seven slammed into me, and at least as many into my colleague, Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus. She died at my side. Anja weighed heavy against my shoulder. I tried to look […]
1 day ago
FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 18, 2019 file photo, the logo of Google is displayed on a carpet at the...
Associated Press

Google to erase more location info as abortion bans expand

Google will automatically purge information about users who visit abortion clinics or other places that could trigger legal problems now that the U.S. Supreme Court has opened the door for states to ban the termination of pregnancies.
1 day ago
FILE - President Joe Biden, center, meets with South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeol, left, and Jap...
Associated Press

North Korea slams US-South Korea-Japan military cooperation

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Sunday slammed the United States, South Korea and Japan for pushing to boost their trilateral military cooperation targeting the North, warning that the move is prompting urgent calls for the country to reinforce its military capability. North Korea has long cited what it calls hostility by the […]
1 day ago
FILE - Uvalde School Police Chief Pete Arredondo, second from left, stands during a news conference...
Associated Press

Uvalde schools’ police chief resigns from City Council

The Uvalde school district’s police chief has stepped down from his position in the City Council just weeks after being sworn in following allegations that he erred in his response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School that left 19 students and two teachers dead. Chief Pete Arredondo said in a letter dated Friday […]
1 day ago
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson throws a pass during an NFL football practice at FirstE...
Associated Press

Attorneys seek Deshaun Watson NFL investigation documents

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Attorneys for multiple women suing Deshaun Watson over allegations of sexual misconduct are seeking the documents from the NFL’s investigation into the former Houston Texans quarterback. According to the motion filed Friday by the women’s attorneys, Tony Buzbee and Cornelia Brandfield-Harvey, the legal team seeks any and all reports and files […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
What to watch in Biden’s 1st State of the Union address