In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Joe Biden made his bid for 2024 before a sharply divided Congress. Republicans in the chamber voiced strong reactions to his statements. The overall GOP response: Biden's policies are damaging the nation.
Biden's pre-2024 test run included a message of progress and resilience. He painted a rosy economic picture and offered a message of a strong job market while the country still faces record-high inflation.
"We are the only country that has emerged from every crisis stronger than when we entered it," he said.
In Biden's first speech to a divided Congress, he highlighted bipartisan wins over the past two years.
"Yes, we disagreed plenty. And yes, there were times when Democrats had to go it alone. But time and again, Democrats and Republicans came together," he said.
He made a pitch to raise the debt ceiling while accusing some Republicans of wanting to cut Medicare and Social Security. The moment led to a real-time back and forth with some Republicans in the chamber as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-GA) shouted "liar."
"We all apparently agree, Social Security and Medicare is off the books now," the president responded.
Biden also demanded a ban on "assault weapons" and vowed to veto any national abortion ban.
After years of inaction on immigration, he asked for a bipartisan solution.
"Let's also come together on immigration, make it a bipartisan issue once again," he said.
Republicans, who have been calling for Biden to secure the border for years, reiterated those calls during the president's speech.
Biden touted his response to the Chinese spy balloon in the past week.
"As we made clear last week, if China threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country. And we did," he said.
Pentagon Claims China Spy Balloon Delay Was Worth It, GOP Criticizes Failure to Protect US 'Sovereign Space'
The guests included the Ambassador of Ukraine who got a standing ovation.
The mother of Tyre Nichols, who buried her son last week, was also sitting with first lady Jill Biden. "With faith in God, she said her son was a beautiful soul and something good will come from this," the president said.
The brutal beating caught on tape led to a call for police reform.
"Let's commit ourselves to make the words of Tyre's mother come true, something good must come from this," said Biden.
Paul Pelosi, the husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), also looked on from the audience. Biden said he was a symbol of the resilience of democracy as Pelosi continues to recover from a politically motivated hammer attack in his own home.
Shortly after Biden was done speaking, the Republican rebuttal came from Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She slammed the president for being weak on China, not enforcing immigration laws, and causing a humanitarian crisis at the border.
"It's time for a new generation of Republican leadership…The dividing line in America is no longer between right or left. The choice is between normal or crazy," she said.
Other Republicans reacting to the speech told CBN they wanted to hear more on the border and more of an economic plan. The looming fight, however, is the debt ceiling. The U.S. Treasury says the country could default as soon as this summer, and negotiations over raising the debt limit are expected to play out until then.
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