WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Joe Biden gave his first State of the Union address. He touched on issues both domestic and international. Our local Congressional members spoke with us after Biden’s speech. They’re split on Biden’s message.
“My fellow Americans, last year COVID-19 kept us apart,’ said President Biden in his State of the Union speech. “This year, we’re finally together again.”
Biden took this moment to call out Russian President Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine.
“Vladimir Putin sought to shake the very foundations of the free world,” said Biden. “Thinking he could bend to his menacing ways, but he badly miscalculated. He thought he could roll in Ukraine and the world would roll over. Instead, he met with a wall of strength he never anticipated or imagined, he met the Ukrainian people.”
Biden is also using this as an opportunity to reset his presidency after months of economic issues at home, like soaring gas and food prices, inflation and supply chain issues.
“One way to fight inflation is to drive down wages and make Americans poor,” said Biden. “I think have a better idea to fight inflation. Lower your cost, not your wages. That means more cars and semiconductors in America, more infrastructure and innovation in America.”
Our local Congressional members are split on Biden’s message:
“If the President is serious about his comments of funding police and supporting our law enforcement and securing our southern border, those are priorities that Americans care about,” said Rep. Fred Keller (R- PA). “But I’m disappointed in the fact that he’s been talking more about what we do to stop buying Russian energy.”
“It was a very strong speech,” said Sen. Bob Casey (D- PA). “I think it was a unifying speech, certainly unifying on the issue of our determined efforts as a nation to to fight against Russian aggression and to make Vladimir Putin pay a price. The President was very unifying, especially at the end when he talked about, four major challenges that the nation has weakened work on both parties; whether it’s helping veterans, helping children with mental health needs, combating the opioid epidemic and fighting back against cancer and trying to defeat the ravages of cancer.”