Joe Biden to Highlight His Administration's Economic Achievements in Annual State of the Union Address

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The US president will seek to highlight his efforts to rebuild activity at home and set the stage for a 2024 re-election bid

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Joe Biden will highlight the economic achievements of his administration in the speech Annual State of the Union

Biden smiles during 2022 speech (Reuters)

President Joe Biden will deliver his second State of the Union address on Tuesday Union to remind Americans how their lives have improved during the first two years of his administration, as he tries to confront pessimism at home and navigate the thorny politics of a new division in Washington.< /p>

Instead of presenting major new policy proposals, Biden is expected to spend much of his speech highlighting his work over the past two years to create jobs, fight inflation and improve the country's infrastructure . The president is trying to appeal to voters ahead of an announcement expected in the coming months that he will run for office again despite voter frustration over the direction the nation is headed.

“Next week I will be reporting on the State of the Union,” Biden said Friday after a better-than-expected jobs report was released, which said the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in more than 53 years. “But today I'm happy to report that the state of the Union and the state of our economy is strong.”

Biden will deliver his speech from the podium of the House of Representatives< /b>in a completely different context than last year. Now Republicans control the floor, so it's unlikely any significant new bills will make it to the president's desk. The GOP is eager to reverse many of Biden's gains and make the ugly point of ongoing investigations, including one into recent findings, at his residence and an office, of confidential documents from when he was vice president.< /p>

On Capitol Hill, he will address the full Congress, nearly every top government official and a wide television audience, buoyed by news that the economy is making a strong recovery from the pandemic. “This is an incredibly optimistic President,” said Karine Jean-Pierre, White House Press Secretary.

But Saturday's dramatic downing of a huge Chinese balloon for a US Air Force fighter makes the shaky relationship with the communist superpower literally hang over the Biden administration.

And there's trouble closer to home, with two new polls showing more than half of voters don't want Biden to run for a second term in 2024.

Joe Biden will highlight his administration's economic achievements in the annual State of the Union address

Joe Biden (Reuters)

“Jobs are up, wages are up, inflation is down, and COVID no longer controls our lives,” Biden told the Democratic National Committee on Friday. “But now, the extreme Republicans in the Make America Great Again caucus in the House of Representatives have made it abundantly clear that they intend to put everything on the line. They intend to destroy it.”

Meanwhile, the president is shifting his focus from legislating to implementing his huge climate and infrastructure initiatives passed by the previous Congress. And in trying to make sure Americans give him credit for the improvements.

“These things don't sell themselves,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, to NBC. “And it's one of the reasons I'm really looking forward to that State of the Union address. I will say that there have been many achievements during this administration. It can be tricky to list them all in a condensed form.”

While the possibility of large-scale bipartisan action in Washington remains unlikely, Biden is set to reiterate his 2022 call for Congress to support his “unity agenda” of actions to address the opioid epidemic, mental health, veterans' health, and cancer.

Biden also urge lawmakers to responsibly raise the ceiling on government debt and maintain government funding. The president has continued to oppose negotiating to avoid a default, while Republicans seek deep spending cuts to reduce the deficit.

Although Biden has yet to formally announce his candidate by 2024, the speech—followed by two very similar campaign trips on Wednesday and Thursday to Wisconsin and Florida—is expected to give him a big boost.

However, the drama of the Chinese spy balloon shows how narratives in Washington easily take new and dangerous turns.

When Biden speaks, half of the congressmen present in the chamber, as well as the Speaker of the House , Kevin McCarthy, sitting right behind him, will be Republicans vowing to use their narrow new House majority to block his policies.

Joe Biden to highlight the economic achievements of his administration in the annual State of the Union address

(Reuters)

A major crisis is already brewing over the Republicans' refusal to extend the US debt limit, normally an approval procedure. The Biden administration is warning of a financial calamity, with major international implications, if Republicans stand firm, which could push the United States into default.

That kind of Uncertainties, as well as doubts about Biden's future as the oldest person in office, may be partly to blame for the pessimism in the polls. An ABC News-Washington Post poll found that 58% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents think the party should look for someone else by 2024.

Asked about discontent, Jean-Pierre acknowledged that many voters continue to worry about economic insecurity.

“This is an incredibly difficult time,” he said. The State of the Union will be an “important moment”.

(With information from AP and AFP)

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