Brownstein Client Alert, Feb. 8, 2023
President Joe Biden delivered his second State of the Union address on Feb. 7, facing a divided Congress for the first time in his presidency. Biden opened with a show of bipartisanship, drawing cheers as he congratulated the Democratic and Republican leaders in each chamber.
Biden revived several themes from the 2020 campaign trail and his first year in office, reminding viewers of his promises to “restore the soul of the nation,” and his promise “to be the president for all Americans.” He did, however, critique Republicans in the chamber, taking aim at their opposition to some of his marquee legislative achievements, such as the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the ongoing negotiations around the debt limit. Biden also criticized some Republicans attempting to leverage debt-ceiling negotiations to cut spending on Medicare and Social Security. This allegation elicited a brief outburst from Republicans—one of several in the chamber that night.
Overall, Biden’s speech focused on three key areas:
Though Biden jockeyed with Republicans at several points during his 72-minute address, he began and ended the night on an optimistic note, describing the United States as a country “in a new age of possibilities,” and advocating for the victory of “unity over division.” He noted that he signed over 300 bipartisan pieces of legislation since his inauguration and called for continued cross-aisle collaboration in the upcoming session.
How much bipartisan legislation the House, Senate and White House are capable of this year remains to be seen, but for key takeaways from the 2023 State of the Union address, click here.
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