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State of the Union: Joe Biden to speak in annual address amid multiple crises | US | News

Joe Biden is set to host his second State of the Union address today. At 9pm ET, the President will address Congress and set out his view of the US, while also widely being tipped to start working towards a 2024 re-election campaign.

In 2022, Biden discussed Ukraine, inflation and the economy, infrastructure, China, gun control and immigration among other policies and topics.

And this year, with the 2024 election looming, Biden faces a series of issues including record-high inflation, the debt ceiling crisis and growing tensions with China.

It also comes as a poll says most Democrats do not want the 80-year-old President to seek a second term, with the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showing just 37 percent of Democrats back Biden again.

Brian Deese, director of the National Economic Council, said that in his address, Biden would “acknowledge and meet American people where they are,” adding that their “economic anxiety is real.”

“I think the core message is: We have to make more progress, but people should feel optimism,” he added.

What is the State of the Union?

The State of the Union Address is a speech the President gives every year, usually in January.

In the speech, the president talks about how the country is doing and what plans he will be proposing for that year.

Under Article II, Section 3 of the US Constitution, the President “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient”.

When did the State of the Union start?

America’s first Presidents George Washington and John Adams traveled to Congress and gave an oral speech to them, with the first taking place in 1790.

However, Thomas Jefferson decided instead to send a written message in 1801, which remained in place for decades.

Woodrow Wilson revived the in-person speech in 1913, marking the first State of the Union address in 112 years.

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What will Biden say in the State of the Union address?

Expect to see immigration reform, inflation and the economy, and crime and police brutality on the agenda, as the US faces a crisis at the Mexico border, inflation rates at 6.5 percent, and renewed anger after the death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of Tennessee police officers.

As the one-year anniversary of the war in Ukraine approaches, Biden is also likely to speak on the US and NATO’s continued support for Kyiv against Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

In another point of foreign tension, Biden has the chance to respond to a suspected Chinese spy balloon, which drifted over the US last week and to address Beijing after Secretary of State Antony Blicken’s visit was postponed over the incident.

With Speaker Kevin McCarthy to stand behind him during the address, Biden will likely speak on the federal debt ceiling and on House Republican efforts to force his administration to make spending cuts. The President will lay out his budget plan on March 9.

He may also make an appeal to bipartisanship in Washington, as he faces a Republican-controlled House during his next two years as President.


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What’s the mood in Washington?

As the 2024 presidential election looms, and after winning control of the House in the 2022 midterms, Republicans are keen to limit Biden’s spending and legislative agenda, while the President himself is widely expected to lay the foundation for his 2024 campaign.

Reports hold Biden and his team believe they have a strong case to make to the American public that they can contrast with the chaotic early weeks of the House GOP majority.

McCarthy said yesterday ahead of the speech that “it’s time to get to work” on the debt ceiling, while also pushing him to continue talks and compromise.

Meanwhile, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Monday that Biden “will really want to reinforce just what a significant accomplishment has already been achieved and then to reinforce how much more has to be done, how we are committed to doing it, and how we will ask for a bipartisan basis the US Congress to join us in doing that work”.

William Howell, a political scientist at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, told The Hill: “I think this is an impossible speech to give because it’s a speech that requires him to speak both about the state of the union as it is and the direction he hopes to lead it, which is about playing the role of statesman.

“But it also is going to lay the groundwork for most likely his own run for office in 2024, which will call for him to be decidedly political and to cover all kinds of ground.”

*This story has not been edited by The Infallible staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.