US President Biden Touts Administration's Economic Policies In State Of The Union Address

'Buy American' has been the law of the land since 1933
US President Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden

America today is in a much better shape than it was two years ago when its economy was "reeling", President Joe Biden has asserted, touting his administration's economic accomplishments in his State of the Union address as he laid the groundwork for his 2024 White House run. The economy is coming back, even if there’s more to do on inflation, Biden told Americans on Tuesday in his primetime address to the nation, his second since assuming the presidency in 2021.

The economy was reeling two years ago, he said, adding that today the unemployment rate is at a 50-year low. “We’ve been sent here to finish the job,” Biden said, a phrase he used repeatedly as he laid out his agenda for the next two years. In his 72-minute speech, 80-year-old Biden, the oldest sitting US President, touted areas of bipartisan agreement, telling Republicans that “there’s no reason we can’t work together” after the Republican Party took control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections. 

His remarks amounted to the opening of a re-election campaign he plans to announce by this spring, The New York Times Newspaper reported. 
“Two years ago, our economy was reeling. As I stand here tonight, we have created a record 12 million new jobs, more jobs created in two years than any president has ever created in four years,” he said before the joint session of the US Congress. “Two years ago, COVID had shut down our businesses, closed our schools, and robbed us of so much. Today, COVID no longer controls our lives. And two years ago, our democracy faced its greatest threat since the Civil War. Today, though bruised, our democracy remains unbowed and unbroken,” Biden said.

Confronting a divided Congress for the first time since taking office, Biden talked back as Republicans heckled him from the floor of the House of Representatives they now control. Biden told the lawmakers that as they gather at the US Capitol they are writing the next chapter in the great American story, a story of progress and resilience.

“When world leaders ask me to define America, I define our country in one word: Possibilities. You know, we’re often told that Democrats and Republicans can’t work together. But over these past two years, we proved the cynics and the naysayers wrong,” he said. “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. Came together to defend a stronger and safer Europe,” he said.

“Came together to pass a once-in-a-generation infrastructure law, building bridges to connect our nation and people. Came together to pass one of the most significant laws ever, helping veterans exposed to toxic burn pits,” he said amidst applause from the Congressmen. Biden told Congress that the State of the Union is strong. 

“As I stand here tonight, I have never been more optimistic about the future of America. We just have to remember who we are,” he said. Biden used the phrase “finish the job” 13 times in his address — calling on Congress to do everything from capping the price of insulin at USD 35 per month to imposing new taxes on the wealthiest Americans to passing a ban on assault weapons.

He said he would not let Republicans “take the economy hostage” over the debt ceiling, Biden asserted that his administration is building an economy where no one is left behind. “Jobs are coming back, pride is coming back, because of the choices we made in the last two years. This is a blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America and make a real difference in your lives,” he said.

Biden asserted that manufacturing has been one of the top priorities of his administration. “For too many decades, we imported products and exported jobs. Now, thanks to all we’ve done, we’re exporting American products and creating American jobs,” he said. "Inflation has been a global problem because of the pandemic that disrupted supply chains and (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s war (against Ukraine) that disrupted energy and food supplies," Biden said.

But the United States is better positioned than any country on Earth, he insisted. Acknowledging that his administration has more to do, "but here at home, inflation is coming down," he said.  The gas prices are down USD 1.50 a gallon since their peak. Food inflation is coming down, he said.  Inflation has fallen every month for the last six months while take-home pay has gone up, he added.

Biden said that his administration is making sure the supply chain for America begins in America.  “We’ve already created 800,000 manufacturing jobs even without this law. With this new law, we will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs across the country,” he said. “That’s going to come from companies that have announced more than USD 300 billion in investments in American manufacturing in the last two years,” Biden said.

He said that “Made in America” is the top priority of his administration and announced that bridges, roads and highways in the country will be made with American construction materials.  to maintain the strongest economy in the world, the US also needs the best infrastructure in the world.  The US used to be number 1 in the world in infrastructure, but then it fell to number 13th, he said.

“Now we’re coming back because we came together to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the largest investment in infrastructure since President Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System,” he said. He said 'Buy American' has been the law of the land since 1933.  "But for too long, past administrations have found ways to get around it. Not anymore,” Biden said in his joint address to the US Congress.

“Tonight, I’m also announcing new standards to require all construction materials used in federal infrastructure projects to be made in America. American-made lumber, glass, drywall, fiber optic cables,” he said. He said under his watch, American roads, bridges and highways will be made with American products.

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