State of the Union LIVE BLOG: Biden addresses a divided Congress02/08/2023
State of the Union LIVE: Biden and First Lady Jill leave the White House as lawmakers Marjorie Taylor Greene and George Santos take their seats in the Capitol
President Joe Biden is delivering his first speech to a divided Congress on Tuesday night, where he’s expected to call for the implementation of a billionaire’s tax and take a strong stance against China.
It’s his third address to a Joint Session of Congress as president.
The highly-anticipated speech comes just days after the U.S. military shot down a suspected ‘spy balloon’ sent by Beijing, which floated over several states last week before being felled off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday.
Follow along below for DailyMail.com’s live blog coverage:
The State of the Union’s designated survivor is Labor Secretary Marty Walsh.
It was just reported today that Walsh will soon be departing the Biden administration to lead the NHL’s hockey players union
Lawmakers in the chamber ahead of President Joe Biden’s speech gave a surprisingly enthusiastic welcome to the Supreme Court justices who entered the chamber.
New Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson received an embrace from Democratic Rep. Al Greene upon her arrival.
Retired Justices Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy are also here – but conservative court members Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito are not.
U2’s lead singer Bono was spotted near Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul to watch President Biden’s speech, set to begin in less than 15 minutes.
Bono was among the invitees brought by First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.
Other high-profile guests include Enes Kanter Freedom, the NBA star who is the subject of a bounty by Turkish officials seeking information on his capture.
Kanter Freedom is a guest of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s, and has been a frequent guest on Capitol Hill of late as he presses the US Congress to do more against Turkey’s authoritarian regime.
Two of House Republicans’ most controversial conference members are already in their places ahead of President Joe Biden’s speech.
Marjorie Taylor Greene appears to have left behind the white balloon she’d been taking around the Capitol all day as an indirect criticism of Biden’s handling of an alleged Chinese spy balloon.
Meanwhile embattled freshman George Santos took a bold seat right near the center aisle where all the major players are arriving tonight – though he’s moved back toward the center as senators file into the room.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle stood to applaud when Vice President Kamala Harris entered the House chamber, followed by both Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
West Virginia conservative Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin was seen shaking hands with people on both sides of the aisle – literally and figuratively – upon his arrival.
His fellow centrist, Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, wore an eye-popping yellow dress with large sleeves – keeping up with her usual eccentric form of dress.
Harris remarked to House Speaker McCarthy upon taking her place next to him, ‘We’ve got a packed house.’
House lawmakers have started filling the chamber where President Joe Biden is set to address a joint session of Congress in roughly half an hour at 9pm ET.
Guests are milling about the upper gallery as the legislators who invited them chat with colleagues and get ready for the speech.
Republican Reps. Beth Van Duyne, Ronny Jackson and Cory Mills were spotted posing for a selfie on the House floor.
On the other side of the chamber, House Minority Whip Katherine Clark posed for her own photo with Democratic colleagues.
Freshman Republican Rep. Juan Ciscomani has been tapped to deliver Republicans’ Spanish-language rebuttal to the State of the Union, a key speech for a party that’s been growing its base of Hispanic and Latino support.
According to early excerpts of the speech, Ciscomani will talk about the American Dream and how he believes Democrats are failing it now.
‘We are at a critical point in our nation’s history. Now, more than ever, we need to fight for the values that made it possible for so many to live the American Dream,’ he’s expected to say.
‘Unfortunately, President Biden and his administration continue to push policies that hurt our families.’
Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi’s guest to the State of the Union tonight will be US Capitol Police Sergeant Aquilino Gonell, keeping the memory of the 2021 riot at the forefront during President Biden’s speech.
Gonell, who was injured when Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol, was among the law enforcement officers who testified in the January 6 select committee’s first hearing.
The committee was dissolved at the end of the last Congress, but Pelosi’s invitation to Gonell is a clear signal that Democrats won’t let their Republican rivals forget about the violent event.
Progressive House Rep. Cori Bush, a member of the so-called ‘Squad,’ posted a video of herself dressed in a jacket emblazoned with slogans used in Black Americans’ fight for police reform.
Decked out in patches that say ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘I still can’t breathe,’ she appears next to her State of the Union guest, Michael Brown Sr.
Brown’s son, who is named after him, was shot and killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014.
The teen’s death sparked national outrage and demonstrations across the country.
Brown is featured in the video wearing a jacket with his son’s photo on the back, along with the message: ‘No justice, no peace.’
SOTU Fit Check⬇️ pic.twitter.com/ChHYgTIiOd
DailyMail.com has created a bingo board for viewers at home to follow along with President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address.
Print out the board on the link below to participate:
Oklahoma GOP Sen. James Lankford announced that his guest for the State of the Union is Border Patrol Union President Brandon Judd.
Lankford claimed that President Biden refused to meet with Judd during his one and only visit to the southern border last month.
‘That’s why I’m bringing him to tonight’s State of the Union Address to represent the women & men who are forced to work under Biden’s border crisis,’ the senator said.
The House Judiciary Committee’s Republican majority mocked President Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech before it even began on Tuesday night, encouraging Americans to watch their regularly scheduled television programming instead.
The official House Judiciary GOP Twitter account posted: ‘TV you can watch tonight that will be more informative than Joe Biden’s State of the Union.’
The list includes reality television show Real Housewives of New Jersey, which is also apparently starting at 9pm.
House Republicans are also encouraging people to tune into an airing of Lethal Weapon 2 or an episode of Impractical Jokers instead of the speech.
📺 TV you can watch tonight that will be more informative than Joe Biden's State of the Union:
-The Real Housewives of New Jersey (9:00 p.m. BRAVO)
-Impractical Jokers (9:00 p.m. truTV)
-Lethal Weapon 2 (8:30 p.m. AMC)
-Bering Sea Gold (8:00 p.m. Discovery)
The US-Mexico border has been among Republicans’ most oft-used political cudgels when it comes to President Joe Biden, and the State of the Union address is no different.
It’s not clear if the president is planning to address the crisis at the border – he’s so far only visited the area once while in the White House.
Asked what Biden could do to rebuff GOP criticism that he’s not taking the border seriously enough, South Dakota Rep. Dusty Johnson told DailyMail.com: ‘If President Biden announced tonight that he was putting back into place the Remain in Mexico policy that worked so well under Donald Trump, the place would erupt.’
The policy ended under the Biden administration after progressives and humanitarian groups said it was creating a dangerous and inhumane situation for migrants stuck on the Mexico side of the border.
Read more about what House Republicans told DailyMail.com today about Biden’s speech:
Among the guests First Lady Dr. Jill Biden is bringing to her husband’s State of the Union address is an Austin woman who nearly died after she was unable to get an abortion under Texas’ strict new pro-life laws.
While it’s not clear if President Biden himself will take Republicans on over the issue – which proved to be a boon of support for Democrats in the last election – pro-life group Susan B. Anthony’s List is already taking him to task for the overt messaging.
‘Biden will tell Americans a tragic and frightening, but deeply misleading story about post-Dobbs America – the idea that the pro-life movement is willing to let women die,’ the group said.
‘Let’s be very clear: every pro-life law in the country allows necessary and timely medical treatment to save the life of a pregnant woman in an emergency.’
The White House has released excerpts ahead of President Biden’s planned address to Congress on Tuesday night that show he’ll brag about the economy and call on Republicans to work across the aisle.
Two of three excerpts shared show Biden will tout the country’s economic recovery from the pandemic – on the heels of a historic January jobs report.
He’ll also indicate there is more work to be done, pushing ‘a blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America.’
And Biden is expected to address Republicans directly, telling them: ‘If we could work together in the last Congress, there is no reason we can’t work together in this new Congress.’
‘The people sent us a clear message. Fighting for the sake of fighting, power for the sake of power, conflict for the sake of conflict, gets us nowhere. And that’s always been my vision for the country: to restore the soul of the nation, to rebuild the backbone of America: the middle class, to unite the country. We’ve been sent here to finish the job,’ he will say.
All eyes will be on Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders after President Joe Biden concludes his speech tonight.
Sanders — the youngest governor in the nation and the first woman in Arkansas’ executive mansion — scored the coveted role of delivering the Republican response to the Democratic commander-in-chief’s State of the Union address.
She’s expected to make a contrast between her young age and Biden’s 80 years — the oldest president ever elected.
Sanders is also likely hammer Biden with his policy shortcomings as well as House Republicans’ oversight threats.
DailyMail.com got a preview of her speech, which you can read more about below:
Firebrand Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was spotted carrying a white balloon around Capitol Hill on Tuesday ahead of President Biden’s big speech.
It comes amid fierce GOP criticism over his handling of a suspected Chinese ‘spy balloon’ — which alarmed millions across America last week by flying over several U.S. states at a low enough altitude to be seen by the naked eye.
Biden had the balloon shot down off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday, to avoid civilian casualties from fallen debris. But Republicans have accused him of not acting fact enough.
The president is expected to touch upon the balloon incident in his speech tonight while aiming to take a strong stance against Beijing’s increased aggression.
Early on Tuesday, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy went out of his way to squash speculation that he’s planning some grand public protest while sitting behind President Biden at the State of the Union tonight.
He panned the ‘theatrics’ of ripping up speeches after former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did just that at the end of Donald Trump’s State of the Union address in 2020.
Meanwhile, other House Republicans told DailyMail.com that McCarthy needs to show Americans that his new GOP majority will be the ‘adults in the room.’
Read more of what they said below:
President Biden’s big speech kicks off at 9pm Eastern Time tonight.
He’s expected to make the case for his 2024 re-election — which Biden has not formally declared his intensions for yet.
The president is likely to draw upon his 2020 campaign trail promise to be the country’s unifier-in-chief, pointing to issues where Democrats and Republicans can work together like drug trafficking and veterans’ protections.
Not to forget the progressive base that helped him get elected last time, however, Biden is also expected to call for raising taxes on the wealthy and expanding federal aid.
Read more about what’s expected out of Biden’s speech at the link below:
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