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In defiant 2024 State of the Union, Biden fires opening salvo in likely rematch with Trump

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State of the Union 2024 key takeaways and analysis 02:11:21

President Biden on Thursday delivered his third State of the Union, taking a defiant political tone amid the gridlock in Congress and addressing his predecessor and likely opponent, former President Donald Trump, ahead of what will likely be a nasty rematch between the two this November.

While Mr. Biden did not mention Trump by name, he frequently chided "my predecessor," highlighting the unusual race ahead, with two presidents who have pursued vastly different agendas. 

Despite House Speaker Mike Johnson's pleas for decorum, there were still disruptions from Republicans. Mr. Biden veered off script when Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene yelled, "Say her name," of Laken Riley, the Georgia nursing student who was murdered. An undocumented man has been arrested for the crime. Mr. Biden held up a button with Riley's name and addressed her parents, saying, "my heart goes out to you." Several other disruptors were removed from the chamber. 

The president kicked off his speech with a declaration that democracy will be on the ballot in November. He pointed to other "unprecedented" times for the State of Union address, comparing this moment to Franklin Roosevelt's speech in Jan. 1941, when "Hitler was on the march" in Europe. 

"History is watching," he said, urging Congress to "stand up" to Russian President Vladimir Putin. And he criticized his predecessor for his stance toward Putin, accusing Trump of bowing down to him. He spoke of the assault on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, saying "history will be watching." He accused Trump and Republicans of trying to "bury the truth" about the events of Jan. 6.

Mr. Biden also highlighted likely general election campaign issues, including the immigration bill that is stalled by Republicans in Congress. He also touted Democrats as the party protecting abortion access; first lady Jill Biden invited Latorya Beasley, an Alabama woman whose IVF treatment was halted after the state Supreme Court decision declaring IVF embryos "extrauterine children." She also hosted Kate Cox, who sued Texas over its abortion law after the baby she was carrying was diagnosed with a fatal condition. Ultimately, she obtained an abortion out of state.


Biden returns to White House

Mr. Biden's motorcade arrived back at the White House at around 11:45 p.m., and he was greeted by a crowd of staff who cheered as he got out of the presidential limousine.

By Melissa Quinn

Father of U.S. Marine killed in Kabul airport attack arrested for disrupting State of the Union

U.S. Capitol Police said a man who yelled out during Mr. Biden's State of the Union address was arrested. USCP identified him as Steven Nikoui, 51, whose son, Marine Corps Lance Corporal Kareem Nikoui, was killed in the 2021 attack outside the airport in Kabul during the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

"Tonight at approximately 10:15 p.m., a man disrupted the State of the Union Address by yelling," Capitol Police said. "Our officers warned him to stop and when he did not, the man was removed from the House Galleries and was arrested for D.C. Code § 22–1307 - Crowding, Obstructing, or Incommoding. Disrupting the Congress and demonstrating in the Congressional Buildings is illegal."

Nikoui was a guest of Rep. Brian Mast, a Florida Republican, according to the congressman's office.

Father of slain Southern California Marine arrested during State of the Union 01:01
By Melissa Quinn

Biden heads back to White House

The motorcade started rolling back to the White House over an hour after the speech ended. 

By Caroline Linton

Johnson calls speech "overly partisan"

Asked what he thought of the speech, House Speaker Mike Johnson shook his head and said "it was overly partisan."

By Alan He

Sen. Katie Britt delivers GOP rebuttal

Sen. Katie Britt, an Alabama Republican, delivered the GOP response to Mr. Biden's State of the Union address, in emotional remarks from her kitchen.

"Our future starts around kitchen tables just like this," she said. 

Britt, 42, became the youngest Republican woman ever elected to the Senate, and the first woman from Alabama, when she won her seat in 2022. House Republican leaders touted Britt ahead of her address, saying she stands in contrast to Mr. Biden.

The Alabama Republican billed her speech as a "tough conversation" that Americans need to have. She pointed to shortcomings under the Biden administration, like on crime, immigration and the economy, saying Mr. Biden "just doesn't get it."

"The American dream has turned into a nightmare for so many families," she said. 

By Kaia Hubbard

Trump reacts to the president's address: "Worst State of the Union Speech ever made"

Former President Donald Trump, who pledged to respond live to Mr. Biden's address, posted a slew of social media posts disparaging the speech.

"That may be the Angriest, Least Compassionate, and Worst State of the Union Speech ever made. It was an Embarrassment to our Country," the former president said.

During the speech, Trump rebuked the president's claims — from IVF to Ukraine and NATO and the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. And he took the opportunity to mock the president's appearance, like saying he looks "so angry" when he talks, and "his hair is much better in the front than on the back!"

The fact-check style response comes as Trump and Mr. Biden are all-but-certain to face off in November's general election. While the president made no mention of Trump by name during his address, his remarks took a notable campaign-style tone, as he juxtaposed his record with his predecessors. 

By Kaia Hubbard

Biden wraps speech on optimistic note

The president said he's "optimistic," summarizing his remarks with a laundry list of positive ambitions for the future. 

"I'm optimistic. I really am, I'm optimistic," he said. 

"I see a future where we restore the right to choose and protect our freedoms — not take them away," the president said. "I see a future where the middle class finally has a fair shot and the wealthy have to pay their fair share in taxes. I see a future where we save the planet from the climate crisis and our country from gun violence."

"Above all, I see a future for all Americans. I see a country for all Americans. And I will always be president for all Americans."

Mr. Biden credited Americans for being the reason he's "never been more optimistic about our future than I am now."

"So let's build a future together," he said.

By Kaia Hubbard

Biden shuns criticisms of age as he highlights his experience

As he neared the end of his speech — even joking to Sen. Lindsey Graham that he has "a few more things" to say — Mr. Biden didn't shy away from his age, but instead said his years in public service have provided him clarity.

"I know it may not look like it, but I've been around a while. When you get to be my age certain things become clearer than ever before," he said. "I know the American story. Again and again I've seen the contest between competing forces in the battle for the soul of our nation. Between those who want to pull America back to the past and those who want to move America into the future."

Biden pokes fun at age criticisms in closing State of the Union remarks 05:20

The president said he has learned to "embrace freedom and democracy, a future based on core values that have defined America: Honesty. Decency. Dignity. Equality. To respect everyone. To give everyone a fair shot. To give hate no safe harbor."

Mr. Biden then drew contrasts to Trump, though again, he did not mention him by name.

"Other people my age see a different story. The American story of resentment, revenge, and retribution," he said. "That's not me."

Mr. Biden is 81 years old and Trump is 77 years old.

The president noted that during his career, he has been told he's too young and too old. But he said that despite his age, he has "always known what endures. I've known our North Star."

"The very idea of America, that we are all created equal and deserve to be treated equally throughout our lives," he said.

By Melissa Quinn

Biden addresses Israel-Hamas war

"I know the last five months have been gut wrenching for so many people," Mr. Biden said of the months since the Israel-Hamas war began on Oct. 7.

Mr. Biden reiterated his support for Israel working to eliminate Hamas, but he said that Israel also has a "responsibility" to protect innocent civilians in Gaza. He said he's been working to establish a ceasefire in Gaza that would last for six weeks. And he announced the administration's plan to create a temporary port on the Gaza coast in an effort to increase the flow of humanitarian aid.

Some progressives stood during the remarks, holding signs reading "stop sending bombs," appearing to protest U.S. aid to Israel amid its bombardment of Gaza. 

The president also made clear that "Israel must do its part," while adding that "humanitarian assistance cannot be a secondary consideration or a bargaining chip."

"The only real solution to the situation is a two-state solution over time," he said, noting that there's no other path that guarantees peace.

Biden reiterates support for Israel and calls for two-state solution 05:21
By Kaia Hubbard

"We must stop it," Mr. Biden says of gun violence

The president introduced Jazmin Cazares, whose sister, Jackie, was killed in the 2022 shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and repeated his calls for Congress to pass legislation banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and strengthening background checks.

Mr. Biden has pushed lawmakers to act after each mass shooting that has occurred since he assumed the presidency.

"My predecessor told the NRA he's proud he did nothing on guns when he was president. After another school shooting in Iowa he said we should just 'get over it,'" the president said. "I say we must stop it."

In State of the Union, Biden says "we must stop" gun violence 02:07

Mr. Biden continued: "We must beat the NRA again."

He pushed back on the claim that banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines violates the Second Amendment.

"Stop it. Stop it. Stop it," he said of gun violence.

By Melissa Quinn

Biden paints contrast with Trump: "Unlike my predecessor, I know who we are as Americans"

As he began wrapping his remarks on immigration, Mr. Biden attempted to draw a moral line between himself and Trump in the way they view the country, saying that unlike Trump, he knows "who we are as Americans."

"We are the only nation in the world with a heart and soul that draws from old and new," Mr. Biden said. "Home to people of every place on Earth… That's America, and we all come from somewhere, but we're all American."

"I will not demonize immigrants saying they are poisoning the blood of our country," Mr. Biden said, appearing to make reference to recent comments from his political rival, Trump. 

By Kaia Hubbard

Biden holds up Marjorie Taylor Greene's pin with Laken Riley's name as he criticizes Republicans for rejecting border deal

Some Republicans in the House chamber are wearing pins that criticize Mr. Biden for his border policies, but the president went toe-to-toe with the GOP as he criticized members of the party for rejecting a border security bill because they claimed it wasn't strict enough.

"We can fight about the border or we can fix it," he said. "I'm ready to fix it. Send me the border bill now."

Mr. Biden noted that the legislation was endorsed by the Border Patrol Union and Chamber of Commerce, which sparked yelling from Republicans.

"Look at the facts," he said. "I know you know how to read."

As Mr. Biden lamented that "politics has derailed this bill," and criticized Trump for urging members of Congress to block it, he veered off script to mention Laken Riley, the Georgia woman who was killed last month. 

The president held up a button with Riley's name given to him by Greene as he entered the House chamber and delivered a message to her parents, saying "my heart goes out to you."

Greene could be seen in the audience yelling "say her name."

By Melissa Quinn

Biden calls for restoring the Child Tax Credit

The president called on Congress to restore the child tax credit that he approved in the early days of his administration amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has since expired. 

"Restore that Child Tax Credit — no child should go hungry in this country," Mr. Biden said. 

Leaders of congressional tax committees announced a deal earlier this year on a tax package that would expand the Child Tax Credit, albeit more modestly than during the pandemic. But its path forward is unclear at present. 

The agreement would bolster the Child Tax Credit, aiming to give relief to lower-income families. An enhanced version of the Child Tax Credit was distributed in monthly increments during the pandemic and greatly reduced child poverty. Those monthly payments ended at the end of 2021, and Democrats have pushed to resurrect the assistance ever since.

By Kaia Hubbard

Biden reiterates his tax pledge and calls for fairness in the tax code

Mr. Biden said that though he considers himself a capitalist, he believes that high-earners should "pay your fair share in taxes."

"A fair tax code is how we invest in things, that make a country great, health care, education, defense and more," he said.

Mr. Biden criticized the Trump administration for enacting a tax reform package that he said benefited the wealthy and big corporations, and grew the deficit.

"For folks at home, does anybody really think the tax code is fair?" the president said. "Do you really think the wealthy and big corporations need another $2 trillion in tax breaks? I sure don't. I'm going to keep fighting like hell to make it fair."

Mr. Biden reiterated his promise that any individual earning less than $400,000 will not pay more in federal taxes.

The president highlighted his proposal to implement a minimum tax of 25% for billionaires, which he said would raise more than $500 billion over the next decade.

"Imagine what that could do for America," he said.

By Melissa Quinn

Biden touts infrastructure law, CHIPS Act and other legislative achievements

The president ran through his legislative achievements during his first term in office, including a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package to revitalize the nation's roads, bridges, waterways and public transit, and legislation that aims to boost domestic production of semiconductor chips.

Biden touts economic record and infrastructure law 09:20

Mr. Biden noted that some Republicans who opposed the infrastructure bill have been cheering investments in their districts.

"If any of you don't want that money in your district, just let me know," he said.

The president introduced Shawn Fain, president of the United Auto Workers, and Dawn Simms, a third-generation UAW worker in Belvidere, Illinois, to celebrate the end of the historic strike last year that resulted in a labor agreement with the Detroit Big 3 auto manufacturers. Mr. Biden became the first president to ever participate in a picket line amid that strike. 

"Wall Street didn't build this country. The middle class built this country, and unions built the middle class," he said. "When Americans get knocked down, we get back up!"

Mr. Biden also touted the efforts of his administration in lowering prescription drug prices. He pledged to protect the Affordable Care Act, saying it's "still a very big deal," a reference to his whispered comment to then-President Barack Obama when he signed the legislation 2010 that "this is a big f**king deal."

"I am protecting it and expanding it," he said.

By Melissa Quinn

"The State of our Union is strong and getting stronger," the president says

Mr. Biden repeated the phrase so often heard at the annual address before a joint session of Congress, crediting Americans for the union being "strong and getting stronger."

"It's because of you America's coming back, it's because of you our future is brighter, it's because of you that tonight we can proudly say that the state of our union is strong and getting stronger," Mr. Biden said. 

The president outlined a future of possibilities for Americans that "we can build together." Pointing to a long list of priorities, like lowering prescription drug prices, investing in women's health research, lowering housing costs, investing in education, and making college more affordable, among other things.

"I say to the American people, when America gets knocked down, we get back up," he said. "We keep going — that's America."

By Kaia Hubbard

"We'll win again in 2024," Biden says, citing abortion as mobilizing force for voters

The president credited reproductive rights for propelling Democrats to victory in recent elections, saying "we'll win again in 2024." He promised to restore Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed a right to an abortion, if the American people elect a Congress that "supports the right to choose."

Indeed, exit polls show that the abortion issue has brought voters to the polls in recent elections, including the midterms. While a red wave was expected in the 2022 midterms, Democrats defied expectations and saw record turnout in many contests. While that may be the case in 2024, Mr. Biden's pledge to restore Roe would face steep roadblocks, especially in the Senate, where 60 senators would be needed to advance any legislation. 

By Kaia Hubbard

Biden urges Congress to "guarantee the right to IVF nationwide"

Biden calls on Congress to guarantee right to IVF nationwide 04:00

Mr. Biden introduced two guests sitting with first lady Jill Biden — Latorya Beasley and Kate Cox, who both were impacted by recent decisions involving fertility and abortion.

Beasley, a social worker from Alabama, was set to undergo in vitro fertilization treatments when the Alabama Supreme Court issued a decision finding that frozen embryos could be considered children under state law. The ruling caused clinics in the state to halt IVF services.

Introducing Beasley, the president urged Congress to "stand up for families like" hers.

"To my friends across the aisle: Don't keep families waiting any longer. Guarantee the right to IVF nationwide," he said.

Turning to the 2022 Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, the president introduced Cox, a Texas woman who was forced to travel out of state to obtain an abortion after learning her fetus had a fatal condition.

"Look at the chaos," Mr. Biden said, referencing the fallout from Roe's reversal.

Mr. Biden criticized Republicans who have pledged to pass a national ban on abortion, lamenting, "My God, what freedom else would you take away?"

He also quoted from Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, the Supreme Court's decision that ended the constitutional right to abortion, which said that "women are not without electoral or political power." Several of the justices who were in the majority in the decision overturning Roe are in attendance.

"You're about to realize just how much you were right about that," Mr. Biden said of the women who have gone to the polls in the wake of the Dobbs decision. 

By Melissa Quinn

Biden said Americans can't "bury the truth" about the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6

The president said this is a moment to "speak the truth," not bury the lies about the events of Jan. 6.

Mr. Biden said the lies about the 2020 election pose the greatest threat to democracy since the Civil War. Without mentioning Trump by name, he urged that love for country can't come only when a leader wins an election. 

By Kaia Hubbard

Biden says "history is watching" to Congress about passing foreign aid

Mr. Biden pushed for the passage of his foreign aid, saying his message to Russian President Vladimir Putin is simple: "We will not walk away." He said Congress had to pass the national security bill. 

Mr. Biden emphasized "history is watching," and said "just like history was watched three years ago on Jan. 6." 

By Caroline Linton

Biden celebrates Sweden joining NATO

"Welcome, welcome, welcome," Biden said as he asked Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, who was seated in the First Lady's box, to stand. 

He touted making NATO stronger than ever, noting Finland's entrance into the alliance last year as well. 

By Kaia Hubbard

Biden warns freedom and democracy are "under assault" in the U.S.

Mr. Biden began his speech with a quip, "If I were smart, I'd go home."

He then turned serious, telling those assembled in the House chamber that "it is we who face an unprecedented moment in the history of the union."

Mr. Biden said he came to the joint session to "wake up this Congress and alert the American people that this is no ordinary moment either."

Biden opens State of the Union address with focus on democracy 07:26

The president warned that not since the time of President Abraham Lincoln have freedom and democracy been under such threat in the U.S.  But, Mr. Biden continued, "what makes our moment rare is that freedom and democracy are under attack both at home and overseas at the very same time."

He then turned to foreign policy and urged lawmakers to pass assistance for Ukraine to help it defend itself from Russian aggression. Mr. Biden took his first jab at former President Donald Trump, his likely opponent in November, although did not mention him by name.

Instead, Mr. Biden criticized his predecessor for his stance toward Russian President Vladimir Putin and accused Trump of bowing down to the Russian leader.

"It's outrageous. It's dangerous. It's unacceptable," the president said.

By Melissa Quinn

Biden enters the House chamber

Mr. Biden entered the House chamber at 9:16 p.m. to raucous applause from Democrats. He shook hands with lawmakers who snagged seats along the aisle as he made the walk to the rostrum. Trailing the president were Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Also positioned along the aisle is Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who is wearing a red "Make America Great Again" hat and was heard telling the president "say her name," a reference to Laken Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student who was killed last month in Athens, Georgia. The suspect in her death is a Venezuelan migrant. 

Mr. Biden stopped to speak with Sens. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, and Mitt Romney, a Utah Republican, who are both retiring at the end of their terms.

Entering the chamber ahead of him were members of his Cabinet. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona is not in attendance, as he is the designated survivor.

By Melissa Quinn

The Supreme Court justices in attendance

Attending Mr. Biden's State of the Union are six of the nine members of the Supreme Court: Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Ketanji Brown Jackson. Retired Justice Anthony Kennedy is also there.

Supreme Court justices attend the 2024 State Of The Union Address
Supreme Court justices attending President Biden's State of the Union address (left to right): Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh in the House Chamber on March 7, 2024.  Shawn Thew/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Absent are Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Amy Coney Barrett.

Thomas and Alito have not attended the annual address in recent years.

Alito last attended the State of the Union in 2010, when he was caught on camera mouthing "not true" after then-President Barack Obama criticized the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission.

Thomas, meanwhile, said in 2010 the annual speech has become "partisan" and remarked that "it's uncomfortable for a judge to sit there."

By Melissa Quinn

Speaker Mike Johnson ahead of the address: "We need to get back to decorum"

House Speaker Mike Johnson talks complexities of IVF legislation, State of the Union priorities 08:21

Earlier in the day on Thursday, Speaker Mike Johnson said leadership has been "trying to turn the temperature down," urging that lawmakers need to get back to decorum after last year's notable interruptions by House Republicans, and other infractions in recent years. 

"I do think we need to get back to decorum and respect the institution and I've been trying to model that myself," Johnson told "CBS Mornings" co-host Tony Dokoupil. He joked that he won't be tearing up his copy of the speech, like former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2020 during Trump's presidency.

"We want to maintain decorum," he said. "There's going to be a lot that we disagree with — I'll probably disagree with almost everything President Biden says tonight — but we have to respect this institution and respect the people and have an honest dialogue about how to move forward and I think we can in the days ahead."

By Kaia Hubbard

Biden departs White House for Capitol

Mr. Biden has entered the presidential limousine, dubbed "The Beast," and his motorcade is en route to the Capitol from the White House.

Before he left, he told a reporter he was "feeling good!" and pumped his fist. 

Mr. Biden then looked back at the crowd gathered on the steps of the White House to see him off and said "don't jump, I need you! See you all later."

By Melissa Quinn

What lawmakers are signaling with their attire and accessories

Various groups of lawmakers are using their clothing and accessories to make statements from the House floor while Biden delivers his address to Congress. 

Some lawmakers are wearing yellow and blue to express their continued support for Ukraine in its war against Russia, while others are wearing blue to express support for the Israeli hostages.

Members of the  Democratic Women's Caucus are wearing white, along with "Fighting for Reproductive Freedom" pins.  

President Biden Delivers State Of The Union Address
Representative Katherine Clark, a Democrat from Massachusetts, center, in Statuary Hall ahead of a State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, US, on Thursday, March 7, 2024.   Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

And some Republicans are donning white ribbons to honor so-called "angel families" or victims of crimes committed by migrants. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, a Georgia Republican, is wearing a button for Laken Riley, a slain 22-year-old nursing student. The suspect in her death is a Venezuelan migrant. 

President Biden Delivers State Of The Union Address
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 07: U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) (R) and Rep. Diana Harshbarger (R-TN) attend President Joe Biden's State of the Union address during a joint meeting of Congress in the House chamber at the U.S. Capitol on March 07, 2024 in Washington, DC.  Win McNamee / Getty Images

And others are wearing buttons calling for an end to the "Biden border crisis."

By Kaia Hubbard

Protesters block road to the Capitol

Demonstrators protesting Mr. Biden's response to the Israel-Hamas war are blocking one of the roads leading to the Capitol. Several hold signs reading "Stop U.S. military aid to Israel" and are wearing t-shirts that read "Biden's legacy = genocide."

At least two banners were also unfurled. One read "The people demand stop arming Israel," and the the other "Biden's legacy is genocide."

It's unclear whether the demonstration will impact Mr. Biden's drive to the Capitol from the White House.

The president has come under pressure from some progressives to call for a permanent cease-fire in Gaza, where five months of fighting between Hamas and Israel has devastated the Hamas-run territory. Israel 

The U.S. has conducted airdrops of food aid into Gaza amid a humanitarian crisis, and Mr. Biden is set to announce during his speech that the U.S. military will help establish a temporary port on the Gaza coast to increase the flow of food, medicine and other items into the area. 

The motorcade took a differnent route to the Capitol and did not pass the protesters. 

By Melissa Quinn

George Santos makes surprise appearance

Former Rep. George Santos, who was expelled from the House in December in a historic vote, made a surprise appearance in the House chamber. 

House Rules give former lawmakers floor privileges, unless they're registered lobbyists or foreign agents, or they have "any direct personal or pecuniary interest in any legislative measure pending before the House or reported by a committee," or have been "convicted by a court of record for the commission of a crime in relation to that individual's election to, or service to, the House."

President Biden Delivers State Of The Union Address
Former U.S. Rep. George Santos sits with Rep. Matt Gaetz before the State of the Union address during a joint meeting of Congress in the House chamber at the U.S. Capitol on March 7, 2024, in Washington, DC. Getty Images

Santos is facing nearly two dozen criminal charges alleging that he defrauded campaign donors and then used the money to pay for personal expenses like designer clothing, stole his donors' identities and made thousands of dollars in unauthorized charges on their credit cards. He is also accused of lying to Congress about his financial circumstances and falsifying campaign finance reports. 

His trial is scheduled for September. 

At last year's State of the Union, Santos had a tense exchange moments before the address with Sen. Mitt Romney in which Romney told Santos he did not belong there. 

By Caitlin Yilek

The notable guests attending Biden's State of the Union address

Among the White House guests joining first lady Jill Biden in the House gallery on Thursday are IVF patients, gun control activists, civil rights advocates and recipients of student loan debt relief.

Kate Cox, a Texas woman who made headlines for speaking out after being denied an abortion in the state, is also among the list, as is Shawn Fain, the president of the United Auto Workers union, who recently endorsed Mr. Biden. And Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson of Sweden, which recently cleared the last hurdle to join NATO, is also expected to attend at the White House's invitation.

By Kaia Hubbard

CBS News poll finds most Americans see "state of the union" as divided, but their economic outlook has been improving


CBS News asked Americans over the past week, "If you could give the 'State of the Union,' which would you say describes the state of the country today?" 

We received some negative evaluations.

"Divided" was the answer picked by most, followed by "declining" and "weak." 

Fewer Americans picked "strong," "prospering" or "united."

Democrats and Republicans describe the country as "divided."

Republicans, who are especially critical of the way things are going in the country, generally — and of President Biden — are more likely than Democrats to choose "declining" and "weak."

And while Democrats are more upbeat about the way things are going, few describe the state of the country as "strong."

See more of CBS News' polling here.

By Jennifer De Pinto

When does Biden's State of the Union for 2024 start and end tonight? Key times to know

President Biden's 2024 State of the Union address is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. ET. The White House has not said how long this year's speech is expected to last.

Mr. Biden's 2023 State of the Union, which took place on Feb. 7 that year, lasted 1 hour and 13 minutes, according to the American Presidency Project from University of California, Santa Barbara. The year before, Mr. Biden spoke for 1 hour, 1 minute and 50 seconds for his March 1, 2022, State of the Union. The president's April, 28, 2021 address ran for 1 hour, 5 minutes and 8 seconds.

Former President Donald Trump's 2020 State of the Union lasted a bit longer. In that speech, held Feb. 4, Trump spoke for 1 hour, 18 minutes and 4 seconds, according to the American Presidency Project. That address was marked by then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tearing up a copy of Trump's remarks as he concluded.

By Melissa Quinn

By Melissa Quinn

Biden to seek to restore Roe v. Wade, will offer indictment of Trump without naming him

Election-year politics will be an overt part of this year's State of the Union. Mr. Biden will be speaking directly about the role of abortion access in Democrats' political victories, and according to excerpts released by the White House in advance of his address, the president will be promising to restore Roe v. Wade as the law of the land on abortion rights if Americans elect a Democratic Congress. 

Noting that the Supreme Court, in overturning Roe, said that women "are not without electoral or political power," Mr. Biden will go on to take a jab at conservatives who celebrated the end of the federal right to an abortion.

"Clearly those bragging about overturning Roe v. Wade have no clue about the power of women in America," he's expected to say. "But they found out when reproductive freedom was on the ballot and won in 2022, 2023, and they will find out again in 2024. If Americans send me a Congress that supports the right to choose, I promise you: I will restore Roe v. Wade as the law of the land again."

And though he may not name Trump in his address, Mr. Biden will be talking about him, seeking to contrast his presidency with what the former president would offer — and to remind voters that his opponent's age is close to his own.

"My lifetime has taught me to embrace freedom and democracy. A future based on the core values that have defined America: honesty, decency, dignity, equality," the president will say, according to excerpts.  "To respect everyone. To give everyone a fair shot. To give hate no safe harbor. Now some other people my age see a different story: an American story of resentment, revenge, and retribution. That's not me."

Trump plans to provide a running commentary on Mr. Biden's address on social media. This evening, before the speech, the former president called on Mr. Biden to " immediately terminate the Witch Hunt against his Political Opponent, ME."


How to watch Biden's State of the Union address

President Biden heads to Capitol Hill Thursday evening to deliver his annual State of the Union address to members of Congress and viewers across the nation. It will be followed by the Republican response, given this year by Sen. Katie Britt of Alabama.

  • What: President Biden delivers the State of the Union address
  • Date: Thursday, March 7, 2024
  • Time: 9 p.m. ET
  • Live coverage: CBS News prime-time coverage begins streaming at 8 p.m. ET on, Paramount+, the free CBS News app, and broadcasting at 9 p.m. on CBS television stations.
  • Location: U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
  • On TV: CBS television stations (find your local station here
  • Online stream: Live on CBS News in the video player above and on your mobile or streaming device 

CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett and political correspondent Caitlin Huey-Burns anchor a live, hour-long State of the Union special from Capitol Hill starting at 8 p.m. ET to preview the address and report on the arrivals in the House chamber, on, Paramount+, and the free CBS News app.

"CBS Evening News" anchor and managing editor Norah O'Donnell anchors a Special Report for President Biden's address and the Republican response from 9-11 p.m. ET.


White House previews some issues Biden will address in State of the Union speech

White House previews issues Biden will address in State of the Union speech 04:55

President Biden will denounce extremism and discuss the U.S. economy, the state of democracy, and civil and women's rights in tonight's State of the Union address before both chambers of Congress. CBS News White House and political correspondent Ed O'Keefe chats with White House deputy press secretary Olivia Dalton about the president's priorities for tonight's address.

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