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Biden pushes for unity in State of the Union as he speaks to divided Congress

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Special Report: President Biden's 2023 State of the Union address 02:01:22

President Biden on Tuesday opened his State of the Union address with a celebration of bipartisan achievements and a call for unity, as he faces a divided Congress with a new Republican majority in the House.

"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," he said. "That's always been my vision for our country. And I know it's many of yours. To restore the soul of this nation, to rebuild the backbone of America, the middle class and to unite the country. We've been sent here to finish the job."

Mr. Biden praised Republicans who crossed the aisle to pass the 2021 infrastructure bill, and joked that he's being asked to fund projects in districts represented by Republicans who did not vote for the legislation. 

"Don't worry," he said. "I promised I'd be a president for all Americans. We'll fund these projects. And I'll see you at the ground-breaking."

State of the Union
President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, in Washington, as Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Calif., watch. Jacquelyn Martin / AP

But Mr. Biden also confronted Republicans on some issues, like spending. They booed him when he said no president had added more to the national debt in any four years than former President Donald Trump. Look it up, he told them.

Several Republicans also yelled "liar" at Mr. Biden when he said some of them wanted to sunset Social Security in exchange for averting a credit default — and then, taking note of that response, he said that Democrats and Republicans "all apparently agree" to reject any cuts to Medicare and Social Security. 

Mr. Biden received applause from both Democrats and Republicans when said police must be held accountable and acknowledged the family of Tyre Nichols, a Black man who died in January after being beaten by Memphis police.   

The president also used the end of his speech to praise House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband Paul Pelosi's survival of a violent attack, allegedly by someone who believed the "Big Lie" that former President Donald Trump had won the 2020 election.

Still, the president's main message was one of unity. "We must see each other not as enemies, but as fellow Americans," Mr. Biden said. "We are a good people, the only nation in the world built on an idea."

Mr. Biden only made passing mention about China despite the spy balloon saga that has gripped Washington for nearly a week. "I am committed to work with China where we can advance American interests and benefit the world," Mr. Biden said. "But make no mistake about it: As we made clear last week, if China threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country. And we did." 

Republicans have criticized the president over the incident, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene even carried a balloon around the Capitol on Tuesday ahead of the speech. 

The president also addressed the spike in fentanyl smuggling, calling for "a major surge to stop fentanyl production, sale, and trafficking, with more drug detection machines to inspect cargo and stop pills and powder at the border." But many Republicans shouted while he spoke about fentanyl, and at least one shouted "it's your fault." Republicans blame migrants apprehended on foot at the southern border for fentanyl trafficking, but the Biden administration and Democrats reject this claim, citing the statistics that show most fentanyl is seized at ports of entry from trucks and cars.

Mr. Biden's calls for bipartisanship came as a new CBS News poll released Tuesday showed many Americans are still anxious about inflation and the economy, and nearly half say Mr. Biden's policies are making their own families' finances worse.


White House staff celebrated speech afterward, Klain called exchange on Social Security one of the all-time great State of the Union moments

A source familiar said the White House staff watching in press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre's office and elsewhere in the West Wing cheered and high fived when Mr. Biden leaned into Republicans' response by saying "apparently we're not going to have a problem" and "I like conversion."

When Mr. Biden returned to the White House, staff gathered in the Diplomatic Room to receive him, the source said. They applauded and Mr. Biden spoke about how strongly he feels about reasons to be optimistic about the country, the source said. He then recognized departing chief of staff Ron Klain, who the source said responded briefly saying not only was the speech strong on the whole but Mr. Biden  made everyone incredibly proud in the back and forth with Republicans over Medicare and Social Security. The source said Klain said it was an all-time great State of the Union moment that people would look back on for years and it got a big ovation.

The source said the White House is flying high and that Mr. Biden came across exactly how he wanted to. 

By Weijia Jiang

Biden arrives back at White House

Mr. Biden's motorcade arrived at the White house at 11:18 p.m., roughly an hour after he concluded his State of the Union speech. He walked into the White House to applause from staff.

Earlier, as he walked from the dais and out of the House chamber, the president stopped to talk with waiting lawmakers and pose for photos. 

By Melissa Quinn

Biden's Twitter account debuts "Finish the Job" after State of the Union

In some of the actions the White House tweeted about during the speech, the White House used a logo that said "Finish the Job." The Biden administration had used similar branding when they took office with "Build Back Better." 

By Caroline Linton

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel calls Biden the "divider-in-chief"

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel responded to the president's remarks, claiming he "blamed everyone but himself" for challenges the country faces. 

"Biden doubled down on his disastrous and polarizing agenda which has left working families behind," McDaniel said. "Instead of taking responsibility for the multiple crises he and Democrats created, Biden blamed everyone but himself for historic inflation, skyrocketing crime, and a porous southern border. Biden once again proved he is the divider-in-chief."

By Kathryn Watson

"The State of our Union is strong," Biden says as he concludes speech

As he neared the end of his speech, Mr. Biden said the nation is at an "inflection point," and encouraged Americans to come together in unity.

"We are not bystanders to history. We are not powerless before the forces that confront us," he said. "It is within our power, of we the people. We are facing the test of our time."

Mr. Biden called for the American people to be "optimistic, hopeful, forward-looking, and for the nation to be one that "embraces, light over darkness, hope over fear, unity over division. Stability over chaos."

"I have come here to fulfill my constitutional duty to report on the state of the union. And here is my report," he said. "Because the soul of this nation is strong, because the backbone of this nation is strong, because the people of this nation are strong, the State of the Union is strong."

Mr. Biden noted his decades-long career in public service and said he has "never been more optimistic" about the country's future.

"We just have to remember who we are. We're the United States of America and there's nothing beyond our capacity if we do it together," he said.

Mr. Biden concluded his speech at 10:21 p.m. 

By Melissa Quinn

Trump responds to Biden's speech: "Leading us to the brink of World War III"

Former President Donald Trump responded to President Biden's speech with an angry diatribe, claiming he is "leading us to the brink of World War III" and his successor is "the most corrupt president in American history." 

Trump said millions of undocumented immigrants "have stormed across our southern border" and drug cartels are "now raking in billions of dollars from smuggling poison to kill our people and to kill our children." 

"Savage killers, rapists and violent criminals are being released from jail to continue their crime wave," Trump said. 

Trump also blamed Mr. Biden for high inflation and accused him of weaponizing the Justice Department against him. 

"But the good news is we are going to reverse every single crisis, calamity and disaster that Joe Biden has created," Trump said. 

By Caitlin Yilek

Biden praises Paul Pelosi

The president said the "big lie" about the 2020 election continued, and an assailant, "unhinged" by the lie, unleashed "political violence" on the house of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The suspect used the same language as rioters who walked the halls of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Mr. Biden said.

"Here tonight in this chamber is the man who bears the scars of that brutal attack, but is as tough and strong and as resilient as they get," Mr. Biden said. "My friend, Paul Pelosi."

Such an attack never should have happened, and violence has no place in America, the president said. 

Paul Pelosi at State of the Union address
Paul Pelosi, husband of former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), acknowledges applause after President Joe Biden spoke about him during the State of the Union address. SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images
By Kathryn Watson

Biden pledges continued support for Ukraine

Mr. Biden delivered his 2022 State of the Union address just days after Russia invaded Ukraine, and the president said Russian President Vladimir Putin's war has been a "test for the ages, a test for America, a test for the world."

"Would we stand for the most basic of principles? Would we stand for sovereignty? Would we stand for the right of people to live free of tyranny? Would we stand for the defense of democracy?" he said. "For such a defense matters to us because it keeps the peace and prevents open season for would-be aggressors to threaten our security and prosperity. One year later, we know the answer. Yes we would and yes we did."

He acknowledged Ukraine's ambassador to the U.S., Oksana Markarova, who is a guest of the first lady's for this year's speech, and pledged the American people would continue to stand with Ukraine.

"We're united in our support for your country," the president said. "We're going to stand with you, as long as it takes."

Mr. Biden's pledge of support for Ukraine comes as some House Republicans have called for the U.S. to no longer provide emergency aid to the country.

By Melissa Quinn

Biden says the U.S. needs to stop fentanyl at the border, crack down on traffickers

Mr. Biden said 70,000 Ameiricans a year are dying from fentanyl overdoses, to which someone in the crowd shouted, "It's your fault."

The president received a standing ovation from Democrats and Republicans alike when he said they will stop fentanyl at the border, and crack down on drug traffickers. 

By Kathryn Watson

China's spy balloon gets little mention despite controversy

Though it cast a shadow over U.S.-China relations in the week leading up to Mr.  Biden's speech, China's spy balloon did not get a direct mention.  

"I am committed to work with China where we can advance American interests and benefit the world," Mr. Biden said. "But make no mistake about it: As we made clear last week, if China threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country. And we did." 

The U.S. shot down the balloon off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday, days after it floated from Alaska then over Canada and several other U.S. states before reaching the Atlantic Ocean. 

Lawmakers have voiced increasing concern about China's use of the massive surveillance balloon, with Republicans especially criticizing the Biden Administration for not shooting it down sooner. 

Mr. Biden instead focused on the competition between the U.S. and China. 

"Before I came to office, the story was about how the People's Republic of China was increasing its power and America was falling in the world," Mr. Biden said. "Not anymore. We've made clear … with President Xi that we seek competition, not conflict." 

"Today, we're in the strongest position in decades to compete with China or anyone else in the world," he continued. "And let's be clear: winning the competition with China should unite all of us." 

By Caitlin Yilek

Biden on national abortion ban: "I will veto it"

This year's State of the Union address is Mr. Biden's first since the Supreme Court dismantled the constitutional right to an abortion in June. The president highlighted his administration's efforts to protect reproductive rights, but pushed Congress to do more.

"Here in the people's House, it's our duty to protect all the people's rights and freedoms," he said. "Congress must restore the right that was taken away in Roe v. Wade and protect Roe v. Wade, give every woman the constitutional right."

Any efforts to expand abortion access, though, would not gain traction in the GOP-led House, where many Republicans oppose abortion rights. Prior attempts to enshrine the right to an abortion into federal law last year stalled in the Senate. 

 Mr. Biden noted that more than a dozen states have restricted abortion in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision overruling Roe.

"Make no mistake about it; if Congress passes a national ban, I will veto it," he said.

By Melissa Quinn

"Ban assault weapons now," Biden says

Despite Congress passing a bipartisan gun reform bill in 2022, Mr. Biden said, "we know our work is not done."

The president acknowledged Brandon Tsay, the 26-year-old who wrestled a gun away from the shooter in Monterey Park, California, who was one of the White House's guests at the speech.

"Brandon put off his college dreams to be at his mom's side, his mom's side as she was dying from cancer," Mr. Biden said. "And Brandon now works at a dance studio started by his grandparents."

When Tsay realized what was happening, "He thought he was going to die, but he thought about the people inside," Mr. Biden said. "And in that instant, he found the courage to act and wrestled the semi-automatic pistol away from a gunman who had already killed 11 people at another dance studio."

Tsay saved lives, and it's time Washington did that too, Mr. Biden said. 

"Ban assault weapons now," the president urged Congress.

By Kathryn Watson

Biden acknowledges Tyre Nichols' parents

 Mr. Biden acknowledged the parents of Tyre Nichols in the audience. They stood to be recognized. 

"Public safety depends on public trust as all of us know," Mr. Biden said. "But too often that trust is violated. Joining us tonight are the parents of Tyre Nichols, welcome. Who had to bury him just last week. As many of you personally know, there are no words to describe the heartbreak and grief of losing a child."

Biden urges police reform with family of Tyre Nichols in attendance at State of the Union 05:19

Mr. Biden said so many in that chamber have never had to have "the talk" with their children, like parents of Black and Brown children have, about how to act when arrested. 

So many officers put their lives at risk every day, the president said. 

"But what happened to Tyre in Memphis happens too often," he added. "We have to do better. Give law enforcement the training they need, hold them to higher standards, and help them succeed in keeping everyone safe."

When police departments "violate" the public trust, "they must be held accountable," he said. 

Notably, McCarthy stood for the line about holding police accountable when they violate the public trust. 

By Kathryn Watson

Biden again pushes for more funding for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments

While noting that his administration will soon end the COVID-19 public health emergency, the president acknowledged the more than 1 million Americans who died of the virus.

"Families grieving. Children orphaned. Empty chairs at the dining room table," he said. "We remember them and we remain vigilant."

The president called for more federal funding to help monitor new coronavirus variants and support new vaccines and treatments. Mr. Biden requested emergency pandemic relief from Congress last year, though he was met with Republican opposition.

"Congress needs to fund these efforts and keep America safe," he said.

The president said his administration will double down on prosecuting people who stole COVID-19 relief funds meant for small businesses and workers.

"For every dollar we put into fighting fraud, taxpayers get back at least ten times as much," he said.

By Melissa Quinn

Biden urges Congress to pass legislation addressing "junk" fees

Addressing how his administration is helping American consumers, Mr. Biden outlined the steps taken targeting so-called "junk" fees, including requiring airlines to show travelers the full ticket price and refund money if a flight is canceled or delayed.

"Junk fees may not matter to the very wealthy, but they matter to most other folks in homes like the one I grew up in and many of you did," he said. " They add up to hundreds of dollars a month. They make it harder for you to pay the bills or afford that family trip."

Mr. Biden pushed lawmakers to pass the Junk Fee Prevention Act and said his administration will target fees tacked onto hotel bills, tickets to concert and sporting events, and by Internet and cable companies. 

"Americans are tired of being played for suckers," he said, adding, "I know how unfair it feels when a company overcharges you and gets away with it. Not anymore."

The president also called for policies to more easily allow workers to unionize, noting GOP opposition to such a plan.

By Melissa Quinn

Biden only briefly urges Congress to pass paid family leave, extended child tax credit

Mr. Biden only briefly addressed topics that were once central to his agenda — passing paid family and medical leave, allowing affordable child care and restoring the extended child tax credit, which significantly reduced child poverty.

He did not expand on those goals, which couldn't be passed when Democrats controlled both chambers and are even less likely to pass now. 

By Kathryn Watson

Biden booed by Republicans over noting how Trump added to the national debt

Mr. Biden transitioned into the topic of debt and the debt ceiling. The U.S. has already reached the debt ceiling, and has only a few months to raise it or risk a serious default. 

He made a not-so-subtle jab at former President Donald Trump. 

"No president added more to the national debt in any four years than my predecessor. Nearly 25% of the entire national debt, a debt that took 200 years to accumulate, was added by just one administration alone, the last one," Mr. Biden said, to which some Republicans booed. 

Republicans boo Biden's comments on the debt ceiling, Medicare and Social Security 02:34

Mr. Biden went off script briefly and told those Republicans to look it up. 

The president is asking Congress to follow suit and raise the debt ceiling once more, without precondition or crisis. 

By Kathryn Watson

Biden pledges to veto bills repealing Democrat-backed Inflation Reduction Act

Mr. Biden highlighted the provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act, Democrats' sweeping tax, climate and health package that was signed into law last year.

The plan caps the cost of insulin for Medicare enrollees at $35 per month and out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors at $2,000 annually. Mr. Biden called on elected officials to expand the cap on insulin prices to all Americans.

"Let's finish the job this time," he said.

The president then addressed Republicans who have threatened to introduce bills repealing the Inflation Reduction Act. 

"Some members here are threatening — I know it's not an official party position, so I'm not going to exaggerate — but to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act," Mr. Biden said. "As my football coach used to say, lots of luck in your senior year. Make no mistake, if you try anything to raise the cost of prescription drugs, I will veto it."

The president also encouraged Congress to make permanent enhanced Affordable Care Act subsidies, which were extended under the Inflation Reduction Act to 2025. 

"Let's finish the job and make these savings permanent, expand coverage on Medicaid," he said.

Mr. Biden also touted the package's provisions that seek to combat climate change and imposed a 15% corporate minimum tax on most corporations making more than $1 billion each year.

"I think a lot of you at home agree with me that our present tax system is simply unfair," he said.

The president encouraged Congress to pass his proposal for a "billionaire minimum tax." Mr. Biden's 2023 federal budget included the plan for a tax rate of at least 20% on households with a net worth of more than $100 million.

"Let's finish the job," he said. "Let's reward work, not just wealth."

By Melissa Quinn

George Santos and Mitt Romney clashed before speech

Rep. George Santos of New York and Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah had an awkward encounter before the president's speech. Romney walked into the House chamber with other senators to take his seat ahead of the speech as Santos stood along the aisle near his own seat.

Romney saw Santos and said, "You ought to be embarrassed," according to a source familiar with the exchange. 

Santos called Romney an "a**hole" in return, the source said. 

Ed O'Keefe and Caitlin Yilek


Biden announces that materials for all federal infrastructure projects must be made in America

 As the country builds projects funded by the bipartisan infrastructure law, the president announced new standards requiring all construction materials used in federal infrastructure projects to be made in America. 

"On my watch," American roads, bridges and highways will be made with American products, he said. 

It's not yet clear how that standard will be spelled out and implemented. 

By Kathryn Watson

Biden tells Republicans who opposed infrastructure bill, "We'll fund these projects"

Mr. Biden touted the bipartisan infrastructure package that was approved with bipartisan support from Congress last year, a major legislative accomplishment for the president.

While the president lamented that the U.S. dropped to 13th in the world for infrastructure, he said the U.S. is "coming back" because of the investments from the new law. 

Biden tells Republicans who voted against infrastructure law projects will still be funded 02:06

"Already, we've funded over 20,000 projects, including at major airports from Boston to Atlanta to Portland," he said. "These projects will put hundreds of thousands of people to work rebuilding our highways, bridges, railroads, tunnels, ports, airports, clean water, high-speed internet across America.Urban. Rural. Tribal. And folks, we're just getting started."

Mr. Biden thanked the Republicans who supported the law and delivered a message to the GOP lawmakers who opposed it: 

"I still get asked to fund the projects in those districts, but don't worry," he said. "I promised I'd be a president for all Americans. We'll fund these projects. And I'll see you at the ground-breaking."

By Melissa Quinn

Biden emphasizes building up manufacturing and other blue-collar jobs

As the White House had said, the president focused his economy-related remarks on manufacturing and other blue-collar jobs. 

"For too many decades, we imported products and exported jobs," he said. "Now, thanks to all we've done, we're exporting American products and creating American jobs."

The president blamed inflation as a global problem, and on Russian President Vladimir Putin's war on Ukraine. 

"We have more to do, but here at home, inflation is coming down," he said. "Here at home, gas prices are down $1.50 a gallon since their peak. Food inflation is coming down. Not fast enough, but it's coming down." 

The president then discussed what his administration is doing, and what Congress has done, to boost the production of semiconductor chips at home, instead of overseas. The bipartisan law Congress passed to boost chip production will help create hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country, he said. The president claimed the U.S. under his administration has created 800,000 manufacturing jobs even without that law. 

By Kathryn Watson

Biden calls for bipartisanship and unity in new divided Congress

The president listed the legislative accomplishments of the 117th Congress, including those passed along party lines with only Democratic support, as well as the measures that were sent to his desk with bipartisan support.

"We're often told that Democrats and Republicans can't work together. But over the past two years, we proved the cynics and naysayers wrong," Mr. Biden said. "Yes, we disagreed plenty, and yes, there were times when Democrats went alone. But time and again, Democrats and Republicans came together."

Biden, in State of the Union, highlights areas of bipartisan agreement 02:43

The president noted he signed over 300 bipartisan laws since taking office in January 2021, including bills reforming the Electoral Count Act and legislation that enshrined marriage equality into federal law.

He encouraged Republicans, now in control of the House, to work across the aisle to continue the bipartisanship in the 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," he said. "That's always been my vision for our country. And I know it's many of yours. To restore the soul of this nation, to rebuild the backbone of America, the middle class and to unite the country. We've been sent here to finish the job, in my view."

By Melissa Quinn

Democracy remains "unbowed and unbroken"

Biden, in State of the Union, says "democracy remains unbowed and unbroken" 01:20

Mr. Biden continued on to emphasize the resiliency of America. COVID-19 wreaked havoc on the economy and on schools and businesses, but today, "COVID no longer controls our lives," he said. 

Mr. Biden also referenced the Jan. 6, 2021 assault on the Capitol, although not by name.

"And two years ago, our democracy faced its greatest threat since the Civil War," he said. "Today, though bruised, our democracy remains unbowed and unbroken."

By Kathryn Watson

Biden kicks off address with congratulations to House and Senate leadership

McCarthy said he has the "distinct honor" of presenting the president of the United States, prompting raucous applause from the chamber.

Mr. Biden began his address at 9:09 p.m. and, after acknowledging the lawmakers, members of the Supreme Court, Cabinet officials and military leaders in attendance, offered congratulations to the new House leadership.

"I start tonight by congratulating the 118th Congress and the new speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy," he said, turning to shake McCarthy's hand. "Mr. Speaker, I don't want to ruin your reputation, but I look forward to working with you."

The president then offered congratulations to House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries, joking that Jeffries won the race to lead the party even though he campaigned for him.

"Congratulations to the longest serving Senate leader in the history of the United States Senate, Mitch McConnell," Mr. Biden said. He went on to congratulate Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who is presiding over a Democratic majority that grew by one seat.

The president then extended well-wishes to Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, who stepped back from House leadership after the November midterm elections.

"And I want to give special recognition to someone who I think will be considered the greatest Speaker in the history of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi," he said.

By Melissa Quinn

Biden expected to mention Tyre Nichols by name

According to his prepared remarks, Mr. Biden will address Tyre Nichols, the 29-year-old who died after he was violently arrested in Memphis, by name. 

"I know most cops are good, decent people. They risk their lives every time they put on that shield," Mr. Biden will say, according to his prepared remarks. "But what happened to Tyre in Memphis happens too often. We have to do better. Give law enforcement the training they need, hold them to higher standards, and help them succeed in keeping everyone safe."

By Kathryn Watson

Mr. Biden enters House chamber

The president entered the House chamber at 9:03 p.m. to applause and began greeting members seated along the aisle.

As he made his way to the dais, he shook hands with Republican and Democratic lawmakers, including GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida. 

Mr. Biden was trailed by members of the escort committee.

By Melissa Quinn

Marty Walsh is the designated survivor

 Labor Secretary Marty Walsh is the designated survivor, according to the White House. The designated survivor stays behind, away from the Capitol building, in the unlikely event of a mass casualty for the sake of government continuity. 

By Kathryn Watson

The Supreme Court justices who are in attendance

The members of the Supreme Court entered the chamber to applause. The justices in attendance are: Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Elena Kagan, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett and Ketanji Brown Jackson, who Mr. Biden appointed.

It is Jackson's first State of the Union as a member of the court. 

Two retired members of the Supreme Court, Justices Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer, are also in the House chamber for the address.

By Melissa Quinn

McCarthy calls joint session to order

At 8:47 p.m., McCarthy called the joint session to order with a bang of the gavel.

The speaker then named the House members appointed to escort Mr. Biden into the chamber, which included House Democratic and Republican leadership. 

Harris announced the senators appointed to the escort committee for the president.

The lawmakers selected to escort Mr. Biden then left the House chamber.

By Melissa Quinn

Biden arrives at Capitol

Mr. Biden arrived at the Capitol at 8:38 p.m., after an eight-minute drive down Independence Avenue. 

That gives the president plenty of time to start his address on time. 

By Kathryn Watson

House convenes in joint session as vice president and Senate arrive at chamber

Ending a recess, McCarthy called the House to order as Vice President Kamala Harris and members of the Senate entered the chamber.

The House is convening for a joint session for the address from the president on the state of the union.

Harris then moved to take her seat at the dais and will sit next to the speaker for the speech.

"We've got a packed house," she told McCarthy.

By Melissa Quinn

Biden departs the White House en route for the Capitol

 President Biden and first lady Jill Biden left the White House en route for the Capitol at 8:30 p.m. He is motorcading from the White House South Lawn to the Capitol building along Pennsylvania Avenue. 

Asked about the state of the union by awaiting reporters, Mr. Biden replied, "It's in great shape and getting better" as he walked out of the White House.

By Kathryn Watson

Anita Dunn says the president "understands" people are feeling inflation, and gas prices "should be lower"

Anita Dunn, senior adviser to the president, said the president understands how inflation is affecting American families, and more needs to be done. 

"The president took office during the pandemic," Dunn said. "Ten million people who were unemployed. Small businesses were shuttered. … And it has been a time of anxiety and exhaustion, and then we had the war in Europe begin and we've had inflation and of course, he gets it." 

Dunn said the "good news" is Americans are going to begin to feel that the country is moving again, as manufacturing jobs return and as infrastructure projects improve roads and bridges across the country. 

"I think that he understands, yes, of course people are feeling in particular the effects of inflation and it's starting to come down, but we have a lot more to do in order to get it where it needs to be," Dunn said, adding that gas prices have gone down but "should be lower." 

By Kathryn Watson

Sanders will highlight the "radical left's America"

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will highlight the "radical left's America" in the Republican response to the State of the Union, according to excerpts released ahead of the speech. 

"And while you reap the consequences of their failures, the Biden administration seems more interested in woke fantasies than the hard reality Americans face every day," Sanders will say. "Most Americans simply want to live their lives in freedom and peace, but we are under attack in a left-wing culture war we didn't start and never wanted to fight. Every day, we are told that we must partake in their rituals, salute their flags, and worship their false idols…all while big government colludes with Big Tech to strip away the most American thing there is—your freedom of speech."

Sanders will call that "crazy" and "wrong," and will also highlight that "Republicans believe in an America where strong families thrive in safe communities."

Read more and watch the GOP response to the State of the Union here

By Caroline Linton

Biden faces divided Congress in State of the Union

Biden faces divided Congress in State of the Union 02:49

President Biden will deliver his State of the Union address Tuesday night and is expected to tout the nation's economic progress and call for more bipartisan solutions to the nation's problems. Weijia Jiang has a preview.


Here's some of what Biden will say in his address

President Biden, according to excerpts released by the White House, will discuss America as a place of progress and resilience, talk about how "pride is coming back" to the country as blue-collar jobs return, and ask Republicans in Congress to work with him. That last piece is particularly relevant as the president works with a divided Congress for the first time in his presidency. 

"Fighting for the sake of fighting, power for the sake of power, conflict for the sake of conflict, gets us nowhere," he is expected to say. 

Here are three separate excerpts from the president's prepared speech: 

  • "The story of America is a story of progress and resilience…We are the only country that has emerged from every crisis stronger than when we entered it. That is what we are doing again. 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. 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."
  • "My economic plan is about investing in places and people that have been forgotten. Amid the economic upheaval of the past four decades too many people have been left behind or treated like they're invisible. Maybe that's you watching at home. You remember the jobs that went away. And you wonder whether a path even exists anymore for you and your children to get ahead without moving away. I get it. That's why we're 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."
  • "To my Republican friends, 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!"
By Kathryn Watson

Biden will outline his "economic vision" and tout bipartisanship, White House aide says

White House principal deputy communications director Kate Berner told CBS News' "Red & Blue" that Mr. Biden will be focusing on his "economic vision" in the State of the Union.

"Tonight in the State of the Union, the president is going to once again outline his vision, his economic vision, to grow the economy from the from the bottom up, middle up to reinvigorate parts of the country like Scranton, where he's from, that have fallen behind for so long," Berner said.

Berner also said Mr. Biden will be talking about his bipartisan record from the previous Congress, although the House has flipped to Republican control. 

"The president believes that the American people sent him and members of Congress to Washington to get things done, to deliver," she said. "He'll extend, as you've heard say, an open say to members of Congress to work with him. The American people have an expectation that Republican members of Congress to work with him, and we expect to see them meet that obligation." 

By Caroline Linton

Sarah Sanders expected to contrast choice between Republicans and Democrats as that of "normal" versus "crazy"

GOP Gov. Sarah Sanders is delivering the Republican response to the president's address. 

A Sanders official told CBS News she will say the president is unwilling to defend our border, our skies and our people, and isn't fit to serve as commander in chief. 

The Arkansas governor will seek to contrast Republicans with Mr. Biden and the Democrats, claiming Republicans are for freedom while Democrats are for government control. The choice, she will suggest, isn't between right or left, but between "normal" and  "crazy," the official said. Sanders will say Republicans are fighting to hold the president accountable, while they stand for safe communities, jobs, and freedom from the "woke" mobs in state capitals. 

Kristin Brown, Kathryn Watson


Trump says he will do a "Play-by-Play analysis" of State of the Union on Truth Social

Former President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he will give a "full 'Play-by-Play' analysis" of the State of the Union on his social media platform Truth Social. 

"If properly done, and if Joe has just a modestly good night, this speech has the opportunity to rival any of the World's great orators, including, Lincoln, Washington, and, of course, the late, great, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Sir Winston Churchill," Trump posted on Truth Social.. 

It's unclear if Trump meant he will be posting text updates or make a video. 

By Aaron Navarro

President Biden prepares to deliver his 2023 State of the Union address

President Biden prepares to deliver his 2023 State of the Union address 05:11

 President Biden is set to deliver his State of the Union address, facing new challenges from the Republican controlled House. CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett has more. 


CBS News poll: In a divided nation, Americans do agree on this: Biden should talk about the economy

The State of our Union is… ?

We asked people to describe it, and got some dour assessments: they picked "divided" most of all, followed by "declining" and "weak." Few picked adjectives "strong," or - amid tough economic ratings - "prospering." 

  • These aren't just one-sided partisan points. Partisans share the sense of division, and decline more than prosperity. It is, in part, a function of such dire views of the economy and inflation right now.

In all, it's a tough environment for a President addressing Congress and the nation.


Read more here

Anthony Salvanto, Jennifer DePinto, Fred Backus, Kabir Khanna

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