Biden releases State of the Union excerpts, lays out areas for bipartisanship

Posted at 8:31 AM, Feb 07, 2023

President Joe Biden will deliver his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night. This will be the first time he will deliver the speech to a divided Congress. Republicans took control of the House of Representatives following a victory in the midterm elections.

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Part of Biden's speech will focus on how Democrats and Republicans can work together, according to excerpts of the speech released by the White House.

"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," Biden will say, according to excerpts released by the White 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. 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."

Biden will also highlight his economic plan as the U.S. experiences its lowest unemployment rate in more than five decades.

"My economic plan is about investing in places and people that have been forgotten," Biden will say, according to excerpts released by the White House. "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."

He will call for unity in an effort to fight and end cancer. Biden wants Congress to reauthorize the National Cancer Act. The White House says a reauthorization will allow for the nation’s cancer research and care systems to be updated. It adds that this would allow for the information from research to be accessed by as many experts as possible so they can work to end cancer as we know it.

Biden believes he can also find bipartisan support for assisting veterans and their families. The president will lay out a vision to help veterans access better health care, education and housing.

Biden will also call for lawmakers to help address veteran suicides. The administration says more than 71,000 veterans have died by suicide since 2010.

The president will also call for Republicans and Democratic lawmakers to work together on tackling the mental health crisis in the U.S. The main objectives will be to support healthy environments, strengthen system capacity and connect more Americans to care.

Biden is also seeking bipartisanship to tackle the opioid and overdose epidemic. He believes lawmakers can support the administration's efforts to disrupt tracking and the distribution of fentanyl.

One of the guests seated in the first lady's viewing box is Doug Griffin. He lost his 20-year-old daughter to a fentanyl overdose. He's calling for better access to substance use disorder treatment services.

The ambassador of Ukraine, Oksana Markarova, was also asked to sit in the first lady's viewing box. The White House has praised Markarova for her work during Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

RowVaughn and Rodney Wells will also be in attendance. They are calling for police reform in the wake of their son's death. He died after a beating by Memphis police officers.

The State of the Union will begin Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET, 6 p.m. PT.