COLORADO SPRINGS — President Joe Biden delivered his first formal State of the Union speech on Tuesday night. He tried to convince Americans that a recovering pandemic-era economy is due to his work in the White House so far, as the country struggles amid rising inflation. The conflict in Ukraine also took up a significant spot in the address. Ukraine provided momentary unity in the chamber, but it would be short-lived as the President addressed other issues.
Here is how Colorado lawmakers reacted to the President's speech.
Gov. Jared Polis (D)
Governor Jared Polis released a statement following President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address:
“I stand with President Biden in defense of democracy and freedom at home and with our allies abroad — Colorado is doing its part to welcome refugees and strongly penalize Putin’s extreme aggression,” said Governor Jared Polis.
Governor Polis applauds the Biden administration’s sanctions on the Russian government and Colorado is prepared to welcome Ukrainian refugees. Gov. Polis has taken a series of bold steps in support of the brave people of free and independent Ukraine and to hold Russia accountable.
“The President has been there for Colorado during our time of need and hardworking Coloradans know they can count on this President to have their back through challenging times,” said Gov. Polis.
Coloradans experienced firsthand President Biden’s empathy, compassion, and resolve when the President personally traveled to our state in the wake of the devastating Marshall Fire Following the devastating Glenwood Canyon mudslides, the Biden administration was able to quickly distribute and administer funding and resources to get the canyon open and reconnect a critical piece of American infrastructure to move goods and people. Gov. Polis welcomed the President’s prioritization of historic investments in infrastructure, efforts to save people time and money, bring more good-paying jobs to Coloradans and help people thrive. Gov. Polis was one of the first governors in the country to support the President Biden’s landmark infrastructure package, which, combined with Colorado’s historic bipartisan infrastructure package, is delivering real results to Coloradans with improvements to Colorado roads, investments in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and expanded multi-modal and transit options to reduce congestion and improve air quality.
“Coloradans have a partner in the White House who has real plans to save people money by reducing childcare costs and reducing insulin costs for diabetics. And I am thrilled to see President Biden prioritizing these issues in his State of the Union,” said Governor Polis.
President Biden discussed plans to save people money on health care and prescription drugs like insulin, which is a top priority for the Governor. In 2019, Gov. Polis signed a landmark law to cap the price of insulin at $100 per month.
As a state leading the way in early childhood, including implementing universal preschool and free full day kindergarten for Coloradans, Governor Polis applauded President Biden for prioritizing early childhood education and parents in his plans to help save families money.
“We know that education is one of the best investments we can make in our country’s future, and strong early childhood education and child care lead to a stronger workforce and a better economy. Education has been a top priority for our administration since day one, and we are proud that free full day kindergarten has saved Colorado families up to $500 per month, and universal preschool will save Coloradans on average $4,300 per year so we look forward to continuing this work with the Biden administration,” said Governor Polis.
Gov. Polis applauded President Biden’s proposal for a test to treatment pharmacy program to help provide on the spot treatment for people who test positive for COVID at a pharmacy. Last week, Governor Polis unveiled “Colorado’s Next Chapter": Our Roadmap to Moving Forward” outlining the Polis administration’s plan to keep Coloradans safe and healthy and maintain a level of healthcare preparedness and agility in the event of exacerbated or new public health challenges.
Senator Michael Bennet (D)
“Despite real progress in the last year, this remains a challenging moment for the country. Inflation strains Coloradans’ hard-earned paychecks at home, and abroad, Putin’s lawless war against Ukraine threatens the global order that has kept Americans safe.
“As President Biden said, this is a moment for Americans to come together, stand up for democracy, and strengthen our economy to drive opportunity to all.
“Now is the time for Congress to support the people of Ukraine and punish Russia’s aggression, cut costs for working families, and do everything we can to help America return to normal so businesses can stay open and students can stay in school.”
Senator John Hickenlooper (D)
The Senator has not yet released an official statement but took to Twitter shortly after the address to say the following:
"As @POTUS said, we’ve come a long way in the last year but there is still much to do to lower costs for families and build a 21st century economy. I know we can come together to meet this moment, here at home and defending democracy abroad. #SOTU"
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R)
The Congresswoman has not released an official statement yet but was active on Twitter throughout the President's address.
During the address, she, along with Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene of Georgia, apparently shouted at the President to "Build the wall," when he began touching on immigration policies.
At the very end of the speech, she tweeted a video reaction from outside the Capitol.
The #SOTU was light on solutions but heavy on spending.— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) March 2, 2022
It’s time to reject Bidenism and embrace America First.
We need to SOLVE the issues Americans care about, not spend our country into the ground. pic.twitter.com/ILM0mHKvgB
Rep. Ken Buck (R)
“Tonight, I heard President Biden speak of unity and bipartisanship, but since day one his administration has been defined by divisive policies that are the wrong approach for Colorado families and workers.
“The word ‘crisis’ best describes the state of the union under President Biden— inflation at a 40-year high, skyrocketing gas prices, supply chain shortages, an unsecure southern border, and global instability. It is clear the only promises President Biden is interested in upholding are the ones he made to radical progressives in exchange for their support in the primary.
“As our nation battles crisis after crisis of President Biden’s making, tonight’s address has served to further crush our nation’s morale at a time when we need to elevate it.”
Rep. Jason Crow (D)
Rep. Crow has not released an official statement yet but released two tweets shortly after the speech ended where he applauded the President's leadership and for recognizing service members.
Thank you, @POTUS for recognizing the burden of toxic exposure for our servicemembers.— Rep. Jason Crow (@RepJasonCrow) March 2, 2022
The men and women I served with still deal with health issues from their time in uniform. The least we can do is ensure they have the care they need.
I’m all-in on helping make that happen.
The US is reemerging under @POTUS’s leadership:— Rep. Jason Crow (@RepJasonCrow) March 2, 2022
😷Ending the pandemic
🌎Restoring our place on the global stage
The work is far from over, but I’m proud of the steps we've taken to put families first & position the United States to lead.
Rep. Dianne DeGette (D)
“By laying out both the challenges we face and his plan to address them, President Biden portrayed precisely the type of leadership we need at this pivotal moment.
“As the president made clear in his remarks, our unity is – and always has been – our greatest strength. Now is the time for us to come together to build a better America by creating new jobs and lowering everyday expenses for families across the country – including the costs of child care, elder care and prescription drugs. It’s also a time to come together with our partners and allies around the world to not only end this pandemic once and for all, but also stand up for democracy by stopping Russia’s unprovoked, unjustifiable attack on the Ukrainian people.
“We have seen, time and time again, there is nothing the American people can’t do when we come together. I look forward to continue working with this administration to take on the challenges we face, from the climate crisis to the nation’s growing mental health crisis. I also look forward to working with them to preserve more our nation’s public lands, and end cancer as we know it by passing our Cures 2.0 legislation and creating a new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health to make the impossible, possible.”
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R)
“Tonight’s State of the Union Address demonstrates that President Biden and Congressional Democrats have lost touch with what truly matters to the American people. The American people heard the same failed liberal policies that have caused historic inflation and have emboldened our adversaries.
“In only 13 short months, President Biden’s disastrous policies have taken our country from prosperity and growth to hardship and instability. At home, Americans see rising crime across the nation and lethal fentanyl flowing across our open southern border and into our communities. Hard-working families are losing their financial security because they're being forced to pay more for groceries, gas, utilities, and everyday items. Businesses are suffering due to supply chain disruptions, crippling regulations, and increased costs for goods and services.
“Abroad, President Biden’s weakness and foreign policy failures have caused a ripple effect of instability and unrest across the globe. The world watched in horror as President Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan resulted in indescribable human misery and the abandonment of American citizens. Now, despite what President Biden claimed tonight, America has not done all it could to stand with Ukraine in the face of Putin’s reckless invasion. The horrors we are watching unfold in Ukraine are a direct consequence of Biden’s indecisiveness and inability to deter Russian aggression. By my count, Joe Biden has been wrong about every major foreign policy and national security issue he has faced in his presidency.
“President Biden and the Democrats are incapable of responding to the crises they have created. Biden can’t keep turning to the far left. He must reach across the aisle so he can hold Putin accountable and fix the numerous problems we still face at home. Republicans stand ready to support legislation that returns America to energy independence, lowers taxes on the working-class, balances the budget, reinstates President Trump’s strong border security policies, stands behind our law enforcement, and demonstrates peace through strength.”
Rep. Joe Neguse (D)
“In the face of consequential challenges, President Biden reminded us tonight what we can accomplish when we work together, and lead with compassion and unity,” said Congressman Neguse. “As we watch Russia’s premeditated, unlawful violation of international law and global peace, the President reiterated his commitment to the Ukrainian people, to democracy and to our NATO allies. In this significant moment on the world stage, we must stand united against Russia aggression and provide economic and humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainian people.”
“Through a global pandemic, economic upheaval, devastating western wildfires and crises at home and abroad, President Biden has never faltered in delivering needed support to the American people and providing leadership and direction in times of great consequence,” continued Congressman Neguse. “With the American Rescue Plan, the Biden-Harris Administration and the Democratic Congress boosted vaccine distribution, sent rescue checks to American families, cut taxes for parents and ensured America could get back to work and back to school. Now with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, America is on the move again, and we are creating jobs, rebuilding roads and bridges, investing in wildfire resiliency and providing a needed pay raise to our brave wildland firefighters. Through his first year in office, President Biden has led our nation to the greatest year of job creation in American history, wages are up and unemployment is down. But we’re not stopping there. As President Biden stated tonight, there is work ahead to build a brighter future for our children; work to tackle the climate crisis, expand mental health access, support our veterans, and ensure every American is given a fair shot.”
“As the son of refugees, I applaud President Biden’s commitment to safeguard Dreamers, and protect America’s legacy as a safe shelter for those fleeing violence, and as a Coloradan, who has seen our communities devastated by gun violence time and time again, I am grateful for President Biden’s commitment to passing common-sense reforms and ending this epidemic. He’s absolutely right, Congress must act.”
“As the President said tonight: the best lies ahead. I hope families across Colorado found a renewed sense of hope and resilience from the President’s words; together we will chart a new path forward and build a better America.”
Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D)
“President Biden has faced unprecedented challenges at home and abroad since taking office, yet he leads with a singular focus: to keep Americans safe and healthy and ensure a strong economic recovery and a bright future for all.
“President Biden’s experience and leadership continues to be invaluable in the face of these challenges, including now as the United States, with our allies and partners, defend democracy and support Ukraine and its people against an unjustified attack from Russia.
“We know that hard working folks are feeling the squeeze and for most of us the economic challenges are real. Tonight’s State of the Union reminded us how President Biden and Congressional Democrats have acted to rebuild our nation’s economy which is recovering and beginning to rebound stronger. Having turned a corner in the global pandemic, President Biden is looking to the work ahead – lowering the costs of everyday expenses for families, strengthening our supply chain, creating good-paying jobs and opportunity for all workers, and taking action in the fight against climate change.
“The last few years have been challenging for much of our country but we are emerging stronger and more resilient. The bipartisan infrastructure law, championed by President Biden, is one of many initiatives which will help secure a bright future for all Americans as we continue to invest in families, workers, and communities to create good jobs and strengthen our economy.”
Watch KOAA News5 on your time, anytime with our free streaming app available for your Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and Android TV. Just search KOAA News5, download and start watching.