As it happenedended1646260196

State of the Union 2022 - Boebert doubles down on heckle as veteran’s widow calls for her removal

As it happened: Joe Biden delivers his first State of the Union address to Congress

220301 SOTU ROUND UP_2.mp4

Joe Biden has woken up an encouraging reception for his first State of the Union address, which snap polling says met with the approval of more than two-thirds of Americans – a rare bit of good news for a president whose ratings remain underwater.

Mr Biden at times received bipartisan standing applause in the House chamber last night, especially during his remarks on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “Putin’s war was premeditated and unprovoked,” the president said. “He rejected efforts at diplomacy. He thought the West and Nato wouldn’t respond. And, he thought he could divide us here at home. Putin was wrong. We were ready.”

However, progressives have given a lukewarm reception to the domestic elements of Mr Biden’s speech, in which he promised to “fund the police” while declining to go as far as some wanted on key issues like immigration.

Speaking on MSNBC, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said that “there’s some themes that are left a little bit to be desired for key constituencies in the Democratic base, but the president’s goal was very clear on really projecting a theme of unity and I think he’s still stuck to that.”

Meanwhile, the White House has hit back at heckling from far-right Congresswomen Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert, with Press Secretary Jen Psaki remarking that their shouting at the president “says a lot more about them” than it does about the substance of his speech.

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Why wasn’t there a State of the Union last year?

President Joe Biden is slated to deliver his first State of the Union speech on Tuesday after more than a year in office.

Mr Biden offered a similar speech last April on the eve of his 100th day in the White House, where he touched on a range of issues including the coronavirus pandemic.

However that speech, before both houses of Congress, was labeled a “joint address” instead of a State of the Union (SOTU), in accordance with tradition for previous US presidents.

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‘A rally against autocrats worldwide’

US president Joe Biden has rewritten the State of the Union address he is scheduled to deliver on Tuesday in response to Russian president Vladimir Putin’s assault on Ukraine last week.

Mr Biden was reportedly planning to refocus on his domestic agenda, after senator Joe Manchin effectively killed his signature Build Back Better legislation. White House chief of staff Ron Klain is said to have told Democrats that the president would focus on inflation, which is at a 40-year high after two years of the pandemic.

But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has scrambled these plans.

Eric Garcia reports for The Independent from Washington, DC.

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Fence is up, Guard on standby for State of Union

The fencing around the U.S. Capitol is back up for the president’s State of the Union address on Tuesday. Police cars with flashing lights are stationed at major intersections and highways. The US National Guard is on standby.

It’s the new normal.

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When is Joe Biden’s address and how can you watch it?

US president Joe Biden will give his first State of the Union address to Congress on the evening of Tuesday 1 March after accepting the customary formal invitation for that date from House speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Joe Sommerlad has all the details of the landmark address.

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Biden to call on Congress to deliver

Per the White House:

President Biden knows that we need to move even faster to combat climate change—and that to meet the moment and fully seize the economic opportunity in front of us, Congress must act. In his first State of the Union address, the President will call on Congress to deliver on a legislative agenda for clean energy and climate action that has overwhelming support from the American people—Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.

Specifically, the President will lift up the benefits we can secure for American consumers, companies, and communities by enacting critical investments and tax credits for domestic clean energy manufacturing and deployment. He will also highlight how the investments and tax credits would cut energy costs for American families an average of $500 per year.

As part of the President’s unwavering support for climate solutions, these investments will reduce emissions, lower costs for families, create good-paying jobs for workers, and advance environmental justice.

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The five most bizarre State of the Union moments over the years

The State of the Union is one of the most choreographed events in American politics. We all know the drill: The president walks down down the House chamber, shakes a lot of hands (pre-Covid), takes his place in front of the vice president and the speaker of the House, and delivers a carefully prepared speech. Overall, it’s a pretty bland affair.

But some moments have stood out. Every once in a long while (or more often in the Trump years), something happens that is so bizarre, or unscripted, or just uncomfortable, that it manages to break through the tedium and become memorable.

Nathan Place has the details.

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California trucker ‘freedom convoy’ headed to DC disbands

A convoy of truckers who were heading from California to Washington DC for Joe Biden’s State of the Union (SOTU) address have been told to find another protest fleet after theirs fell apart before its first stop.

Gino Spocchia reports.

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Biden says Americans should not be worried about nuclear war

President Biden said definitively that Americans need not worry about the threat of nuclear war as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine persists.

A reporter asked Mr Biden on Monday if Americans should “be worried about nuclear war”.

“No,” Mr Biden responded.

Eric Garcia reports for The Independent from Washington, DC.

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Poll: Most Americans think Biden lacks the ‘mental sharpness’ to be president

Joe Biden will go into his first State of the Union address with a majority Americans concerned about the state of the president’s mental capacity, according to a new poll.

A new poll by ABC News/The Washington Post released on the eve of Mr Biden’s speech found that 54 per cent of Americans don’t believe he has the “mental sharpness it takes to serve effectively as president”.

Justin Vallejo reports.

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‘People’s Convoy’ trucks crash in Oklahoma on their way to Washington DC

Several trucks involved in the “People’s Convoy” – the American answer to Canada’s “Freedom Convoy” – were involved in a crash on their way to protest in Washington DC.

The drivers are largely right-wing critics of the Joe Biden administration who oppose vaccine mandates.

Graig Graziosi reports.

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