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Thursday, March 23, 2023

President Joe Biden Challenges Republicans on Debt and Economy

Republicans were challenged by Biden to raise the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling in his State of the Union address

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

UNITED STATES: Joe Biden challenged Republicans to lift the nation’s debt ceiling and support tax reforms that would benefit middle-class Americans in a State of the Union address that served as a blueprint for his 2024 re-election campaign.

Biden used his prime-time speech to enunciate progressive Democratic Party ideals that many Republican lawmakers find repugnant, criticising oil firms for generating large profits and corporate America for taking advantage of consumers.

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In his first speech to a joint session of Congress since the Republicans took over the House of Representatives in January, Biden vowed to cooperate with opposition legislators even as he sparred with them in the chamber.

“To my Republican friends, if we could work together in the last Congress, there is no reason we can’t work together and find consensus on important things in this Congress as well,” Biden said.

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Throughout his 73-minute address, some Republicans heckled and jeered him at various points.

Biden challenged Republicans to raise the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling, which must be done in the upcoming months to prevent a default. Republicans seek budget reductions in exchange for their support, according to the White House, which has stated that Biden will not negotiate on that requirement.

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“Some Republican friends want to take the economy hostage—I get it—unless I agree to their economic plans. All of you at home should know what those plans are. Instead of making the wealthy pay their fair share, some Republicans “want Medicare and Social Security to sunset,” he stated, drawing boos.

Then, he urged lawmakers to take a stand for senior citizens, and they did so, leading Biden to declare triumph. “I like conversion,” he joked, implying that such cuts to the social safety net services that were popular with voters were no longer an option.

The heated arguments showed how comfortable Biden seemed to be in Congress, where he has been a senator for 36 years.

Adam Kinzinger, a former Republican representative, tweeted, “Joe Biden sparring with the crowd and winning wasn’t anything I expected.”

Biden talked about issues that might be important in a re-election campaign. He said that the economy was getting better because 12 million new jobs were being created, that COVID-19 no longer had control over the lives of Americans, and that American democracy was still strong even though it was facing its biggest threat since the Civil War.

The president demanded improvements in policing after Tyre Nichols, a black man, passed away last month after being beaten by police in Memphis, Tennessee. Nichols’ mother and stepfather were in the audience at the speech.

“Today, though bruised, our democracy remains unbowed and unbroken,” he stated.

Shortly after the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Biden stated his desire to unite the nation as a candidate in 2020 and at his inauguration in 2021. He continued along the same lines, touting a significant infrastructure bill and criticising Republican members who opposed it.

“I want to thank my Republican friends who voted for the law,” he started, adding, “my Republican friends who voted against it… I still get asked to fund the projects in those districts, but don’t worry; I promised I’d be a president for all Americans.”

Biden’s aides view the address as a turning point before the start of his second presidential campaign, which is anticipated to happen in the coming weeks. Recent polls reveal that many Democratic voters are concerned about Biden’s age because he was 80 in November and will be 82 at the start of a second term if re-elected.

Also Read: Biden Pleads Calm Following Police Beating Video Release 


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