In Tuesday night’s “State of the Union,” President Joe Biden will reach out to Republicans for bipartisanship, touting America’s history of “progress and resilience” and highlighting recent strong economic performance, according to excerpts released by the White House.
CBS News will broadcast the State of the Union as a special report produced by CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor Norah O’Donnell. The performance will begin at 9:00 PM ET and will be streamed online for free at CBS News Broadcast Network.
Mr Biden’s olive branch to the Republicans comes as he faces a divided Congress for the first time since he took office two years ago. A a new CBS News poll released on Tuesday showed that many Americans remain concerned about inflation and the economy, with nearly half saying Mr. Biden’s policies are hurting their own families’ finances.
“My economic plan is to invest in places and people that have been forgotten,” Mr. Biden is expected to say. “In the midst of the economic turmoil of the last four decades, too many people have been left out or treated as invisible. Maybe you’re the one watching at home. You remember the jobs that have gone. And you wonder if there’s a better way for you and your children to marched forward without retreating. I get it. That’s why we’re building an economy where no one is left behind. Jobs are coming back, honor is coming back because of the choices we’ve made in the last two years. This is a blueprint for blue-collar workers to rebuild America and make real change in your life.”
The speech came days after the government said the U.S added a staggering 517,000 jobs in January and the unemployment rate fell to 3.4%, the lowest since 1969. Mr. Biden is likely to bring up the strong jobs numbers during his speech, touting them as a sign that the economy continues to grow even as inflation begins to ease.
White House aides said Tuesday that the president will also outline his four-part “agenda of unity” that he unveiled during last year’s State of the Union address, which includes tackling the opioid epidemic, fighting cancer, supporting veterans and improving mental health. .
The President will announce efforts to stop illegal trafficking, distribution and sale fentanyl and work with Congress to ensure tougher penalties for fentanyl suppliers, aides said. A father whose daughter died of a fentanyl overdose is attending the performance as one of First Lady Jill Biden’s guests.
The White House said Mr. Biden would also urge Congress to renew the National Cancer Control Act to increase funding for research and care centers, a key issue for the president, whose son died of brain cancer in 2015.
Mr. Biden will discuss how the Department of Veterans Affairs is helping to prevent veteran suicide. More than 71,000 veterans have committed suicide since 2010, the White House said, and the VA is working to increase the number of professionals who can support them.
On mental health, the president is calling on both parties to support a ban on targeted online advertising aimed at youth. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will also launch a campaign to provide mental health resources to health care organizations to support their workforce. The president will discuss how to better connect more Americans to health care, including through more than $280 million in grants the Department of Education will provide to high-need districts to increase the number of mental health professionals in schools.
The State of the Union comes amid heightened tensions with China following the alleged spy balloon intrusion over the US sky last week that American fighter jets in the end wrecked off the coast of South Carolina. China said the balloon was a civilian vessel and condemned the use of force. The opening of the balloon caused Secretary of State Anthony Blinken adjourns planned trip to Beijing.
Neither does Mr. Biden is expected mention the ongoing standoff over raising the debt ceiling. Last week, Mr. Biden the first official meeting took place with incoming Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who said after the meeting that both focused on debt limit and expenses.