Democrat President Joe Biden is set to give his second State of the Union address as Commander in Chief of the United States on Tuesday evening before a joint session of Congress.
The speech, set to begin at 9 p.m. ET, is Biden’s third address to a joint session of Congress, having given a first one in 2021, then his first State of the Union address in 2022. Now, he gives his second such address–an annual tradition for presidents speaking in the U.S. House chamber before Senators, House members, members of the Cabinet, and members of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Biden’s address comes at a particularly fraught time for his presidency, just days after a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) spy balloon floated across the continental United States before the president ordered it shot down when it had moved off the South Carolina coast in the Atlantic Ocean. It also comes as Biden faces a special counsel investigation over his mishandling of classified documents from his time as Vice President during former President Barack Obama’s administration and from his time as a U.S. Senator.
Biden’s speech also comes as economic numbers have shown some signs of improving at a macro level, but public polling indicates the average American does not feel as though their situation economically is improving at an individual level. How Biden addresses this divide will be critical in his speech.
It’s also Biden’s first joint address in a divided government, after Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in the 2022 midterm elections. Newly-elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, will introduce Biden to the chamber and sit beside Vice President Kamala Harris behind the president as he speaks, a sign to the nation that the U.S. federal government is divided.
Some Republicans, like Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL), are planning to boycott the speech and not attend, whereas others may pull a variety of stunts to make fun of Biden. How that plays out in this chamber will also be interesting.
After Biden speaks, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a Republican who previously served as White House Press Secretary under then-President Donald Trump, will give the formal GOP response to the address. Trump himself also is expected to release his own response video, and reactions are likely to pour in from both sides of the aisle and across the media.
Follow along here as Breitbart News brings you the latest developments throughout the evening in the lead-up to, during, and after Biden’s second State of the Union address.
UPDATE 11:36 p.m. ET:
A CNN “Flash Poll” of those who watched the speech found that 34 percent found it “very positive,” 38 percent found it “somewhat positive,” and 28 percent found it “negative.” That 72 percent total “positive” for this Biden speech is slightly lower than Trump’s 2019 State of the Union speech, which CNN said 76 percent found “positive.”
UPDATE 11:33 p.m. ET:
It is also worth noting that Sanders, in her speech per prepared remarks that Republicans circulated, did not even mention the word “balloon” either.
UPDATE 11:23 p.m. ET:
Brit Hume also picked up on how Sanders snubbed Trump in her remarks by never once using his name:
UPDATE 11:09 p.m. ET:
Sanders used the phrase “new generation” at least 4 times throughout her speech–and never used the word “Trump” once–per the prepared remarks circulated by GOP leaders.
That is significant since she, perhaps more than anyone, owes her position currently to Trump. She rose to national prominence when she was Trump’s White House Press Secretary in combative briefings with the press. He also backed her very early when she decided to run for governor last cycle, and helped her clear the field to ensure she would win the nomination and then the general election. So it’s fairly remarkable that Sanders seems to be trying to move past Trump and did not mention his name even once in the biggest stage she has ever had.
UPDATE 11:03 p.m. ET:
Sanders has wrapped her response. She repeatedly throughout it used the phrase “new generation” to describe up-and-coming Republicans, and never once used the word “Trump” in the whole address–even though she did describe a trip that former President Donald Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump took to meet troops in the Middle East.
UPDATE 10:51 p.m. ET:
Sanders makes the argument that Biden is the oldest president the country has ever seen, and she is the youngest governor in the country.
“It is time for a new generation of Republican leadership,” she said.
UPDATE 10:48 p.m. ET:
Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has begun delivering the GOP response to Biden.
She says that “Biden and the Democrats have failed you” and “they know it.”
UPDATE 10:40 p.m. ET:
It was Rep. Andy Ogles (R-TN) who yelled at Biden that the fentanyl deaths were his fault:
UPDATE 10:36 p.m. ET:
Former President Trump just released this video responding to Biden’s address:
UPDATE 10:34 p.m. ET:
Wolf Blitzer, meanwhile, calls it “the best speech I have ever heard [Biden] deliver.”
UPDATE 10:33 p.m. ET:
Biden’s speech puts before the American public the stark reality that divided government is here to stay now, and several key moments throughout it where he angrily lectured Republicans–on the debt ceiling, on immigration, on China, and more–are likely to backfire moving forward. Leftists on CNN are struggling to defend him, and Scott Jennings–the lone GOP strategist on the CNN panel–is calling it a highly partisan speech and a sign he is running for reelection in 2024.
Jennings is currently ripping Biden for his blatant dishonest regarding Republicans and Social Security and Medicare.
UPDATE 10:24 p.m. ET:
In response to Biden’s speech, Taylor Budowich–the head of the pro-Trump Super PAC Make America Great Again Inc.–said that Biden has made the State of the Union much weaker and that his speech was packed with lies.
“Joe Biden’s State of the Union was a long series of lies,” Budowich said. “Over seventy percent of Americans think the country is on the wrong track for a reason. They are tired of Biden’s failure and miss the roaring Trump economy. America can’t survive five more years of Joe Biden. We need President Trump back in the White House to save America once again.”
UPDATE 10:22 p.m. ET:
Biden has concluded his remarks, a little over an hour after he started speaking.
UPDATE 10:19 p.m. ET:
Biden veered off-script to have this odd moment when talking about Xi Jinping and China:
That was NOT in the prepared remarks.
UPDATE 10:15 p.m. ET:
When Biden was discussing the tragedy of fentanyl deaths, a Republican shouted at him: “It’s your fault!”
Biden said regarding fentanyl: “Fentanyl is killing more than 70,000 Americans a year. Let’s launch a major surge to stop fentanyl production, sale, and trafficking, with more drug detection machines to inspect cargo and stop pills and powder at the border. Working with couriers like Fed Ex to inspect more packages for drugs. Strong penalties to crack down on fentanyl trafficking.”
UPDATE 10:12 p.m. ET:
Republicans were chanting “secure the border” when Biden was talking about pushing amnesty:
UPDATE 10:10 p.m. ET:
Biden finally talks about China, but does not say the word “balloon” at all.
Biden’s only mention of the Chinese spy balloon is a reference to “last week” how China “threatens our sovereignty.”
“I am committed to work with China where it can advance American interests and benefit the world,” Biden said, per prepared remarks. “But make no mistake: as we made clear last week, if China’s threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country. And we did.”
Republicans stayed seated and did not cheer for Biden on that, as he has taken serious criticism for waiting too long to shoot down the suspected spy balloon.
UPDATE 10:06 p.m. ET:
Biden is veering off into hardcore partisan Democrat issues now, pushing for amnesty, abortion, and more. On the amnesty push, he interestingly admits the slim shot of such a proposal and asks Congress for at least a lesser package on immigration instead.
UPDATE 10:02 p.m. ET:
Biden’s comments about insulin were another lie, actually, as it was Trump–not him–who capped insulin costs:
UPDATE 9:59 p.m. ET:
Biden saying that “most cops” are “good, decent, and honorable people” earns bipartisan applause and a standing ovation from the chamber. The Democrat Party, the party of defunding police, has come quite a long way since the summer of 2020.
UPDATE 9:58 p.m. ET:
Biden, as he continues discussing the Nichols case, makes a bizarre comparison to his own children.
“I’ve never had to have the talk with my children – Beau, Hunter, and Ashley – that so many Black and Brown families have had with their children,” Biden said according to prepared remarks. “If a police officer pulls you over, turn on your interior lights. Don’t reach for your license. Keep your hands on the steering wheel. Imagine having to worry like that every day in America.”
UPDATE 9:56 p.m. ET:
Biden welcomes the parents of Tyre Nichols to the chamber, who are guests of the president and First Lady.
“Joining us tonight are the parents of Tyre Nichols, who had to bury him just last week” Biden said according to prepared remarks. “There are no words to describe the heartbreak and grief of losing a child.”
UPDATE 9:54 p.m. ET:
Several Republicans, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), yelled “LIAR!” at Biden when he inaccurately claimed that Republicans are trying to cut Social Security and Medicare during debt ceiling negotiations:
UPDATE 9:50 p.m. ET:
Biden made a fairly bold promise that he is unlikely to be able to deliver on in the speech regarding canceled and delayed flights.
“We’re making airlines show you the full ticket price upfront and refund your money if your flight is cancelled or delayed,” he said, according to the prepared remarks.
This has been a major issue in his administration with Buttigieg’s failures as Transportation Secretary. Every few weeks it seems like another airline cancels or delays hundreds maybe thousands of flights, and nothing gets any better. This is a bold promise by Biden. Whether he will be able to deliver remains to be seen.
UPDATE 9:45 p.m. ET:
Biden sparks outrage from Republicans in the chamber when he suggests that Republicans may want to cut Social Security or Medicare in debt ceiling fight. This is a blatant lie by Biden during the speech as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has already ruled out cutting those programs. Moments later Biden suggests getting “together” and negotiating how to cut the deficit and all the Republicans rose to applaud including McCarthy.
UPDATE 9:39 p.m. ET:
Biden seems to be leaning into a mixture of nationalist economics, and left-wing populism, bashing billionaires and big companies–while also insisting “I am a capitalist”–by saying that the tax code is “not fair.” At the same time, he is pushing major investments in green energy infrastructure and electric vehicles. He is also pushing a “Billionaire Minimum Tax.”
“No billionaire should be paying a lesser tax rate than a firefighter or schoolteacher,” Biden said… “Have you noticed Big Oil just reported its profits?”
UPDATE 9:28 p.m. ET:
Breitbart News economics editor John Carney rips Biden’s claims of rising take-home pay to shreds here in this must-read fact check.
UPDATE 9:26 p.m. ET:
His claims of economic success more broadly, too, are also not faring well under scrutiny:
UPDATE 9:25 p.m. ET:
Biden is getting reamed by fact checkers for claiming wages are rising during his presidency:
UPDATE 9:18 p.m. ET:
Biden screwed up Schumer’s title when he introduced him:
UPDATE 9:16 p.m. ET:
Biden says he has signed more than 300 “bipartisan” laws since he took office. “From reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, to the Electoral Count Reform Act, to the Respect for Marriage Act that protects the right to marry the person you love,” Biden said according to prepared remarks, leaning heavily into the bipartisan push in divided government right at the top of the speech.
“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,” he continued. “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 our 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. For decades, the middle class was hollowed out.”
UPDATE 9:12 p.m. ET:
Biden congratulates McCarthy on being elected Speaker, and shakes his hand.
“I start tonight by congratulating the members of the 118th Congress and the new Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy,” Biden said, turning around to embrace McCarthy.
He added that he doesn’t want to hurt McCarthy’s reputation, but looks forward to working with him.
Biden also congratulates House Democrat Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. He also gives a shoutout to former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
UPDATE 9:09 p.m. ET:
McCarthy introduces Biden, and Biden begins his speech.
UPDATE 9:06 p.m. ET:
The White House just published Biden’s full remarks as prepared for delivery.
UPDATE 9:03 p.m. ET:
Biden is entering the chamber now, shaking hands with members as he walks down the aisle.
UPDATE 9:00 p.m. ET:
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) is seen on CSPAN cameras shaking hands with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. Meanwhile, Jill Biden is sitting next to Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff. The two shared an odd embrace when she came in.
UPDATE 8:57 p.m. ET:
The Cabinet members are entering now. The president will follow soon.
UPDATE 8:56 p.m. ET:
First Lady Jill Biden has entered her seat in the gallery above the chamber.
UPDATE 8:55 p.m. ET:
The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court have entered the Chamber. The Cabinet and then the president will follow soon.
UPDATE 8:52 p.m. ET:
These are the members McCarthy and Harris appointed to escort committee to escort Biden into the Chamber:
UPDATE 8:49 p.m. ET:
McCarthy has gaveled the joint session of Congress into session, and is announcing the members from both parties who will escort the president of the United States into the chamber.
Harris is also appointing senators to escort the president in as well.
UPDATE 8:46 p.m. ET:
Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is seen chatting with Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT):
UPDATE 8:39 p.m. ET:
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who just left the Democrat Party to become an independent even though she is still caucusing with Democrats, is wearing a bright yellow dress to the State of the Union:
UPDATE 8:37 p.m. ET:
Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are in the House chamber awaiting Biden’s arrival. Also, tonight, former President Trump says he will offer live reactions to the address on his Truth Social account.
UPDATE 8:30 p.m. ET:
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden have exited the White House and entered the presidential limousine as they begin the journey up Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol for the address.
UPDATE 8:22 p.m. ET:
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who spent most of the day walking around Capitol Hill with a white balloon, just apparently entered the House chamber WITHOUT a balloon. It is unclear what Greene may or may not have planned in terms of State of the Union shenanigans to disrupt Biden:
For more on Greene and the balloon she had all day on Capitol Hill, read this report and watch the video from Breitbart News’s Ashley Oliver who interviewed Greene earlier–balloon in tow–at the House GOP conference’s prebuttal event to the State of the Union address.
UPDATE 8:17 p.m. ET:
Dr. Ben Carson is there for the address:
It’s hardly his first one. As Trump’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Carson has been to several State of the Union addresses.
UPDATE 8:13 p.m. ET:
Even the Washington Post’s chief fact checker is already accusing Biden of lying and he has not even left the White House yet:
UPDATE 8:10 p.m. ET:
Sanders, in the GOP response, is going to make a number of arguments against the Biden vision for the country.
“In the radical left’s America, Washington taxes you and lights your hard-earned money on fire, but you get crushed with high gas prices, empty grocery shelves, and our children are taught to hate one another on account of their race, but not to love one another or our great country,” the Arkansas Governor will say, per excerpts her office released.
“And while you reap the consequences of their failures, the Biden administration seems more interested in woke fantasies than the hard reality Americans face every day,” Sanders will also say. “Most Americans simply want to live their lives in freedom and peace, but we are under attack in a left-wing culture war we didn’t start and never wanted to fight.Every day, we are told that we must partake in their rituals, salute their flags, and worship their false idols…all while big government colludes with Big Tech to strip away the most American thing there is—your freedom of speech.That’s not normal. It’s crazy, and it’s wrong.”
Sanders will also call for more jobs and fuller paychecks for American workers.
“Republicans believe in an America where strong families thrive in safe communities,” she will say. “Where jobs are abundant, and paychecks are rising. Where the freedom our veterans shed their blood to defend is the birthright of every man, woman, and child.”
UPDATE 8:07 p.m. ET:
Biden is actually going to argue in his speech that Jan. 6, 2021, was the greatest threat to American democracy since the Civil War, per excerpts released by the White House:
He is also going to call on Republicans to “work together” with him in a bipartisan manner, a sharp departure from his speech last year calling out the GOP as “extreme” in his infamous Dark Brandon speech.