President Biden gives first State of the Union Address

President+Biden+gave+his+first+State+of+Union+Address+to+address+the+ongoing+war+in+Ukraine.

President Biden gave his first State of Union Address to address the ongoing war in Ukraine.

by Eugenie Budnik, Staff Writer

On March 1, President Joe Biden gave his first State of the Union Address of his presidency.

The address was held in person and many attendees were maskless amid the CDC’s new COVID-19 masking guidelines.

President Biden’s speech focused on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has been ongoing and intensifying since Feb. 24. Biden condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine, calling it “premeditated” and “unprovoked”. 

President Biden highlighted the resiliency of the Ukrainian people and commended the leadership of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“We, the United States of America, stand with the Ukrainian people,” Biden said during the address. 

Notably, this statement of support garnered bipartisan applause by multiple members of Congress in attendance.

Since Ukraine is not a NATO ally, President Biden did not promise military assistance to Ukraine, but instead made promises of monetary and humanitarian assistance. 

“Our forces are not engaged and will not engage in the conflict with Russian forces in Ukraine. As I’ve made crystal clear, the United States and our allies will defend every inch of territory that is NATO territory with the full force of our collective power,” Biden said.

President Biden also discussed domestic issues such as economic inflation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, police reform and gun control. 

Biden praised the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill as a driver for an increase in job gains and economic growth. 

On the topic of police reform, President Biden received bipartisan support by speaking in favor of funding the police. 

“We should all agree the answer is not to defund the police. It’s to fund the police. Fund them. Fund them with the resources and training-resources and training they need to protect our communities,” Biden said.

This statement received criticism by Black Lives Matter activists, who have been calling for the slashing of police budgets across the nation following outrage over racially motivated killings by police. 

President Biden ended the address by commending Americans for the strength of the people throughout the harsh realities of the ongoing pandemic.

“We are stronger today we are stronger than we were a year ago. And we’ll be stronger a year from now than we are today,” Biden said. “This is a moment to meet and overcome the challenges of our time. And we will, as one people, one America – the United States of America.”