President Biden talked crime, economy and IVF in State of the Union – NBC4 Washington

This live blog is no longer being updated. Read the full text of the speech here.

President Joe Biden turned his State of the Union speech Thursday night into an animated argument for a second term as he laced into GOP front-runner Donald Trump for espousing “resentment, revenge and retribution” and jeopardizing freedom at home and abroad.

He referenced the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol by Trump supporters seeking to overturn the 2020 election, and called for the threat to democracy to be countered.

“My predecessor — and some of you here — seek to bury the truth about Jan. 6 — I will not do that,” Biden said. “This is a moment to speak the truth and to bury the lies. Here’s a simple truth. You can’t love your country only when you win.”

“My lifetime has taught me to embrace freedom and democracy,” Biden said. “A future based on the core values that have defined America: honesty, decency, dignity, equality. To respect everyone. To give everyone a fair shot. To give hate no safe harbor. Now some other people my age see a different story: an American story of resentment, revenge, and retribution. That’s not me.”

President Joe Biden delivered the 2024 State of the Union address on Thursday, his last address as president before the general election.

Biden delivers fiery State of the Union

President Joe Biden said he wanted to use his State of the Union to “wake up” Congress, but he was the one who seemed suddenly energized as he spared with Republican hecklers and repeatedly criticized former President Donald Trump.

Shaking off lackluster approval ratings and his own party’s anxiety about his political and physical health, the 81-year-old delivered on Thursday one of the feistiest and most political presidential addresses to Congress in recent memory.

He referenced “my predecessor” 13 times, not saying Trump’s name once but making him a clear focus of his speech, shouted back at firebrand Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and sarcastically mocked Republican lawmakers.

Read the NBC News analysis here.

In rebuttal, Katie Britt zeroes in on immigration and crime

Freshman Alabama Sen. Katie Britt, in delivering the Republican response to Biden’s speech, said that the country that Americans “know and love” appears to be slipping away.

The senator appeared to be delivering the speech from a kitchen in Montgomery, Alabama.

She said that the “true, unvarnished” state of the nation is that families are “hurting,” pointing to the southern border. She argued that the president inherited the “most secure border” but undid Trump’s policies, NBC News reported.

You can watch Britt’s speech in full here.

Joe Biden v. Donald J. Predecessor

President Joe Biden went hard after GOP front-runner Donald Trump on Thursday, but didn’t mention him by name.

Over and over, Biden delivered broadsides at “my predecessor” — 13 times in all — raising his voice repeatedly as he tried to quell voter concerns about his age and job performance.

“My predecessor and some of you here seek to bury the truth of January 6th,” Biden said at one point. “I will not do that.”

The full text of President Biden’s 2024 State of the Union speech

Read the full text of the speech here.

Biden takes a bite out of Snickers

Going into the State of the Union, President Biden has raised the problem of “shrinkflation” – companies putting fewer pretzels in the jar and less yogurt in sealed cups.

In an unscripted aside Thursday, he talked about Snickers, saying it’s the same price but you get less.

Some will dismiss the comment as too light-hearted for the State of the Union, but it’s the kind of complaint that the average person understands, a perpetual goal of the president.

“You get charged the same amount and you get about – I don’t know – 10 percent fewer Snickers in it,” he said.

Biden engages with Marjorie Taylor Greene on death of Laken Riley

As Biden began to speak about the bipartisan border security package that was negotiated in the Senate and rejected by Republicans, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., began yelling at Biden about the Georgia college student who was recently killed, allegedly by an undocumented migrant.

Biden responded by picking up a button portraying the woman, Laken Riley, that Greene had handed to the president as he entered the chamber for tonight’s address, NBC News reported.

Biden said that Riley was an “innocent young woman who was killed by an illegal.” He then addressed Riley’s parents and said his heart goes out to them, as someone who lost children himself.

“Oh, you don’t like that bill, huh? That conservatives got together and said was a good bill?” President Joe Biden said Thursday during his State of the Union address.

Biden goes on offense on immigration

Biden is continuing Democrats’ recent push to flip the script on Republicans over immigration.

Like he did last week in Brownsville, Texas, he invited Trump — “my predecessor” — to join him in urging Congress to pass the border security fund bill, NBC News reported. This time, he took on Republicans more directly for killing the bill.

“I’ll be darned,” he ad-libbed. “Look at the facts. I know you know how to read.”

Despite a record-breaking migrant influx during his presidency, Biden is trying to strike a contrast with the GOP frontrunner on moral terms.

Biden proposes an annual tax credit to help Americans with housing

Biden touts legislative accomplishments, calls out Republicans who voted against them

The president showcased his accomplishments on infrastructure and manufacturing.

Taking a victory lap in selling his legislative accomplishments, such as one that bolsters manufacturing of computer chips nationwide, Biden veered from his prepared script to take a dig at Republicans who voted against such policies but are eager to take credit for them back home.

“If any of you don’t want that money in your districts,” Biden said, “just let me know.”

‘I will restore Roe v. Wade’: Biden reflects on reproductive rights

Biden says Trump trying to ‘bury the truth’ on Jan. 6

Early in his address, after urging support for Ukraine, President Biden pivoted to threats at home, referencing the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol by Trump supporters seeking to overturn the 2020 election.

“My predecessor — and some of you here — seek to bury the truth about Jan. 6 — I will not do that,” Biden said. “This is a moment to speak the truth and to bury the lies. Here’s a simple truth. You can’t love your country only when you win.”

Biden urges more aid for Ukraine

President Joe Biden on Thursday urged Congress to support Ukraine in its war against Russia.

“Ukraine can stop Putin if we stand with Ukraine and provide the weapons it needs to defend itself,” Biden said during his State of the Union address.

President Joe Biden opened his 2024 State of the Union address with a pledge to continue arming Ukraine in their fight against Russia. “If anybody in this room thinks [Russian President Vladimir Putin] will stop at Ukraine, I assure you he will not.”

The president issued an emphatic call for lawmakers to pass sorely needed defense assistance for Ukraine. Acute ammunition shortages have allowed Russia to retake the offensive in the 2-year-old war.

The GOP-controlled House has refused to act on a Senate-passed version of the aid legislation, insisting on new stiffer measures to limit migration at the U.S.-Mexico border, after former President Donald Trump used his influence to help sink a bipartisan compromise that would have done just that.

Education secretary is ‘designated survivor’

The “designated survivor” for Thursday’s State of the Union address is Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.

By custom at least one Cabinet member does not attend the speech, in order to preserve the Constitutional line of succession in the event of a catastrophe.

Cardona is a former public school teacher who went on to become Connecticut’s education chief before joining the Biden Administration.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in Charlotte, N.C, on Jan. 11, 2024.

Why people are wearing white

Dozens of women were seen dressed in white at President Joe Biden’s third State of the Union address Thursday night.

“For tonight’s State of the Union address, we’re in white and wearing ‘Fighting for Reproductive Freedom’ pins,” the Democratic Women’s Caucus posted on social media Thursday.

The group attended the event with a clear message: “we won’t stop fighting until all women can access the health care they need to control their own lives and futures.”

Among those seen wearing white are Reps. Norma Torma Torres, Linda Sanchez and Nanette D. Barragán.

Congressional Dads Caucus members are wearing ‘building block’ pins

The Congressional Dads Caucus announced its 33 members will be displaying the toy-like pin as a way to show commitment to working families across the U.S.

“Tonight, Dads Caucus members are wearing a building block pin to show our commitment to policies that build families up, like the expanded Child Tax Credit, affordable child care and paid leave,” the caucus said on Twitter.

Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.) created the Congressional Dads Caucus in 2023.

Former GOP Rep. George Santos, who was expelled, is attending tonight’s speech

Former Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., who was expelled from the House last year, was seen at the Capitol with lawmakers ahead of Biden’s speech. It is his first time on Capitol Hill since his expulsion, NBC News reports.

(L-R) Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) talks with former Rep. George Santos (R-NY) ahead of President Biden’s State of the Union address in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C, on March 7, 2024. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

Biden expected to highlight climate accomplishments and challenges

The president will deliver a message on climate change that is not just “doom and despair,” a top White House official said ahead of tonight’s speech, NBC News reported.

“The president sees climate change for the challenge that it is,” said White House climate policy adviser Ali Zaidi. “We’re investing in resilience and adaptation and we’re getting after the root cause.”

Which presidents gave the longest and shortest State of the Union addresses?

Former Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Ronald Reagan gave two of the shortest SOTU address that each lasted just over 40 minutes. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, on average, delivered longer SOTU addresses than other presidents.

Biden unveiled his “unity agenda” during his first SOTU address on March 1, 2022, and it lasted one hour, one minute and 50 seconds. Biden delivered his second address last year on Feb. 7, which ran for one hour and thirteen minutes.

Take a look at the top 10 longest and shortest SOTU addresses given by U.S. presidents within the last 60 years here.

Former Presidents Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Barack Obama delivering State of the Union speeches during each of their terms in the White House.
Former Presidents Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Barack Obama delivering State of the Union speeches during each of their terms in the White House.

Why some lawmakers will be wearing yellow ribbons tonight

Family members of several Americans still held hostage by Hamas in Gaza are expected to attend the State of the Union after being invited by a group of lawmakers. The 17 relatives of the hostages have sent a letter to all members of Congress asking them and their staffers to wear a yellow lapel ribbon or a “Bring them home” dog tag necklace as a sign of solidarity for those still working to bring their loved ones home.

Biden expected to announce plan for middle class tax cuts and lower deficits

Biden aides say he’ll announce an expanded plan to raise corporate taxes and use the proceeds to trim budget deficits and cut taxes for the middle class.

In a preview of Biden’s remarks, aides including Lael Brainard, director of the White House National Economic Council, said the president would contrast his proposals with Republican plans to extend former President Donald Trump’s expiring tax breaks and further slash corporate tax rates.

Under Biden’s proposal, corporations would no longer be able to deduct the expense of employee pay above $1 million, which could raise $270 billion over 10 years. He also wants to raise the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21%, among other measures. And, as Biden has previously proposed, major companies would be charged a minimum tax rate so that they could not avoid the IRS through accounting maneuvers, deductions and specialized tax breaks. Read more about the preview of his proposal here.

Biden to announce plans for a temporary aid port on Gaza’s coast amid ongoing Israel-Hamas war

Biden is expected to announce plans to add a port in Gaza that will be used by the U.S. and partners to get aid into the region, NBC News reported.

Once built, the port will “provide the capacity for hundreds of additional truckloads of assistance each day,” a senior administration official said.

The U.S. plans to coordinate with Israel, the United Nations and various nongovernmental organizations about getting humanitarian aid into Gaza through the port, but the administration official made clear that the operation will not involve U.S. boots on the ground in Gaza. Read more from NBC News here.

Advocates hope for action after Biden’s calls for protecting Social Security and Medicare in last year’s speech

Biden used his State of the Union last year as an opportunity to get both Republicans and Democrats to not make any cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

“So folks, as we all apparently agree, Social Security and Medicare is off the books now, right?” Biden said, which was met with cheers. “We’ve got unanimity.”

Yet as both Social Security and Medicare face insolvency dates within the next decade, leaders on both sides of the aisle are hoping for action. More from CNBC on possible legislative action to protect these programs here.

Who’s on tonight’s guest list?

Biden and Democratic lawmakers invited several health care providers and women whose lives have been impacted by stricter abortion laws in states with Republican-controlled legislatures following the landmark 2022 Supreme Court ruling that stripped away constitutional protections for abortion. 

First lady Jill Biden also invited union leaders, a gun control advocate, and others that she and her husband have met as they traveled the country promoting his agenda.

The full guest list can be found here.

North Texans will attend the State of the Union in support of Kate Cox, the local woman who was unable to get an abortion in Texas. NBC 5’s Larry Collins has the details. 

Sen. Katie Britt of Alabama is delivering the GOP response

Freshman Alabama Sen. Katie Britt, the youngest female senator, will deliver the Republican response to Biden’s speech.

Britt, 42, is the first woman elected to the Senate from Alabama. In a joint statement with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Mike Johnson, Britt said that “it’s time for the next generation to step up.”

“The Republican Party is the party of hardworking parents and families, and I’m looking forward to putting this critical perspective front and center,” Britt said.

FILE – Sen. Katie Britt, R-Ala., is seen in the U.S. Capitol during votes on Jan. 9, 2024. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders delivered last year’s response to Biden’s State of the Union.

How to watch tonight’s State of the Union

The speech starts at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. You can watch live on all of the major network and cable television stations, including on NBC, MSNBC, NBC News Now, NBC’s online streaming network Peacock and in the streaming player above.

Find more on how to watch and what to watch for here and check back here for live updates.

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