WASHINGTON — After completing just over a year in office, President Joe Biden[D] addressed Congress at his “State of the Union” address on March 1, 2022.
Following the speech, many high-ranking politicians from Maryland began chiming in with their thoughts on the address. This included House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer[D-Md.] and U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen[D-Md.].
The following statement was release by Hoyer’s press secretary following the address:
“In his State of the Union address this evening, President Biden laid out his vision for Building a Better America that leads the fight for democracy around the world while ensuring that our democracy delivers opportunity at home. He outlined detailed plans to confront our pressing challenges and to keep up the strong pace of our economic recovery. I agree with President Biden that now is the time for Democrats and Republicans to work together in Congress and around the country to make certain that everyone has an opportunity to get ahead – and I am very happy that we share the view that the best way to do that is to pursue policies that help our businesses, workers, and families Make It In America.
“Over the past week, Ukrainians have demonstrated unparalleled bravery. Tonight, President Biden made clear that, under his leadership, America will always stand with those who fight to defend their freedom and their democracy. Drawing on his deep experience in foreign policy, President Biden has restored American leadership and rallied NATO and our allies to enforce punishing sanctions against Vladimir Putin, the oligarchs that support him, Russian financial institutions, and others complicit in his aggression. We have supplied – and will continue to supply – lethal arms and equipment to help Ukrainians defend themselves against Russia’s unjustified invasion, and we will continue to provide humanitarian aid to ease the suffering of those enduring Russian attacks.
“At home, President Biden and Democrats are working to demonstrate to the world that democracy works, leading by the strength of our example to deliver results For the People. Over the past year, our economy has rebounded from the pandemic’s downturn faster and stronger than any predicted, thanks to our swift enactment of the American Rescue Plan. We built on that progress with the bipartisan infrastructure law, which will have a transformational impact on our economy in the years ahead. Together these laws have helped create a record 6.6 million jobs during President Biden’s first year in office and a drop in unemployment to 4.0%. The President made it clear to the American people, however, that he will not be satisfied only by the number of jobs our economy creates but by how many Americans are able to achieve real economic security in the years to come. That’s why we must take the next steps to help Americans build back better and to address the inflation that has resulted from the economic crisis by raising wages, lowering costs to families, and making housing and education more accessible.
“Now, to prove to our nation and the world that America’s vision of democracy works, Democrats and Republicans must come together to deliver on what our people want and expect from their leaders. First, we must reach agreement on legislation to shore up our supply chains for American industries and make our economy more competitive. The House passed the America COMPETES Act in January, and the Senate passed its own legislation last year; it’s time to resolve differences and send a bipartisan, bicameral bill to the President’s desk. In addition, it is long past time that Congress enact legislation to protect voting rights and participation in our democracy, to address the climate crisis, and to provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, those with Temporary Protective Status, those under Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), and farm workers. We must also address the epidemic of gun violence by closing loopholes and finally enacting bipartisan, commonsense background checks.
“House Democrats will continue to do our job to govern responsibly in partnership with President Biden and the Democratic-led Senate – doing whatever we can to make our democracy work for those it serves. I urge Republicans to be our partners in this effort. I call on them to stand with us on the front lines in defense of America’s democracy. I appeal to them to work alongside Democrats to pass legislation ensuring that the state of our union will grow stronger, safer, and more prosperous in the years ahead and that America can continue to defend our interests and ideals around the world. If we can do so, democracy will surely prevail.
“The President rightfully appealed to all of us to act as Americans – not for party but for country. Let us hope that we will all do just that. It is time for America to come together. If we do, we will continue to be the leader of the free world.”
Soon after, Van Hollen had sent a press release with his thoughts on the address:
“Just over one year ago, President Biden was sworn into office as a nation in disarray looked on – left shocked by the attacks on our democracy and battered by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic harm. Tonight, President Biden reported that America is coming back strong.
“We’ve made big strides over the last year, from the deployment of millions of vaccines to defeat the pandemic to record job growth. This progress was made possible by the resilience of people across Maryland and the nation and the passage of the American Rescue Plan. We have also started the historic effort of putting millions of Americans to work building the infrastructure of the 21st century.
“But there’s more to be done. As President Biden discussed in his speech, there are still many challenges we face – from combatting Putin’s aggression and standing against autocracy abroad to shoring up our democracy here at home. To build a better future and grow opportunity for all, we must pass the President’s plan to combat the rising prices that are squeezing American families, confront the climate crisis, and much more.
“We have a duty – but also a unique opportunity – to tackle these challenges head-on and to deliver more results to the American people. I’m committed to working with the President to get this done.”