February 8, 2023
President Biden tried to convey a message of bipartisanship during his State of the Union Address. However, several contentious exchanges with Republican lawmakers during the speech underscored just how hard it may be pass meaningful legislation in a divided Congress.
The President touted strong job growth, overcoming the pandemic and recent good news on inflation as successes over the past two years. He also praised leaders from both parties for passing several bipartisan pieces of legislation, including the Violence Against Women Act, the Electoral Count Reform Act, and the Respect for Marriage Act.
“If we could work together in the last Congress, there’s no reason we can’t work together and find consensus on important things in this Congress as well,” Biden said. “Fighting for the sake of fighting, power for the sake of power, conflict for the sake of conflict, gets us nowhere.”
According to Biden, a bipartisan bill he signed last year targeting foreign shipping companies has helped farmers by reducing shipping costs by 90%.
The National Pork Producers Council issued a statement praising Biden’s work to remove unfair barriers to trade to enable more opportunities for pork producers.
“Last year alone, the U.S. exported nearly $7.7 billion in U.S. pork and pork products to over 100 countries,” the statement read in part. “America's pork producers stand ready to back government efforts to maintain, diversify, and expand additional export markets for U.S. agriculture.”
While offering few specifics for new programs directed to agriculture producers, the President called for infrastructure improvement and access to affordable high-speed internet across the nation. He also announced new standards requiring American-made materials to be used in federal infrastructure projects.
Biden called the Inflation Reduction Act passed last year the most significant investment in climate change. He promised new infrastructure able to withstand new climate threats, historic conservation efforts and investments in clean energy and electric vehicle charging stations.
“The climate crisis doesn’t care if you’re in a red or blue state. It’s an existential threat,” Biden said. “We have an obligation, not to ourselves, but to our children and our grandchildren to confront it.”
To pay for addition projects and address the growing deficit, Biden pointed to a recently signed law required billion-dollar companies to pay a minimum 15 % tax. He also called for a minimum tax for billionaires and proposed quadrupling the tax on corporate stock buybacks.
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