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President Biden calls for unity in SOTU

State of the Union speech offered few specifics for agriculture while sharing what Biden sees as positives so far.

Joshua Baethge

February 8, 2023

2 Min Read
Biden delivers state of the union address
TALKING POSITIVE: During his State of the Union Address, President Biden talked up what he sees as positives in the last year. Drew Angerer/Getty Images News

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.

About the Author(s)

Joshua Baethge

Policy editor, Farm Progress

Joshua Baethge covers a wide range of government issues affecting agriculture. Before joining Farm Progress, he spent 10 years as a news and feature reporter in Texas. During that time, he covered multiple state and local government entities, while also writing about real estate, nightlife, culture and whatever else was the news of the day.

Baethge earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of North Texas. In his free time, he enjoys going to concerts, discovering new restaurants, finding excuses to be outside and traveling as much as possible. He is based in the Dallas area where he lives with his wife and two kids.

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