(WEHT) – President Biden delivered his first State of the Union address on Tuesday. During the address, President Biden discussed the topics of tensions in Ukraine, inflation and the coronavirus.
Here’s what lawmakers in Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois are saying about the State of the Union:
U.S. Senator Todd Young released a video statement after the address where he encouraged President Biden to work with Republicans on solutions to everyday problems. A transcript of Senator Young’s video can be read below:
Tonight it was really encouraging to see Republicans and Democrats join together and send a clear message that the United States is united against Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine. We must let the world know that this type of behavior will never be tolerated.
At home, we have 40-year high inflation, a crisis at our border, high energy prices, and families struggling with the high cost of living. For the last year, Democrats haven’t focused on these issues. Instead, they’ve pushed far-left policies that are out of touch with the concerns of rank and file Hoosiers.
Instead of his partisan approach, I encourage the President of the United States to work with Republicans on real solutions to these genuine, everyday problems. One bipartisan step he can take right now is to help advance my U.S. Innovation and Competition Act to invest in emerging national security technologies and help us outcompete China.
Despite the numerous challenges we face, I do believe in this country and I believe in our people, and I’m going to keep fighting for the policies that will get us back on track.Senator Todd Young
Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party Mike Schmuhl released the following statement after President Biden concluded the address:
President Joe Biden promised Americans from the start of his presidency that he would tell it straight and provide an opportunity for families to have a brighter future than they once had. And true to his word, President Biden was honest about this truth about the state of our nation: Families across our country have been struggling. The battle against COVID-19 has led to once-in-a-lifetime challenges for people of all ages, businesses, and schools in our communities. The American Rescue Plan and The Jobs Act are providing pathways to get us through these tough times, and the President – as well as Democrats – are committed to doing the work that’s necessary to create this better future.
Indiana Democrats have been championing this approach across the state. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, cities like Indianapolis are ‘super-funding’ efforts to combat crime. Democrats are creating jobs, fully-funding the state’s regional economic development programs, revitalizing critical infrastructure systems, expanding broadband internet access, providing educators with pay raises, and funding public schools at levels not seen in over a decade. Democrats are delivering on the kitchen-table issues that matter most to people, and Democrats are ready to solve further challenges facing Hoosier families in all 92 counties in the months and years ahead.
Now is the time to solve critical issues like inflation, and Democrats are set to answer this challenge once more. More than 56 economists have confirmed the Build Back Better Act and the COMPETES Act would combat inflation and drive down high costs for Hoosiers. Democrats are crisscrossing Indiana to sell this strong economic agenda, because while challenges still exist, Hoosiers families should have faith there are brighter, more prosperous days ahead – thanks to the work accomplished by President Joe Biden and Democrats.Mike Schmuhl, Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party
U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following comments regarding President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address:
Well first with regard to Ukraine, we’re all inspired by the bravery of the Ukrainian people and the leadership of their stunningly impressive president. The whole world has rallied to the cause – even demonstrations in Russia in opposition to the war. First and foremost, I think at this particular State of the Union, we need to do everything we can to support the Ukrainians. It may be David versus Goliath, but David is holding up pretty well so far.
With regard to the rest of the President’s agenda, it’s been a pretty big flop for the American people… raging inflation, open borders, and difficult challenges getting past COVID. The President has had a rough year and he did his best tonight to try to pick himself up and provide some level of optimism but that’s not what the American people are feeling right now.Senator Mitch McConnell
U.S. Senator Rand Paul released a video response to the State of the Union. A transcript of the video can be read below:
Tonight, you heard a speech by someone who doesn’t know what’s going on in the union, or at least is hoping you don’t know. What is the state of the union? Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to the worst crisis in Europe since World War II. Massive inflation is everywhere, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the malaise of Jimmy Carter. Parents are frustrated by almost two years of bureaucrats messing with their kid’s schooling. Everyday Americans see their freedom, jobs and livelihood stolen from them by petty tyrants drunk on power with lockdowns and mandates. The state of the union is frankly pretty poor and Americans are largely unhappy with Biden’s performance.
Our two years of lockdowns, ballooning national debt and out of control inflation threatens our very national security. Congress added trillions of dollars in new debt to pay people to stay home from the lockdowns that congress mandated. When gas goes up everyday, when food prices increase weekly, these are signs of real trouble. Of course that’s even if you can get the food. Supply chain issues from our COVID policies have continued to bring empty shelves, late deliveries of just about every item in our economy. From meat to used cars, from raw materials to boatloads of goods, the delays are ongoing.
Economic issues are only part of the problem though. Parents are being told they’re not in charge of their kid’s education. Issues such as critical race theory and extreme gender are brought into their small children’s classrooms. That’s if their kids are even meeting in-person in a classroom at all. Biden and his followers want you to believe that they’re following the science, but it looks more like political science to many of us. Dr. Fauci wants you to triple mask, double vaccinate your five-year-old and hide in your basement. That may be okay for a 40-year-old government bureaucrat making nearly half a million dollars, but it’s not so easy for everyone else, and really the scientific evidence for vaccinating children is not convincing.
There have been many casualties of the Biden policy so far: science, freedom, prosperity, strength in the world. These are not small matters and have all happened in barely over a year. I shutter do think what will happen if these policies continue unchecked. Democrats in congress who clapped and cheered tonight, they are much of the blame as well. They passed the spending bills and enabled the appointees who have made this mess.
Thankfully, one thing I can say without flinching about, is that Americans, that we still are the greatest country and that our state of the union can and will bounce back. We can get our spending under control, we can retake our freedom, we can stop the left from taking over our schools and we can fix our foreign policy. It starts now. Parents are fighting back, people are listening to other voices with real science on their side and men and women are running for office to take back congress. Next year I am hopeful that the message will be better, our outlook brighter. For now, keep fighting and hoping that our best days can and will be ahead of us.Senator Rand Paul
Congressman Brett Guthrie released the following statement after the State of the Union was delivered:
Rising prices on everyday goods, growing drug overdose epidemic, worsening crisis at our Southern Border, and a challenging supply chain crisis are several of the reasons that Kentuckians I serve tell me they are unhappy with the direction our country is headed under President Biden’s leadership and for good reason. President Biden’s policies have directly resulted in many of the everyday problems Kentuckians are facing.
Kentuckians are paying nearly a dollar more per gallon of gas than a year ago. With a stroke of a pen, President Biden ended our energy independence by cancelling the Keystone Pipeline and halting drilling permits. I was frustrated that President Biden did not announce plans to reverse his domestic energy decisions to fully unleash America’s energy potential. It is even more unacceptable that we are actively importing energy from Russia, especially when we have untapped oil and gas in the United States. Proceeds from purchasing Russian energy are being used to fuel Russia’s unlawful and unprovoked war against our ally, Ukraine. Boosting our American energy supply can be used as a weapon against Putin. If we increase our energy production, then we can decrease Putin’s leverage with Russian energy by reducing the need for the United States and our European partners to depend on Russian oil and natural gas for energy needs.
The President’s failed leadership in securing our Southern Border has essentially made Kentucky a border state due to illicit drugs flowing into our communities. After being sworn into office, President Biden halted construction of the border wall and his administration is barely enforcing the Remain in Mexico policy, which have both made it easier for Mexican drug cartels to traffic illicit drugs into our country and exacerbate the drug overdose crisis. I was disappointed that President Biden failed to commit to effectively securing our Southern Border to stop these deadly drugs from reaching our communities, specifically with continuing construction of the border wall and supporting the plan to combat fentanyl-related substances in the HALT Fentanyl Act.
Additionally, the President doubled down on his push for passage of progressive policies included in his partisan Build Back Better Act, which would fuel inflation through drastic increases in federal spending. Hardworking Kentuckians’ paychecks are already decreasing in value due to the highest inflation since I was in high school in 1982. Rising inflation is essentially an unlegislated tax that impacts every Kentuckian but is especially and unfairly felt by Kentuckians with low and fixed incomes.
As the top Republican of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee, I was especially interested in what President Biden had to say about lowering prescription drug prices. I was disappointed that he is still supportive of a drug pricing scheme that would diminish innovation for my constituents living with rare diseases and other medically complex conditions that lack access to effective treatments or cures. I encourage President Biden to support my bill, the Lower Costs, More Cures Act, which proves with 40 bipartisan provisions that we can lower drug costs without sacrificing innovation.
As the invasion of Ukraine was unfolding, I was participating as a Republican delegate at a NATO conference with our allies in Brussels. I have seen firsthand how Putin’s evil and maniacal actions are uniting our NATO allies against him. I stand with our Ukrainian allies and support stronger sanctions to make Putin and his complicit financiers feel the full weight of America’s and our allies’ economic power.Congressman Brett Guthrie
U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin released the following statement on the address:
The American people have endured incredible hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When President Biden took office, he pledged to get shots in arms, people back to work and school, and our economy back on track. Thanks to his leadership with both the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, millions of people are vaccinated and we’re making a once-in-a-generation investment in our infrastructure.
We’ve come a long way, but we still have work to do. In his speech, the President laid out a strategy to lower costs for American families, put workers and small businesses first, pass commonsense gun legislation, and more.
I look forward to working with the President to deliver on his Unity Agenda to combat the opioid crisis that has plagued our country, strengthen mental health resources, support our veterans, and end cancer as we know it. These are bipartisan issues we can all agree on.
Beyond this critical work to be done, the President looked ahead and urged Americans to be optimistic about our future. We love our country. Let’s work together to make it better.Senator Dick Durbin
Senator Tammy Duckworth issued this statement on Tuesday night:
From Ukraine to this evolving pandemic, we face unique challenges at this moment, but President Biden reminded us tonight that there is nothing the American people can’t overcome. Thanks to the resolve, shared sacrifice and hard work of our people—and with the help of Democratic policies that put checks in pockets, kept small businesses from shuttering and are creating historic levels of new jobs, rebuilding roads and making sure our children’s water is safe—we’re turning a corner as a nation and moving in the right direction for working families.
President Biden was also clear-eyed about the work that remains to be done and laid out a clear path that everyone should be able to support to address inflation by strengthening our supply chains and enhancing American manufacturing. It is time for Republicans in Congress to stop blocking these commonsense measures and finally put the needs of working Americans ahead of their own political fortunes. Nothing should stand in the way of Congress passing policies to save families money like lowering the cost of prescription drugs, making child care and energy prices more affordable and helping seniors and those with disabilities access the resources they need to get care and services in their homes.Senator Tammy Duckworth