President Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night was billed as a plea for unity, but due to his frequent digs at Republicans and at least one obvious untruth, the speech quickly degenerated into a yelling war.
Republicans in Congress loudly refuted several of his assertions about them, but particularly when Biden said that the GOP was planning to slash Social Security benefits.
And only days after a surveillance balloon from the communist nation passed over the US last week, Biden hardly mentioned China in the 70-minute speech, which also elicited jeers accusing the president of being to blame for the surge in fentanyl deaths.
Upon arriving, the 80-year-old president greeted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) pleasantly before launching into his attack on the GOP. This gave the impression that he was trying to live up to the White House’s “unity” propaganda spin.
“Instead of making the wealthy pay their fair share, some Republicans, some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security to sunset. I’m not saying it’s a majority. Anybody who doubts it, contact my office, I’ll give you a copy of the proposal.” Biden made an effort to quell the raucous jeers.
While McCarthy and other conservatives push for cuts to discretionary spending and a claw back of unused pandemic stimulus funds as part of a debt ceiling impasse, Biden has repeatedly claimed that the GOP wants to cut Social Security and Medicare. This is despite McCarthy publicly and repeatedly ruling out that possibility.
The White House has justified Biden’s rhetoric by citing support for raising the retirement age for future recipients from members of the sizable House Republican Study Committee.
As Biden spoke about the rising fentanyl overdoses, the House chamber, which was filled with senators, Cabinet members, Supreme Court justices, and other US government leaders, once again descended into chaos. Republicans had criticized Biden over the previous two years for not doing more to combat the scourge of the synthetic compound, which is primarily sourced from China and is increasingly mixed into non-opioids and counterfeit prescriptions, killing unwitting users.