The President of the USA, Joe Bidenpronounced this Tuesday from the Congress his second State Of The Union Address, where he highlighted “finishing the job” of rebuild the economy.
For approximately 73 minutes, Biden showed an improved nation compared to the one he took two years ago: from a shaky economy to another prosperous with new jobs; of one paralyzed nation and weary of pandemics to another that has now reopened its doors, and a democracy that has survived its greatest test since the Civil war.
Here are the 8 key definitions from Biden’s speech before Congress:
1. Putin and his unjustified invasion of Ukraine
The US president said that war in Ukraine evokes images of “death” and “destruction” that Europe suffered in the Second World War.
He recalled how a year ago he gave his annual speech before the Congress just a few days after the Russian president, Vladimir Putinhe will launch his “brutal war” against Ukraine, which will be one year old on February 24.
Biden addressed the Ukrainian ambassador in Washington, Oksana Markarovainvited again in the box with the first lady, Jill Bidento underline that The United States is “united” in its support for the country invaded by Russia.
“We will continue with you for as long as it takes”, he added.
The first president of the United States stated that “Putin’s invasion” has been a test for history, for the United States and for the worlda test on whether to defend the “most basic” principles, sovereignty or the right of a people to live free from tyranny, as well as the defense of democracy.
A year later, he added, the answers have been shown, and The United States and its allies stood with the Ukrainian people and against Putin’s aggression.
“We did it. Together we did what America does best. we lead”, Biden added, alluding to the support that this country has given to Ukraine to face the Russian invasion.
Ukraine has been one of the central axes of the foreign policy of Biden since Russia invaded the country on February 24, 2022. So far, the country has spent $29.3 billion in military aid to kyiv.
2. Aggression by the Chinese regime
Biden warned that if China threatens US sovereignty, it will act as it has already done, in clear allusion to the shooting down of the spy balloon that flew over US territory last week.
“I am committed to working with China on what can advance American interests and benefit the world. But make no mistake: as we made clear last week, if China threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country. And so we did,” he said in his State of the Union address.
He further indicated that in his meeting with Xi Jinpingheld in Bali last November in parallel to the summit of the G20He told him that what they should look for among themselves is “competition, not conflict.”
stated that he does not intend to apologize for betting on that competition and “investing to make America strong” and betting on innovation, on industries that will define the future and that China is trying to dominate.
He also defended continuing to invest together with his allies, to protect advanced technologies and prevent them from being used against the USand modernize the armed forces to safeguard stability and prevent aggression.
Biden considered that the United States currently has “the strongest position in decades to compete with china or with anyone else in the world.”
3. Economic recovery and inflation
During his State of the Union address, Biden emphasized the recovery of the US economy after the COVID-19 pandemic and asked Congress to allow him to increase the level of debt of his administration.
“We never give up. We are the only country that has come out of any crisis and that is what we are doing again. Two years ago the economy was faltering, As of today, we have created a record 12 million new jobs”, express.
“In the last two years we reduced the deficit by 1.7 trillion dollars, the largest reduction in history”, Biden asserted.
He accused his predecessor, donald trumpof being responsible for a quarter of government debt. “Nearly 25% of the entire national debt, a debt that took 200 years to accumulate, was added by that administration alone.“, said.
And, at that time, Congress acted by raising the debt ceiling. “They raised the debt ceiling three times without preconditions or crises. They paid America’s bills to prevent an economic disaster for our country,” he noted.
“Some of my Republican friends want to take the economy hostage unless I agree with their economic plans. All of you at home should know what their plans are,” he added.
He also warned that will veto attempts to repeal his inflation reduction lawespecially if they seek to prevent the decrease in drug prices.
“Some members (of Congress) are threatening to withdraw the inflation reduction law. Make no mistake, if you try to do something to increase the cost of drugs, I will veto it.he threatened.
“Inflation has become a global problem due to the pandemic that cut the supply chain and Putin’s war that complicated energy and food sources,” he said.
4. Law for the Prevention of Improper Fees
proposed quadruple the tax on the repurchase of corporate shares to encourage long-term investment.
“They will continue to have considerable benefits. Let’s finish the job and let’s close the avenues that allow the very rich to avoid paying their taxes”, he pointed out, adding that no one making “less than $400,000 a year” will see their taxes increased “not a single penny.”
In his opinion, large corporations are not only benefiting from the tax code, but also from the American consumer.
Biden recalled that the big oil companies have posted record profits. Last year, according to his figures, those profits were 200,000 million “in the midst of a global energy crisis.”
“It is scandalous. They invested very little of that profit to increase domestic production and keep gasoline prices low. Instead, used those record profits to buy back their own shares, rewarding their CEOs and shareholders. Corporations should do the right thing,” he said.
The president, who delivered his speech before both houses of Congress, stressed that the current tax system “is not fair”: “I am a capitalist. But just pay what you get”, he maintained, stressing that his Administration has imposed a minimum tax of 15% on multi-billion dollar companies.
“That’s only 15%. It’s less than what a nurse pays. Let me be clear. No billionaire should pay less in taxes than a teacher or a firefighter,” Biden added.
“Let’s reduce student debt, increasing subsidies to working families. We are going to increase the opportunities in the high schools,” she highlighted.
5. Assault weapons and police abuse
He asked Congress to draft a reform to prevent the police abuse and another to prohibit the use of assault weapons.
“We have an obligation to make sure that all of our people are safe and public safety depends on public trust, but all too often that trust is violated”, the president pointed out in his speech, which was attended by victims of the most publicized violent events in recent months.
Among them the mother and stepfather of Tyre Nicholsthe young African American who died in early January in Memphis (Tennessee) after several police officers gave him a beatingwhich was recorded on video and who this Tuesday were sitting in the first lady’s box, Jill Biden.
“There are no words to describe the anguish and pain of losing a child.but imagine what it is like to lose a child at the hands of the law, ”said Biden, who recounted what he spoke with the mother of the deceased.
“Imagine having to worry if your son or daughter will come home after walking down the street or playing in the park or just driving your car. I never had to have the conversation with my children Beau, Hunter and Ashley that so many African American and Latino families have had with their children,” she said.
added, it is necessary to reach “an agreement” that allows “equal protection before the law”, which gives law enforcement “the training they need” and which allows officers to be held accountable “when they violate the public trust”. Because, he added, “what happened to tire in memphis happens all too often”.
6. Immigration reform
Biden requested that a citizen route be provided to those called dreamersthe undocumented youth who came to the United States since they were children.
“America’s problems at the border will not be solved until Congress acts,” he said.
“It is our duty to protect the rights and freedoms of the people,” he said, recalling that there is currently a “record” number of personnel and that in recent months people have been arrested. 8,000 human traffickers.
This same Tuesday the Department of Homeland Security (DHS, in English) pointed to the news agency EFE The number of arrests of migrants trying to cross the southern border of the United States in an irregular manner reached its lowest point in two years in January.
The authorities attribute this decrease to the expansion at the beginning of January Title 42a controversial health regulation, to allow the expulsions of Haitian, Cuban, Nicaraguan and Venezuelan migrants.
“We are going to come together on immigration and make it a bipartisan issue like it used to be. We have a record number of personnel working at the border. The illegal migration of citizens from Nicaragua, Haiti, Venezuela and Cuba has decreased by 97%”, Biden assured.
He asked to stop the production, sale and trafficking of fentanyl on the border with Mexico, with more cargo detection machines.
“Let’s launch a major effort to stop the production, sale and trafficking of fentanyl, with more drug detection machines to inspect cargo and stop pills and powder at the border,” he said.
Biden proposed working with companies like Fed Ex to inspect more packages for drugs, and strong penalties to crack down on the fentanyl trade, which according to his data kills more than 70,000 Americans a year.
7. Data on social networks
He called for the drafting of laws that allow impose stricter limits on personal data than tech companies collect on citizens.
“It is time to pass bipartisan legislation to prevent Big Tech from collecting personal data from children and adolescents online, ban advertising directed at children and impose stricter limits on the personal data these companies collect about all of us,” the president said.
Biden assured that It’s time to “hold social media companies accountable for the experiment they are conducting on our children.” for profit”.
A consortium of 17 US media revealed Facebook’s secrets in 2021, especially to what extent the company put its profits before security on the network, the lack of control over misinformation or how it ignored the harmful effects of its products on adolescents.
Among other things, the “facebook papers” showed that the company had done internal research showing that Instagram, which it owns, was harmful to teens, especially girls because it exacerbates problems they may have with their personal image.
8. Prohibition of abortion
Finally, the US president defended women’s right to choose and warned that if Congress passes a national ban on abortion, he will veto it.
“If Congress passes a national abortion ban, I will veto it”pointed out the highest authority of the United States, who recalled that “Here at the Casa del Pueblo, it is our duty to protect all the rights and freedoms of the people”.
This is the first State of the Union address the president has given since the Supreme Court struck down the ‘Roe v. Wade’ ruling that had protected the right to abortion in the United States since 1973.
Since then, the decision has been in the hands of each state so that 18 of the 50 states in the country have banned abortion or severely restricted itand in 13 of them access to this service is practically impossible even though there are exceptions, according to the count of Planned Parenthoodthe largest network of reproductive services clinics in the US.
“Congress should restore the right the Supreme Court took away last year and codify Roe v. Wade to protect every woman’s constitutional right to choose,” Biden said.
(With information from EFE and The Associated Press)
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