Key Takeaways from Biden’s 2022 State of the Union Speech

President Joe Biden delivered his first State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday night. 

The speech began with 12 minutes dedicated to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Biden strongly condemned Russia for its “unprovoked” invasion of Ukraine.

The war in Ukraine gave Biden an urgent reason to discuss the fight between democracy and autocracy as an urgent reality, rather than an abstract debate. Biden said the world is choosing a side of peace and security in the Ukraine crisis, and that this is a real test. He said the world needs to draw inspiration from the “iron will” of the Ukrainian people. 

Biden celebrated Western-allied countries for coming together on sanctions against Russia. He announced new sanctions as well, to close U.S. airspace to all Russian planes. The move came after the European Union and Canada announced they too have closed their respective airspace to all Russian aircraft. 

On other sanctions, Biden said that he is taking robust action to ensure that the pain of sanctions being produced by the U.S. and allies targets Russia’s economy, and protects American businesses and consumers. 

Domestically, Biden discussed the new phase of the ongoing Covid pandemic, inflation, and additional issues. 

On Covid, he urged Americans to see the virus as the enemy, not each other. Biden said the United States has moved beyond the pandemic, even if it still needs to stay vigilant against current and future mutations of the virus. He emphasized that while the country cannot change past divides, it needs to address the pandemic with a united front. 

On inflation, Biden said that fighting inflation is a top priority as prices continue to bite consumers. He highlighted a plan to help slow the rapid price gains.

Inflation is painfully high, and historically the best way to calm down price increases tends to hurt the labor market and hurt growth. He said that his administration can take steps to fight inflation, including encouraging corporate competition and strengthening a supply chain.

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