President Joe Biden sparred with vocal Republican members of Congress during his State of the Union address Tuesday night as he touted his accomplishments while promising to tackle issues like gun violence, the fentanyl crisis and hidden airline baggage fees.
Biden began his speech with a call for bipartisanship but soon resorted to Democrat talking points regarding the need for more gun control, climate change initiatives and more taxes on the "wealthy." The line that drew the most Republican ire came when Biden accused some GOP members of wanting to end Social Security and Medicare, something House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and other GOP leaders had explicitly said was off the table.
But it was his failure to address — both in his speech and in his policies — other issues like border security, foreign threats and rampant inflation the Alabama Republicans responded to.
"It's hard for President Biden to address the weakened State of our Union when he doesn't seem to be living in the difficult reality he's created," U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) said. "Americans can't afford their utilities or groceries, don't feel safe in their communities, and are villainized for their views by a president who promised to unite us. Not only did the president fail to offer solutions tonight, he showed he doesn't even seem to understand the problems. Instead, he just paid lip service to the same progressive priorities that have failed time and time again."
Though Biden praised the nation's low unemployment rate and rise in new business applications as economic successes, U.S. Sen. Katie Britt (R-Montgomery) said he was missing the perspective of Alabama parents and families who struggle with inflation.
"The reality of what moms and dads across our state and nation are facing is a stark difference from what we heard tonight from the President," she said. "Parents and families are sitting around the kitchen table, worrying about how they're going to make ends meet in the face of crushing inflation. They're worried about the price of groceries, from eggs and milk to flour and chicken."
U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) echoes Britt's comments adding that Biden's energy policies were adding to the financial pain.
"The reality is Biden's energy policies are crushing American households," he said. "There are now over 20 million households behind on their utility bills. Their families, including senior citizens on fixed incomes in some parts of the country who are literally compromising their health and their children's health because they can't afford to adequately heat their homes. Despite millions of job openings, President Biden is spending billions of borrowed dollars on welfare programs that allow able-bodied adults to choose not to work."
Britt also said she would soon introduce a bill package to seal and secure the southern border.
"There's no doubt that this issue should be a bipartisan one – the solutions, certainly, but even acknowledging that there's a problem," she said. "President Biden refused to own the border crisis in tonight's State of the Union, just as. He's done his entire presidency. I urge my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to step up and join us in advancing commonsense solutions to secure the border."
In response to his speech, the Alabama Republican Party (ALGOP) highlighted how Biden's foreign policy might negatively impact America at home and abroad.
"Meanwhile, on the world stage, our adversaries are emboldened, as demonstrated by last week's Chinese spy balloon incident, which was a clear violation of our sovereignty," the ALGOP said in a statement. "President Biden seems more concerned about Ukraine's border than our own border. Yet all he can do is push for the same failed socialist policies that have gotten our country into these disastrous situations. America needs real solutions, not a re-election campaign stump speech trying to convince us that his policies are actually working."
Biden ended his speech by saying, "because the people of this nation are strong, the State of the Union is strong."
"While President Biden says the state of our union is strong, it is clear that the American people don't believe him," U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) said in a statement. "...The American people deserve better, and the Republican majority in the House of Representatives is committed to delivering solutions. We are taking a common-sense conservative approach to these issues, and we encourage the President to work with us as we lead in the 118th Congress."
Other members of Alabama's federal delegation took to Twitter to respond to the president's address.
"Biden's speech tonight was a HUGE let down," U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobiel) tweeted. "He never mentioned any plans to address the crisis he created at our southern border, to lower fuel prices, or to get inflation under check. Americans deserve better!"
Biden’s speech tonight was a HUGE let down. He never mentioned any plans to address the crisis he created at our southern border, to lower fuel prices, or to get inflation under check.— Jerry Carl (@CarlForAlabama) February 8, 2023
Americans deserve better!
"President Biden devoted more time tonight on disarming law-abiding Americans than disarming foreign surveillance aircraft spying on Americans like you and me," U.S. Rep. Barry Moore (Rsss) wrote. "Think about that. #ChineseSpyBalloon"
President Biden devoted more time tonight on disarming law-abiding Americans than disarming foreign surveillance aircraft spying on Americans like you and me. Think about that. #ChineseSpyBalloon— Rep. Barry Moore (@RepBarryMoore) February 8, 2023
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