Key Takeaways from the State of the 2023 Union Address

President Joe Biden delivered his 2023 State of the Union Address to the newly elected 118th Congress Tuesday night.

Biden’s address focused on his administration’s bipartisan accomplishments in the first two years of his presidency, continually harken-backing his famous message of American unity.

The initial focus of his speech was largely bipartisanship:

“You know, we’re often told that Democrats and Republicans can’t work together. But over these past two years, we proved the cynics and the naysayers wrong,” said Biden. “Yes, we disagreed plenty. And yes, there were times when Democrats had to go it alone. But time and again, Democrats and Republicans came together.”

Biden’s address highlighted several key bipartisan pieces of legislation from the last two years, including strengthening America’s alliances abroad and bolstering Ukraine’s defense, the largest infrastructure deal since President Eisenhower, key legislation for protecting the health benefits of Veterans , enshrining the legal right to marriage for interracial and LGBTQ+ couples, bringing technological manufacturing back to the United States, reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act and more. 

In the middle segment of the address, Biden discussed the  work he’s invested in rebuilding America’s middle class.  He highlighted the fact that unemployment is at a record 50-year low of 3.4% and flexed the fastest growth in American manufacturing jobs in 40 years.

He also allotted time to address the global inflation that has plagued American citizens and divided Democrats and Republicans over the last year. Many of his colleagues from across the aisle have coined the term  “Biden-flation,” which he  counteracted by saying  that inflation and gas prices alike have consistently gone down for the last several months.

Finally, he totted up a record 10 million Americans that have applied to start a new business since the start of his presidency.

Continuing from the middle class conversation, his shift focused on Ohio’s industrial accomplishments. Last Fall,  Biden took a trip to Columbus to attend the ceremonial groundbreaking of a new semiconductor factory. Tuesday night he told the American people that the Columbus Intel project is creating 10,000 new jobs that pay, on average – he claims, $100,000 a year; 7,000 construction jobs and 3,000 jobs after the factory is built. 

He then returned his focus to  the Bipartisan infrastructure bill in action. In January, Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear and President Biden attended the start of a bridge revitalization project funded by the Bipartisan infrastructure bill. The bridge is the Brent-Spence Bridge, which connects Cincinnati to Covington, Kentucky and is a site where trains carry “two billion dollars worth of freight across the Ohio River every day,” said Biden.

While he was on the subject, the President took the time to honor Ohioan Saria Gwin-Maye, a member of Local Iron Workers Union 44.

The back third of the Address featured  shouts from GOP Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene as Biden attempted to discuss  key issues such as  the Fentanyl crisis, the Border, police brutality in the wake of the killing of Tyre Nichols , strides in healthcare and more. 

Biden utilized his 2023 State of the Union as a plea to House Republicans to work with him and the Democrat-controlled Senate to “finish the job,” a statement that many believe to be his campaign slogan should he launch a 2024 bid for reelection in the coming weeks.

Biden optimistically concluded his Address by giving a nod to his Constitutional duty and proclaiming that the “State of the Union is strong.”