Home » Biden blasts GOP on border, is called out over Laken Riley murder by illegal immigrant

Biden blasts GOP on border, is called out over Laken Riley murder by illegal immigrant

by Minden Press-Herald

(The Center Square) – President Joe Biden delivered a wide-ranging State of the Union address Thursday evening, touching on the economy, Ukraine, the border and more while attacking Republicans during his remarks, possibly his last time to give the address as president.

“Good evening, if I were smart I’d go home now,” Biden said to begin, drawing laughs from the assembly.

Biden quickly turned serious, though, saying that freedom and Democracy have not been under such great threat since the Civil War, making reference to the Jan. 6 riots. He said that the same threat is abroad, beginning his speech focusing not on domestic issues, but on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“That is all Ukraine is asking,” Biden said, pledging not to send American troops to Ukraine but calling for Republicans to join Democrats to send billions of dollars more of American taxpayers dollars to Ukraine.

He quickly moved to attack former President Donald Trump, his likely opponent again in November’s presidential election. Biden repeatedly called Trump “my predecessor” by saying he bowed down to Russia President Vladimir Putin in a “dangerous” and “unacceptable” manner.

During the speech before the U.S. House, Senate, Supreme Court and special guests ,Biden touted his economic achievements, from job creation to lower inflation, painting a picture of an American comeback since he took office.

“The state of our union is strong and getting stronger,” Biden said, which was followed by chants by Democrats of “four more years.”

Biden was several minutes late to the speech. Pro-Palestinian protesters blocked the streets and rallied outside the Capitol. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona served as the designated survivor, one official set aside in case of an attack on the Capitol.

With Vice President Kamala Harris and U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., seated behind him, the president went on to point to his work on the economy, inflation, and the war in Ukraine.

“The racial wealth gap is as small as its been in 20 years,” Biden said. “Inflation keeps going down. Wages keep going up.”

Inflation rose about 17% since Biden took office, increasing the costs of food, gasoline and most other consumer products.

Biden returned to the topic of Democracy and Jan. 6, warning of “threats foreign and domestic.”

He addressed Roe v. Wade as well, suggesting that women would come out in droves at the ballot box in November, appearing to look right at the U.S. Supreme Court justices in an unusual political jab at them. Biden pledged to “restore Roe v. Wade as the law of the land” after the Supreme Court overturned the 40-year-old decision, giving states back the right to regulate abortion.

That move drew scrutiny for the president. Supreme Court justices normally refrain from responding to the president’s comments to remain impartial while lawmakers often stand and clap.

“It is wildly inappropriate for a sitting President to attack and threaten the Supreme Court for upholding the constitution at the State of the Union,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Disgusting.”

Later, though, Biden took aim at Republicans, accusing them of blocking progress at the southern border by not supporting a Senate border deal that would increase funding for the border.

Many Republicans say the bill is disingenuous because Biden already has the power and funding to close the border with executive action. The bill in question would give Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, impeached last month by the U.S House over the border crisis, expanded powers to grant asylum. That’s another concern for Republicans, who argue political will from the president, not more funding, is the issue.

Former President Donald Trump weighed in online to respond to Biden’s claim.

“His Border Bill is a Disaster, it would let at least 5,000 Migrants in a day, and that is one of the better aspects of it!” Trump wrote on TruthSocial.

During his comments on the border situation, U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia, yelled, “It’s about Laken Riley,” who was murdered by an illegal immigrant in Athens, Georgia.

“Lincoln Riley,” Biden responded, misstating her name. “An innocent young woman who was killed by an illegal. But how many thousands of people have been killed by legals?”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also responded to Biden’s border comments.

“President Biden is LYING to the American people,” Abbott wrote on X. “Under his Administration, crime has INCREASED across the nation. Smash and grabs. Police attacked. Americans like Laken Riley brutally murdered by illegal immigrants.”

On foreign policy, Biden announced the U.S. military will lead an “emergency mission” to build a pier off the coast of Gaza so that humanitarian aid can more easily enter the country, which is facing a humanitarian crisis in light of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas sparked by the deadly Oct. 7 attacks on Israel.

Biden pledged to bring all the hostages held by Hamas home, a bipartisan moment where both parties stood to applaud.

He went on to call for a two-state solution.

Biden also announced that First Lady Jill Biden would lead an effort to increase women’s health research. He called for an annual tax credit to give Americans $400 a month for the next two years to help pay their mortgage. He also said federally backed mortgages would no longer require title insurance, cutting costs for Americans.

The president went on to call for giving public school teachers an increase in pay.

The president touted cutting the federal deficit by $1 trillion, to which Johnson shook his head. While the deficit has fallen since the peak during the pandemic, the deficit is still much higher than before the pandemic.

Biden promised to make the tax code more fair.

“The way to make the tax code fair is to make big corporations, the very wealthy, begin to pay their fair share,” Biden said.

He pointed to the recently enacted 15% minimum corporate tax, calling for it to be raised to 21%. He also touted his work to cut credit card fees.

Leading up to the speech Thursday evening, Trump called on Biden to end the legal prosecutions against him. Trump currently faces 91 criminal charges across three states and the District of Columbia for his handling of classified documents, his role in the Jan. 6 riots, and more.

Biden did not fulfill Trump’s request Thursday.

“The first statement that Crooked Joe Biden should make tonight when addressing the Nation is that he will immediately terminate the Witch Hunt against his Political Opponent, ME,” Trump wrote on TruthSocial. “Prosecutors and Judges have teamed up as though we were a third world nation!”

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