Biden tangles with GOP in raucous State of the Union — barely mentions China

WASHINGTON — President Biden’s State of the Union devolved into a near shouting match Tuesday night as Republicans disputed his claim that he would pass cuts to Social Security and Medicare before blaming the president for fentanyl deaths. were plotting — as Biden barely mentioned China as the spy balloon passed through U.S. airspace. Previous Week.

The 80-year-old president began his 73-minute address by trying to follow the White House’s spin on “unity” messaging — warmly greeting House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) after entering. Hoy, before they move on. Accuses the GOP of trying to abandon America’s seniors.

“Instead of paying the wealthy their fair share, some Republicans, some Republicans want to see the sunset of Medicare and Social Security,” Biden claimed amid uproar from the House GOP side.

The president first tried to calm the hacking by telling his audience, “I’m not saying it’s a majority” — before, as the uproar grew,

“Anyone who doubts that, contact my office, I’ll give you a copy of the proposal,” Biden said amid mockery.

“liar!” cried Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-Ga.).

“I’m glad to see—no, I tell you, I enjoy a change,” replied the President.

President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, in Washington.

Biden has repeatedly claimed that the GOP wants to cut Social Security and Medicare — despite McCarthy repeatedly and publicly denying that he and other conservatives want to cut discretionary spending. And pushed to claw back unspent pandemic stimulus funds to resolve the debt ceiling impasse.

The White House has defended Biden’s messaging, pointing to the advocacy of members of the larger House Republican Study Committee to raise the retirement age for future beneficiaries.

The president managed to bring the chamber back moments later by calling on members of both parties to “stand up for seniors” and keep Social Security and Medicare in place. The members stood up and shouted slogans.

The House chamber — packed with senators, cabinet members, Supreme Court justices and other government leaders — descended into chaotic moments again when Biden spoke about the fentanyl overdose. Republicans have repeatedly attacked the president in the first two years of his administration for not doing more to combat the scourge of the largely Chinese-made synthetic compound, which has increasingly been mixed with non-opioids and counterfeit prescriptions. is going on, killing unwitting users.

Marjorie Taylor Green
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green is seen shouting at the president during the State of the Union on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023.
Getty Images

China's spy balloon
The president made little mention of China or its spy balloons during the speech.

“Fentanyl is killing more than 70,000 Americans a year,” Biden began, fueling further outrage.

Green shouted that the drug was from “China”, while two male voices shouted at the president: “It’s your fault” – although it was unclear if they were the same person.

“So let’s begin a major increase in screening cargo to intercept pills and powders at the border, along with more drug detection machines, to stop the production, sale and trafficking of fentanyl. ” Biden continued — without directly mentioning his nation of origin. Chemicals

The president downplayed the number of U.S. fentanyl deaths last month, raising the issue with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador — after critics slammed him for not paying enough attention to the issue.

Fentanyl killed nearly 196,000 Americans in 2018-2021 alone. Figures for 2022 are not yet available. Preliminary data Show the death toll at or near all-time highs.

Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis.
Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) made a joke about the spy balloon before Biden’s speech.

Congressional Republicans led by Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.). In October And me again December asked Biden to meet to discuss fentanyl while accusing him of not doing more to stop the influx of the drug.

“[F]Senators’ pleas for the administration to step up its fight against the fentanyl crisis have fallen on deaf ears,” Banks and seven other House Republicans said. Wrote to Biden. “We respectfully request a meeting so that we can discuss solutions to the fentanyl crisis, discuss what we have learned from constituents…and share with you the memories of loved ones who are grieving, Share a box of photos and letters that want you to make a real-life impact. The refusal to address this crisis is affecting families across our country.

Biden, who is already gearing up for re-election in 2024 despite being the oldest president, made little mention of China last week despite wall-to-wall news coverage of a giant Chinese spy balloon that flew over Alaska. had swept over Alaska before From Montana to South Carolina and shot down the Atlantic coast on Saturday.

US Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN)
Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) has called on the president to address the fentanyl crisis.
Michael Brochstein/Sopa Images/S

“Today we are in the strongest position in decades to compete with China or anyone else in the world,” Biden said.

“I am committed to working with China where we can advance American interests and benefit the world, but will make no mistake, as we made clear last week, if China is our threatens sovereignty, then we will act to protect our country, and we did.”

“China’s spying,” Green remarked, providing a stark reminder of the White House’s inaction by carrying a white balloon through the halls of Congress earlier in the day.

Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) joked to The Post before the speech, “That balloon is more likely to hit someone in Montana than Joe Biden’s ancestors are coal miners. “, referring to Biden’s 1987 appropriation of Britain, a biography of politician Neil Kinnock.

Representative Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) called the balloon controversy a “national embarrassment.”

“Now explain to me, why didn’t they kill it when it was on the Aleutian Islands or Alaska?” Jackson said the former Navy admiral and one-time physician to Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) said, “When you look at Biden’s balloon that’s been around the country for a week and you see how he’s changed from calling China an adversary and confronting China, Describing China as a partner and a competitor – as President Trump has done – how much has this been influenced by the corrupt business deals of the Biden family?

Despite the unusually controversial remarks, there was some bipartisan applause, with members of both parties cheering for capping insulin prices and catching people stealing from COVID-19 relief funds.

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