Biden pledges extensive crackdown on Russia
WASHINGTON—President Joe Biden launched his first State of the Union address on Tuesday night by denouncing Russia’s “badly miscalculated” invasion of Ukraine. He said the U.S. would close its airspace to Russian planes and release 30 million barrels of oil from its strategic reserves to undercut Russia’s gas supply leverage. Partner countries will also release another 30 million barrels, Biden added. Members of Congress, dressed in Ukraine’s yellow and blue flag colors, waved miniature Ukrainian flags and cheered as Biden praised Ukrainians for resisting Russia’s invasion. He reiterated that U.S. troops would not enter Ukraine.
What else did Biden address? His hourlong speech covered a laundry list of policy promises, including fighting inflation, boosting American manufacturing, cutting prescription drug prices, reforming immigration, funding the police, and naming a chief investigator for pandemic aid fraud cases. Mask-free, Biden emphasized that the nation has turned a corner on COVID-19 but outlined ongoing mitigation strategies, including making Pfizer’s COVID-19 treatment pill available in pharmacies that offer COVID-19 tests. Biden did not mention last fall’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds delivered the Republican response to the speech. She welcomed the united stand against Russia’s aggression but criticized big government spending and the administration’s immigration policies.
Dig deeper: Read Marc LiVecche’s take on Biden’s foreign policy record in WORLD Opinions.
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