President Biden's State of the Union address

By Maureen Chowdhury, Mike Hayes, Jason Kurtz and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 5:35 PM ET, Wed March 2, 2022
55 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
10:14 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Biden on SCOTUS nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson: "She is a consensus builder"

Biden looks on as Ketanji Brown Jackson delivers brief remarks as his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court during an event in the Cross Hall of the White House February 25, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Biden looks on as Ketanji Brown Jackson delivers brief remarks as his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court during an event in the Cross Hall of the White House February 25, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President Biden described his nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson, for the Supreme Court as a "consensus builder" during his State of the Union speech tonight.

"We all know, not matter whatever your ideology, we all know one of the most serious constitutional duties a president has is nominating someone to serve on the United States Supreme Court, as I did four days ago. I've nominated Circuit Court of Appeals Ketanji Brown Jackson. One of our nation's top legal minds who will continue in Justice Breyer's legacy of excellence. The former top litigator in private practice, a former federal public defender, from a family of public school educators and police officers. She is a consensus builder. Since she has been nominated she has received a broad range of support including the Fraternal Order of Police and former judges supported by Democrats and Republicans," he said.

1:09 a.m. ET, March 2, 2022

"Build the Wall" chant heard when Biden discussed immigration during State of the Union

From CNN's Sam Fossum and Kristin Wilson

((Evelyn Hockstein/Pool/AP)
((Evelyn Hockstein/Pool/AP)

As President Biden was discussing the border and immigration during his State of the Union remarks, Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert were heard chanting "Build the Wall."

"Folks, if we are to advance liberty and justice, we need to secure the border and fix the immigration system," Biden said.  

As members in the chamber gave him a standing ovation, Greene and Boebert began chanting "Build the Wall."

10:04 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Biden on policing and safety: "The answer is not to defund the police. It's to fund the police."

(Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool/AP)
(Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool/AP)

President Biden said communities shouldn't have to "choose between safety and equal justice" when it comes to policing.

"Let's come together and protect our communities, restore trust, and hold law enforcement accountable," he said. 

The President noted that the American Rescue Plan includes "$350 billion that cities, states, and counties can use to hire more police and invest in more proven strategy," like community violence interruption and other groups "breaking the cycle of violence and trauma, giving young people some hope." 

He continued: "We should all agree the answer is not to defund the police. It's to fund the police."

10:06 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Biden announces new "Test to Treat" initiative and says Americans will get free Covid-19 antiviral pills

From CNN's Kate Sullivan

President Biden announced a new “Test to Treat” initiative and said Americans will be able to get tested for Covid-19 at a pharmacy and receive free antiviral pills “on the spot” if they test positive. 

“If you get Covid-19, the Pfizer pill reduces your chances of ending up in the hospital by 90%,” Biden said. “I’ve ordered more pills than anyone in the world has. Pfizer is working overtime to get us a million pills this month and more than double that next month.” 

Pfizer’s antiviral pill, Paxlovid, has been shown to significantly reduce hospitalizations and severe illness and was authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration last year.

Upon its authorization, Biden announced a purchase of 10 million courses. The President has since said the federal government will double its order from 10 million to 20 million treatment courses. 

10:12 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Steelworker and 13-year-old boy share heartwarming handshake during Biden's speech


President Biden's State of the Union just offered audiences an impromptu, heartwarming moment.

The occasion came as Biden was discussing infrastructure, during which he recognized a guest in attendance: Joseph "JoJo" Burgess of the United Steelworkers union.

As Biden introduced Burgess — saying, "Thanks Buddy," — the man stood and waved to the room, allowing applause to set in.

It was at this point that Burgess received a warm handshake from an unlikely source: 13-year-old Joshua Davis, a fellow guest seated just to the steelworker's right.

Watch the moment:

10:28 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Fact check: Biden's claim on building 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations

From CNN's Ella Nilsen

(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President Biden said in his speech tonight that his administration will “build a national network 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations” on the nation’s roads, using money included in the bipartisan infrastructure law he signed in November.  

Facts First: This needs context. For a few reasons, it’s questionable whether the Biden administration will be able to meet its goal of installing 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations on US roads.  

The $7.5 billion allocated to charging stations in the bipartisan infrastructure law that Biden signed into law last year is just half of the $15 billion that Biden had originally proposed for the charging network. This change from the original proposal could significantly hinder the administration’s ability to meet the goal. 

Second, there’s a wide range in how much different types of chargers cost, and individual states have a lot of leeway deciding what kinds of chargers will go on their roads. DC fast chargers can charge a car to mostly full in 20-30 minutes and are meant to go on major highways and roads. Another kind of charger known as an L2 charger can take hours to charge a car to full. DC fast chargers typically cost around $100,000 compared to around $6,000 for an L2, Ellen Hughes-Cromwick, a senior resident fellow at the think tank Third Way, has told CNN.  

In a recent interview with climate publication Grist, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said that ultimately the number of EV chargers on the roads “really depends on how the states decide to mix the fast chargers and different types of technology.” 

10:09 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Biden says that Americans will be able to order additional free Covid-19 tests starting next week

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

President Biden said that his administration has made "hundreds of millions" of free Covid-19 tests available to Americans.

The President said that if you've ordered free tests already, starting next week you can order more through the government's website.

"If you already ordered free tests, tonight, I'm announcing you can order another group of tests, go to starting next week and you can get more tests," Biden said.
9:56 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Biden calls on Congress to confirm Federal Reserve nominees

From CNN's Jasmine Wright

President Biden called on Congress to confirm his Federal Reserve nominees that have been stalled in the Senate after Republicans boycotted votes, ultimately leaving the President’s five picks in limbo as key decisions on raising interest rates near.

“And while you’re at it, confirm my nominees to the Federal Reserve, which plays a critical role in fighting inflation,” Biden said Tuesday in his first State of the Union address as President while detailing his newly released plan to lower inflation.

“So what are we waiting for? Let’s get this done,” he said moments before.

In February, Senate Republicans boycotted a vote in protest of Biden's nomination of Sarah Bloom Raskin to be the top banking regulator, halting a slate of pending nominees for the central bank of the United States.

9:55 p.m. ET, March 1, 2022

Biden says government will start repairing more than 65,000 miles of highway and 1,500 bridges this year

From CNN's Sam Fossum

President Biden during his State of the Union remarks announced that his administration plans to start fixing over 65,000 miles of highway and 1,500 bridges this year through funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 

"And tonight, I’m announcing that this year we will start fixing over 65,000 miles of highway and 1,500 bridges in disrepair," Biden said in remarks from the House chamber. "We’re done talking about infrastructure weeks. We’re now going to talk about an infrastructure decade."

Biden touted the bipartisan bill and thanked both parties for their work, tying the law to American competition with China. 

"Look, it's going to transform America and put us on a path to win the economic competition of the 21st century that we face with the rest of the world—particularly with China," Biden said.  

He added, "I’ve told Xi Jinping, it's never been a good bet to bet against the American people."