Joe Biden in 2024 State of the Union address

On Abortion: Congress should codify Roe v. Wade and I'll sign it

Like most Americans, I believe Roe v. Wade got it right. My predecessor came to office determined to see Roe v. Wade overturned. He's the reason it was overturned and he brags about it. Look at the chaos that has resulted.

There are state laws banning the freedom to choose. Criminalizing doctors, forcing survivors of rape and incest to leave their states to get the treatment they need. Many of you in this chamber and my predecessor are promising to pass a national ban on reproductive freedom. My god, what freedoms would you take away? Look, in its decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court majority wrote the following, and with all due respect, justices, "Women are not without electoral or political power." You're about to realize just how much you can brag about that.

History is watching another assault on freedom [about] the miracle of IVF To my friends across the aisle, don't keep this waiting any longer. Guarantee the right to IVF. Guarantee it nationwide.

Source: 2024 State of the Union address Mar 7, 2024

On Corporations: Fight shrinkflation & junk fees; corporations won't like it

Look, too many corporations raise prices to pad their profits, charging more and more for less and less. That's why we're cracking down on corporations that engage in price gouging and deceptive pricing.

The snack companies think you won't notice if they change the size of the bag [or] same size bag, but fewer chips in it. No, I'm not joking. It's called shrinkflation. You probably all saw that commercial on Snickers bars. You get charged the same amount and you got about 10% fewer Snickers in it.

I'm also getting rid of junk fees, those hidden fees at the end of your bill that are there without your knowledge. My administration announced we're cutting credit card late fees from $32 to just $8. Banks and credit card companies are allowed to charge what it would cost them to instigate the collection, and that's more a hell of a lot like $8 than 30-some dollars. Credit card companies don't like it, but I'm saving American families $20 billion a year with all the junk fees I'm eliminating.

Source: 2024 State of the Union address Mar 7, 2024

On Energy & Oil: Confront the climate crisis instead of denying it

We're making history by confronting the climate crisis, not denying it. I don't think any of you think there's no longer a climate crisis, at least I hope you don't. I'm taking the most significant action ever on climate in the history of the world. I'm cutting our carbon emissions in half by 2030, creating tens of thousands of clean energy jobs like the IBEW work is building and installing 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations. Conserving 30% of America's lands and waters by 2030 and taking action on environmental justice. Fence-lined communities smothered by the legacy of pollution. And patterned after the Peace Corps in AmeriCorps, I launched the Climate Corps to put 20,000 young people to work in the forefront of our clean energy future. I'll triple that number in a decade.
Source: 2024 State of the Union address Mar 7, 2024

On Families & Children: Preschool for 3-year olds so all learn to read by 3rd grade

To remain the strongest economy in the world we need to have the best education system in the world. I, like I suspect all of you, want to give every child a good start by providing access to preschool for 3 and 4-years-old.

I think I pointed out last year that children coming from broken homes where there's no books, they're not read to, not spoken to very often start school, kindergarten or first grade, hearing, having heard a million fewer words spoken.

Well, studies show that children who go to preschool are nearly 50% more likely to finish high school, go on to earn a 2 and 4 year degree no matter what their background is.

I want to expand high-quality tutoring and summer learning to see that every child learns to read by third grade. I'm also connecting local businesses and high schools so students get hands-on experience and a path to a good-paying job whether or not they go to college, and I want to make sure that college more affordable.

Source: 2024 State of the Union address Mar 7, 2024

On Foreign Policy: Israel has a right to go after Hamas hiding among civilians

Israel has the right to go after Hamas. Hamas could end this conflict by releasing the hostages, laying down arms, and surrendering those responsible for October 7th. But Israel has a added burden because Hamas hides and operates among the civilian population like cowards under hospitals, daycare centers and all the like. Israel also has a fundamental responsibility, though, to protect innocent civilians in Gaza. This war has taken a greater toll on innocent civilians than all previous wars in Gaza combined. More than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed, most of whom are not Hamas. Nearly 2 million more Palestinians under bombardment or displacement. Homes destroyed, families without food, water, medicine. It's heartbreaking. I've been working nonstop to establish immediate cease fire that would last for six weeks to get all the hostages home and ease the intolerable and humanitarian crisis and build toward something more enduring.
Source: 2024 State of the Union address Mar 7, 2024

On Government Reform: Pass the John Lewis Voting Right Act

A transformational moment in history happened 59 years ago today in Selma, Alabama. Hundreds of foot soldiers for justice marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, named after the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, to claim their fundamental right to vote. They were beaten, they were bloody, and left for dead. Our late friend and former colleague John Lewis was on that march. Five months later, the Voting Rights Act passed and was signed into law.

But 59 years later, there are forces taking us back in time. Voter suppression, election subversion, unlimited dark money, extreme gerrymandering. Pass the Freedom to Vote Act, the John Lewis Voting Right Act. And stop denying another core value of America, our diversity across American life. Banning books, it's wrong. Instead of erasing history, let's make history. I want to protect fundamental rights. Pass the Equality Act.

Source: 2024 State of the Union address Mar 7, 2024

On Gun Control: Established Office of Gun Violence Prevention

With us tonight is [the family of a 9-year-old girl who] was murdered with 21 classmates and teachers in elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Jill and I went to Uvalde and spent hours and hours with each of the families. We heard their message, the constant refrain. They said, "do something. Do something." Well, I did do something by establishing the first ever Office of Gun Violence Prevention in the White House that the vice president is leading the charge.

Meanwhile, my predecessor told the NRA he's proud he did nothing on guns when he was president. After another shooting in Iowa recently, when asked what to do about it, he said, "Just get over it." I say stop it; stop it. I'm proud we beat the NRA when I signed most significant gun safety law in nearly 30 years.

We now must beat the NRA again. I'm demanding a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines. Pass universal background checks. None of this violates the Second Amendment or vilifies responsible gun owners.

Source: 2024 State of the Union address Mar 7, 2024

On Health Care: Don't let Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare, it's still a very big deal. Over 100 million of you can no longer be denied health insurance because of pre-existing condition, but my predecessor, and many in this chamber, want to take that protection drug away by repealing the Affordable Care Act. I'm not going to let that happen. We stopped you 50 times before and we will stop you again.

In fact, I'm not only protecting it, I'm expanding it. The enacted tax credits save $800 per person per year, reduced health care cost for millions of working families. That tax credit expire next year. I want to make that savings permanent.

To state the obvious, women are more than half our population, but research on women's health has always been underfunded. That's why we're launching the first-ever White House Initiative on Women's Health Research. Pass my plan for $12 billion to transform women's health research and benefit millions of lives all across America.

Source: 2024 State of the Union address Mar 7, 2024

On Homeland Security: Democracy is under attack both at home and abroad

In January 1941, Franklin Roosevelt came to this chamber to speak to the nation and he said, "I address you at a moment unprecedented in the history of the Union." Hitler was on the march, war was raging in Europe, President Roosevelt's purpose was to wake up Congress and alert the American people that this was no ordinary time. Freedom and democracy we're under assault in the world.

Tonight, I come to this same chamber to address the nation. Now, it's we who face unprecedented moment in the history of the Union. And yes, my purpose tonight is to wake up the Congress and alert the American people that this is no ordinary moment either. Not since President Lincoln in the Civil War have freedom and democracy been under assault at home as they are today. What makes our moment rare is the freedom and democracy are under attack at both at home and overseas at the very same time.

Source: 2024 State of the Union address Mar 7, 2024

On Immigration: We can fight about the border, or we can fix it

In November, my team began serious negotiations with a bipartisan group of senators. The result was a bipartisan bill with the toughest set of border security reforms we've ever seen... [interrupted by Republicans booing]. Oh, you don't think so? Oh, you don't like that bill, huh, that conservatives got together and said was a good bill?

That bipartisan deal would hire 1,500 more security agents and officers, 100 more immigration judges to help tackle a backload of 2 million cases, 4,300 more asylum officers, and new policies so they can resolve cases in 6 months instead of 6 years now. What are you against? 100 more high-tech drug detection machines to significantly increase the ability to screen and stop vehicles smuggling fentanyl into America?

This bill would save lives and bring order to the border. It will also give me and any new president new emergency authority to temporarily shut down the border when the number of migrants at the border is overwhelming.

Source: 2024 State of the Union address Mar 7, 2024

On Jobs: We created 15M jobs in 3 years: a record

Biden said, "Before I came to office, the country was hit by the worst pandemic and the worst economic crisis in the century. Now, our economy is literally the envy of the world. 15 million new jobs in just three years, a record." Is that accurate?

"Biden's number is accurate: the US economy added 12.1 million jobs between Biden's first full month in office, February 2021, and January 2023. That number is indeed higher than the number of jobs added in any previous four-year presidential term. However, it's important to note that Biden took office in an unusual pandemic context that makes meaningful comparison to other periods very difficult."

Adding figures since then, The Guardian wrote on 2/2/24, "The US added 2.7m jobs last year even as the Fed drove interest rates up to a 22-year high." And CNN adds on 3/7/24, "Economists expect that US employers added 200,000 jobs last month". That totals to 15 million jobs.

Source: CNN FactCheck on 2024 State of the Union address Mar 7, 2024

On Principles & Values: Jan.6 was greatest threat to democracy since the Civil War

History watched on January 6th when insurrectionists stormed this very Capitol & placed a dagger to the throat of American democracy. We all saw with our own eyes, the insurrectionists were not patriots. They came to stop the peaceful transfer of power, to overturn the will of the people. January 6th and lies about the 2020 election and the plots to steal the election posed the gravest threat to US democracy since the Civil War. But they failed; America stood. America stood strong and democracy prevailed. We must be honest: the threat to democracy must be defended. My predecessor seeks to bury the truth about January 6th. I will not do that. This is the moment to speak the truth and to bury the lies. Here's the simple truth: you can't love your country only when you win. I ask all of you without regard to party, to join together and defend democracy. Respect free and fair elections. Restore trust in our institutions and make clear, political violence has absolutely no place in America.
Source: 2024 State of the Union address on Jan. 6th Capitol Riots Mar 7, 2024

On Social Security: If Congress tries to raise retirement age, I will stop you

Tonight, let's all agree once again to stand up for seniors. Many of my friends on the other side of aisle want to put Social Security on the chopping block. If anyone here tries to cut Social Security or Medicare or raise the retirement age, I will stop you.

The working people who built this country pay more into Social Security than millionaires and billionaires do. It's not fair. We have two ways to go. Republicans can cut Social Security and give more tax breaks to the wealthy. I will… [interrupted by Republicans booing]. That's the proposal. Oh, no. You guys don't want another $2 trillion tax cut? I kind of thought that's what your plan was. Well, that's good to hear you're not going to cut another $2 trillion for the super wealthy. That's good to hear. I'll protect and strengthen Social Security and make the wealthy pay their fair share.

Source: 2024 State of the Union address Mar 7, 2024

On Tax Reform: No person earning under $400K has paid new taxes

It's my goal to cut the federal deficit $3 trillion by making big corporations & the very wealthy finally beginning to pay their fair share. Look, I'm a capitalist. If you want to make a million of bucks, that's great; just pay your fair share in taxes. A fair tax code is how we invest in things that make this country great: health care, education, defense, & more. But the last administration enacted a $2 trillion tax cut, overwhelmingly benefitting the top 1%, the very wealthy, the biggest corporation, and exploded the federal deficit.

They added more to the national debt than any presidential term in American history. Check the numbers. Folks at home, does anybody really think the tax code is fair? Do you really think the wealthy & big corporations need another $2 trillion tax break? I sure don't.

I'm going to keep fighting like hell to make it fair. Under my plan nobody earning less than $400,000 will pay an additional penny in federal taxes. Nobody. Not one penny, and they haven't yet.

Source: 2024 State of the Union address Mar 7, 2024

On War & Peace: Ukraine: no American soldiers but America will not bow down

Overseas, Putin of Russia is on the march invading Ukraine and sowing chaos throughout Europe and beyond. If anybody in this room thinks Putin will stop at Ukraine, I assure you he will not. But Ukraine can stop Putin if we stand with Ukraine and provide the weapons that it needs to defend itself. That is all Ukraine is asking. They're not asking for American soldiers. In fact, there are no American soldiers in the war in Ukraine and I'm determined to keep it that way.

But now, assistance to Ukraine is being blocked by those who want to walk away from our world leadership. I wasn't a long ago when a Republican president named Ronald Reagan thundered, "Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall."

Now, my predecessor, a former Republican president, tells Putin, "Do whatever the hell you want." That's a quote. A former president actually said that bowing down to a Russian leader, I think it's outrageous, it's dangerous, and it's unacceptable. America is a founding member of NATO.

Source: 2024 State of the Union address Mar 7, 2024

On War & Peace: Build a pier off Gaza to deliver humanitarian aid

The United States have been leading international efforts to get more humanitarian assistance to Gaza. Tonight, I'm directing the US military to lead an emergency mission to establish a temporary pier in the Mediterranean on the coast of Gaza that can receive large shipments carrying food, water, medicine and temporary shelters. No US boots will be on the ground. A temporary pier will enable a massive increase in the amount of humanitarian assistance getting in Gaza every day. And Israel must do its part. Israel must allow more aid into Gaza and ensure humanitarian workers aren't caught in the crossfire. They're announcing they're going to have a crossing in Northern Gaza.

To the leadership of Israel, I say this, humanitarian assistance cannot be a secondary consideration or a bargaining chip. Protecting and saving innocent lives has to be a priority. As we look to the future, the only real solution to the situation is a two-state solution over time.

Source: 2024 State of the Union address Mar 7, 2024

On War & Peace: Contain Iran; degrade the Houthis; include Saudi Arabia

As we look to the future [in Israel and Gaza], the only real solution to the situation is a two-state solution over time. There is no other path that guarantees Israel's security and democracy. There is no other path that guarantees Palestinian can live in peace with peace and dignity. And there's no other path that guarantees peace between Israel and all of its neighbors, including Saudi Arabia.

Creating stability in the Middle East also means containing the threat posed by Iran. That's why I build a coalition of more than a dozen countries to defend international shipping and freedom of navigation in the Red Sea. I've ordered strikes to degrade the Houthis capability and defend US forces in the region. As commander in chief, I will not hesitate to direct further measures to protect our people and our military personnel.

Source: 2024 State of the Union address Mar 7, 2024

On Welfare & Poverty: $400/month tax credit for new home buyers for next 2 years

I know the cost of housing is so important to you. Inflation keeps coming down, mortgage rates will come down as well, and the Fed acknowledges that, but I'm not waiting. I want to provide an annual tax credit that will give Americans $400 a month for the next two years as mortgage rates come down to put toward their mortgage when they buy their first home or trade up for a little more space. Just for two years.

My administration is also eliminating title insurance on federally-backed mortgages. When you refinance your home you can save you $1,000 or more as a consequence.

For millions of renters, we're cracking down on big landlords who break antitrust laws by price-fixing and driving up rents.

We've cut red tape so builders can get federally financing, which is already helping build a record 1.7 million housing units nationwide. Now pass and build and renovate 2 million affordable homes and bring those rents down.

Source: 2024 State of the Union address Mar 7, 2024

The above quotations are from 2024 State of the Union address to Congress, plus the Republican and MAGA response.
Click here for other excerpts from 2024 State of the Union address to Congress, plus the Republican and MAGA response.
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Page last updated: Jun 05, 2024