JUDY WOODRUFF: Welcome to our "PBS NewsHour" special live coverage of President Biden's State of the Union address.
I'm Judy Woodruff.
The president is addressing Congress and the nation one year into his time in office, a year that's been punctuated by both achievements and setbacks.
Two years into the pandemic, the number of new COVID-19 cases is dropping, but it's been a long, difficult road, as the nation has battled low vaccination rates and a pair of major COVID variants.
Under Mr. Biden's leadership, Congress did pass economic stimulus measures and a massive infrastructure bill.
But the president's broader spending plan known as Build Back Better has stalled.
And Mr. Biden is just beginning to rally support for his first Supreme Court pick, Ketanji Brown Jackson, who would become the first Black woman on the nation's highest court if she's confirmed by the Senate.
And, of course, in addition to a full domestic agenda, the president's address comes as Ukraine struggles to fend off Russian forces who have invaded the sovereign nation and are killing civilians.
Over the next hour, we will focus mainly on Ukraine, what the latest is, and what potential paths there are going forward.
Russian forces pounded cities in Ukraine today, as the war raged for a sixth day.
Kharkiv in the northeast was particularly hard-hit, and the port city of Mariupol in the southeast appeared surrounded.
Nevertheless, a drive by Russian forces toward the capital, Kyiv, appears to be stalled.
According to the Pentagon and to Ukraine -- the Ukrainian forces kept up their fierce resistance.
And in Ukraine is where we begin our coverage with a report from our foreign correspondent, Nick Schifrin, who's in the western city of Lviv.
NICK SCHIFRIN: For years, Moscow's military has employed scorched earth.
Today, it brought that brutal reality to Ukraine, Kharkiv's central square, named Freedom, now mostly rubble and dust.
Inside the city's main government building, emergency workers removed debris and carried dead bodies.
In total, city authorities said at least five were killed and more than two dozen wounded, all civilians.
Surveillance footage captured the attack, a direct hit, and a massive fireball.
Russia promised its targets would be restricted to military.
This is a residential building, homes completely destroyed, families and children killed.
WOMAN (through translator): We're being bombed by the Russians.
We're all afraid.
We're all simple civilians.
MAN (through translator): They destroyed a residential building.
The rockets hit and many peaceful residents died.
Putin and Lavrov are bandits and should be tried.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Three hundred miles away in Kyiv, Russian missiles hit the city's main radio and TV tower.
Firefighters fought to extinguish the fire at the site that's near a memorial to Ukrainian Jews killed by Nazis in World War II.
Ukrainian President Zelensky today called this history repeating itself.
Outside the city, satellite images show a convoy even larger than previously believed, 40 miles' long.
But a senior defense official said today the advance toward Kyiv was stalled.
The official said Russia wants to encircle Kharkiv.
Russian troops have begun to occupy cities in the south, Berdyansk and Melitopol, and are just outside Mariupol.
But, once again, Zelensky remained defiant, this time to European lawmakers.
Even the interpreter got emotional.
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY, Ukrainian President (through translator): We're fighting just for our land and for our freedom, despite the fact that all large cities of our country are now blocked.
Believe you me, every square up today, no matter what it's called, it's going to be called, as today, Freedom Square in every city of our country.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Today, ordinary Ukrainians fought for their freedom, despite being outgunned.
Civilians tried to stop Russian armored vehicles, their only weapons, their bodies.
Across the country, Ukrainians are rallying, even though some of their cities are slowing being strangled.
ANDRIY SADOVYI, Mayor of Lviv, Ukraine: Six months ago, we start, prepare a city to live in extraordinary situation.
We make huge supplies, medical treatment, blood.
We bought a lot of diesel generator.
We completely change situation.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Andriy Sadovyi is the mayor of Lviv, Western Ukraine's largest city.
It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site, usually a hub for tourists.
But now it's a hub for thousands of Ukrainians trying to flee the war in Central and Eastern Ukraine.
ANDRIY SADOVYI: Every day, thousand, thousand people from different cities.
It's my heart completely... NICK SCHIFRIN: Your heart is broken.
ANDRIY SADOVYI: Small children, 2, 3, and 5 years.
NICK SCHIFRIN: What support would you like from the West?
ANDRIY SADOVYI (through translator): Less talking, more doing.
I'm listening about sanctions last one, two, three year, months.
We are deeply concerned, blah, blah, blah.
Russia kill children, woman.
Russia oligarchs must feel very strong sanction and very strong position.
Today, one part democratic world, next part totalitarian world.
Today, we talk about future.
Today we will -- we creating our future.
Today, Ukrainian people, David, attack Goliath.
NICK SCHIFRIN: David attacks Goliath.
ANDRIY SADOVYI: Yes.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Right outside the mayor's office, one of David's platoons, an assembly line of civilians crafting camouflage nets for Ukraine's military, young people who already embraced a European future, and grandparents born Soviet now embracing Ukraine.
Jane Pasichnaya is 67.
Her granddaughter, Maria Triger, is 13.
JANE PASICHNAYA, Displaced Kyiv Resident (through translator): When I was born in Soviet Union, we were united.
I never felt the borders between nations.
Today, I have hatred for those who started it all.
I feel sorry for all Ukrainians, because I'm a Ukrainian as well, and I'm proud of that.
MARIA TRIGER, Displaced Kyiv Resident: I was raised in a freedom -- in a free country.
And I think freedom is very important.
And now Russia is trying to take our freedom.
NICK SCHIFRIN: The family lives in Kyiv.
On Thursday morning, Russians shelled their home, forcing them to flee.
MARIA TRIGER: We packed all our stuff in 15 minutes, and we left our house locked, and I don't know when we will come back.
NICK SCHIFRIN: How do you think one person doing something here in Lviv can help Ukraine take on Russia?
MARIA TRIGER: If one person starts doing something extraordinary and something, that can actually help, if many people do it.
The society is power.
And if we deliver a message to society, it will respond.
NICK SCHIFRIN: If Ukraine is David and Russia is Goliath, do you believe, do you have faith that Ukraine can win?
ANDRIY SADOVYI: I believe.
And, today, a lot of people from world believe to Ukraine.
It is our victory.
NICK SCHIFRIN: It is miles away from that victory.
But, looking on social media, you can see countless acts of heroism and bravery by Ukrainian citizens all over the country.
The video we showed was not of a tank man taking on the Russian military, But a tank squad in Kharkiv.
And, Judy, of course, leading this whole way, Volodymyr Zelensky.
He got two standing ovations today from the European Parliament.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And one can see why.
Nick, you have been talking to a number of officials.
What are you being told about the state of the Russian operation now?
NICK SCHIFRIN: Yes, senior U.S. officials tell me that they see examples of Russians inside Ukraine really struggling with some basic logistics.
There are examples, they say, of Russian soldiers not having enough food to eat, convoys not having enough gasoline, and also some soldiers back home not getting paid.
Officials believed or feared that there could be a real shock-and-awe campaign against Kyiv.
And they just said that they haven't seen evidence that the Russians are actually executing that at the moment.
And they praise Ukraine's resistance and certainly praise Zelensky's leadership.
But there is still a lot of fear that the bombings you saw today could continue or increase, there will be more troops arriving in Ukraine and even more amphibious assaults in the south.
And, Judy, the Russian Defense Ministry today did warn that they would be targeting military targets in Kyiv.
And they told civilians living near those targets to evacuate.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Something I know they're paying close attention to.
So, Nick, where you are in Lviv is in the far western end of the country, far from what you have been describing.
But you were telling us they are -- you're still seeing threats in that area.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Yes, the mayor told us that they are very concerned about insider threats, so to speak, people inside the city committing acts.
And he said that they'd arrested 10 people that he says were Russian agents, or at least being paid by Russia.
And he said that they had planned to blow up a power station and what he called sabotage activities near a hospital.
Again, no evidence of that right now, at least out in public, but authorities here clearly worried about what could come.
But, again, Judy, as you say, the main part of the fighting is in the center and the east, and it is getting worse.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Nick Schifrin reporting from Lviv, where it is well into the night.
Thank you, Nick.
And throughout the evening, we are also going to be turning to our correspondents here in Washington, D.C., for an analysis of President Biden's State of the Union address.
Let's bring in two of them now.
Amna Nawaz, she's on Capitol Hill at the Cannon House Office Building.
And Geoff Bennett is at the White House.
Hello to both of you.
So, Amna, I know this speech, we have been talking about it.
Looming over it is the situation in Ukraine.
You have been talking to foreign - - to international representatives.
What are you learning about how much the world is paying attention to the president's speech?
AMNA NAWAZ: Judy, that's absolutely right.
The Ukraine situation looms large over the president's speech tonight.
He's not just speaking to lawmakers in the room, to millions of Americans watching at home, but to millions more watching around the world.
And we know from excerpts released by the White House earlier today the president will speak directly to that and specifically about the global unity that's come in response to President Putin's invasion of Ukraine.
Here is one excerpt we hear the president - - expect the president to mention tonight.
He will say that: "Putin's war was premeditated and unprovoked.
He thought the West and NATO wouldn't respond, and he thought he could divide us here at home.
Putin was wrong.
We were ready."
And we know those -- some of those NATO and Western allies and leaders there will also be watching.
I was speaking with one senior European official earlier today, Judy.
And here's what they wanted to hear the president speak tonight.
They would like to see resolve, unity and statesmanship in the face of what they called groundbreaking aggression.
But, of course, Judy, where the president's rhetoric meets reality is on the ground in Ukraine.
And, as you mentioned, over the last week, I have been messaging regularly with a number of Ukrainians, some who remained in Kyiv, others who fled their homes in Kyiv and headed west.
A few of them shared what they want to hear from the president tonight.
Svitlana (ph) in Lviv said: "I hope he will say this is our joint fight, because, if it's not our joint fight, then all the charters, the United Nations' and others, they're just wastepaper."
Oksana (ph), who is still in Kyiv, said what Ukrainians would like to hear most from President Biden is an invitation to join NATO.
She would like to see President Biden speak more forcefully and offer more support for the Ukrainian people.
So, Judy, of course, we know the rest of the world will be watching.
These Ukrainians I have been messaging with say they are staying up late.
They want to hear live what the president has to say -- Judy.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Sobering to think that he will be heard literally around the world when he makes these remarks tonight coming up in less than an hour.
And now to Geoff Bennett at the White House.
Geoff, I know you have done a lot of reporting today on what more we can expect to hear from the president tonight and how he's prepared for this.
GEOFF BENNETT: That's right, Judy.
And I'm told the president will address directly the sense of fatigue, frustration, pessimism that so many Americans are feeling, given the pandemic and given inflation, that a lot of people's paychecks aren't keeping pace with higher prices.
The president will also try to conjure some optimism for some better times ahead and try to rally a support for his policy vision.
I can also tell you that White House officials who had a hand in writing this speech have lost track of the number of revisions, and that President Biden himself has had a hand, I'm told, in some of these rewrites, for example, crossing out acronyms, because I'm told he wants to speak directly and clearly to the American people.
So, the speech, I'm told, will sort of fall into four buckets, one being democracy on the world stage.
Expect a large part of this speech to focus on the crisis in Ukraine.
The president will talk about his efforts to build a global coalition to confront Russian aggression.
He will also talk about his plans to curb inflation, to raise wages and create jobs.
He will spell out a plan to build more cars and semiconductors here in the U.S.
Beyond that, he will talk about the current trajectory of the pandemic, with cases and hospitalizations down from the peak of the Omicron variant.
And he will also talk about the future of some key Biden administration priorities, to include climate change, immigration, and, of course, his historic nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to be on the Supreme Court to fill the vacancy that will be left by the retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer.
So, the president intends to use this moment tonight to speak to millions of Americans.
This is a size of an audience he likely won't have for the rest of the year.
And I have talked to a number of Democrats who want this speech to provide really a messaging document for them as they go forward across the country and try to retain control of both houses of Congress in the midterm elections.
JUDY WOODRUFF: All right, Geoff Bennett, watching this.
And, Geoff, we will be coming back to you throughout the night as we listen to the president and try to understand what the -- what the reaction is.
Geoff Bennett at the White House, thank you.
And now let's turn to Representative Abigail Spanberger.
She's a Democrat from the state of Virginia.
She's also a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and she is a former CIA officer.
Congresswoman Spanberger, thank you very much for joining us.
As you think about the president's remarks tonight, and you know what is going on in Ukraine halfway around the world, how do you think that factors into what the president needs to say tonight?
REP. ABIGAIL SPANBERGER (D-VA): Well, the president needs to speak firmly and aggressively about the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
And, certainly, we have seen over the past few weeks, as Russia was making movements towards its invasion, the president and the Biden administration have made extraordinary strides in bringing together our European partners and partners throughout the world and security partners to be unified in ultimately the opposition to this invasion, unified in our response in terms of sanctions and aggressive tactics in the face of this invasion.
And I hope that he will continue to demonstrate that leadership, speaking up for Ukrainians, speaking up for the democracy that they are defending on the ground, and vehemently making clear that the invasion that Vladimir Putin has led is an affront to all of our Democratic values here at home, certainly in Ukraine and throughout the rest of the world.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Congresswoman, I see you wearing the colors of the Ukrainian flag, the blue and the yellow.
What inspired you to do that?
And as a former CIA officer, someone who's looked at not only national security, but what the United States and freedom represents around the world, how do you see what's going on in Ukraine right now?
REP. ABIGAIL SPANBERGER: Well, Judy, I was - - I was living in Germany at the time that our country was attacked on 9/11.
And in the days after, I had a meeting with some German elected -- local elected officials, and one of the women arrived at the meeting wearing red, white and blue.
And I remember at the time being so grateful that she had taken the step, an effort to try and demonstrate solidarity for the pain that the United States was feeling.
And so, today, when we have such a platform to demonstrate our support for the Ukrainian people, it's a little bit of my effort to sort of pay it forward and make sure that everyone who's fighting for their freedom on the ground in Ukraine knows that we're there with them, because, really, what we are looking at is an attack on a democratic nation, on a sovereign country within Europe.
We are seeing just horrible atrocities, the murder of children, attack on buildings and public spaces.
And we're seeing extraordinary bravery and leadership from our allies in Ukraine.
And so my hope and expectation is that tonight, when the president speaks forcefully denouncing Putin, his crony oligarch friends, and every person who has enabled him, that we, members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans, will be united in our support for his comments, in support of democracy, Ukraine and every other democracy, including our own, and that we will be united in our denunciation and, in the coming weeks, further actions against Russia and those who have enabled this invasion.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Congresswoman Spanberger, we know this speech comes at a time of difficulty in the Biden presidency, coming off of a year of the pandemic, rising inflation.
The economy has been hit, criticism of the president last year over Afghanistan, but now dealing with Ukraine.
Do you think that this is a moment when the president can re-center, reposition, redirect his presidency?
REP. ABIGAIL SPANBERGER: I think this is an opportunity for us to come together and recognize the leadership that the president has already demonstrated on the world stage.
I think, certainly, as somebody -- you mentioned that I'm a former CIA officer.
I worked overseas in the national security space.
And, certainly, there has been no time in recent years or perhaps ever where so many allies have been united, not just in words in support of Ukraine and in denouncing Russia, but actually united in taking meaningful steps, strategic steps to thwart Russia's efforts.
And that level of leadership, I think, is admirable.
It certainly demonstrates, as a proud American, the role of leadership that I think that we should always be presenting on the world stage.
And here at home, we have faced challenges.
We have faced challenges with inflation and the price at the pump and the cost of prescription drugs.
And my hope is that, in tonight's speech, the president will demonstrate leadership confronting these challenges head on, acknowledging the pain that they cause Americans, but also creating a path towards a brighter future.
We, as an American people, are always on that path towards an ever brighter, ever more prosperous future.
And I hope that that's the vision for our nation, our proud, proud country that he lays out.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Your voice has been one, Congresswoman, that as times pointed out the president seemed to be tilting too far to the left, frankly, in his policies.
Is it your sense that this is a moment when there could -- to repeat what I said a moment ago, could be a redirection?
Or what are your expectations for the coming year?
REP. ABIGAIL SPANBERGER: So, I think it's not so much an issue of left or right.
It's an issue of moving things across the finish line.
And that means, in the halls of Congress, getting a bill through the House, the Senate and to the president's desk, I believe that the American people elected Joe Biden -- certainly, in my district, people wanted to see a return to a normal future, some sense of stability.
And that comes with legislation, getting bills across the finish line to the president's desk.
We have seen extraordinary legislative accomplishments in our passage of the American Rescue Plan, in our passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, as well as many other pieces of legislation that may not have captivated the headlines nearly as much.
And so I think that, when the president tonight, in his speech, and certainly every member of Congress, I hope that we are all focusing on policy that will make meaningful impact in the lives of the people we represent.
And that meaningful impact comes when we actually pass bills into law.
That's our job here.
And, certainly, we can advocate day in and day out for the priorities and the policies we want to pursue.
But our goal and our measure of success is getting them across the finish line.
And, tonight, I have a constituent who will be the guest of the first lady, Joshua Davis, recently turned 13 years old.
He's a young man with diabetes who has done advocacy in my district.
And I'm really proud of the fact that I was able to introduce him to the president of the United States when President Biden came to my district.
And to now recognize that he will be bring a voice to people who are facing diabetes across the country and bringing a voice and a face and a story to the reality of what the cost of prescription drugs means for families across Virginia, across my district and across the country, that's the sort of story that I hope the president will uplift and then, ultimately, we will work hard to get legislation that will change people's lives, that will impact people like Joshua Davis and his family in Virginia and across the country, get those bills to the president's desk, so they can actually become law.
JUDY WOODRUFF: We did see that Joshua was going to be one of the guests of the first lady tonight.
We will be looking for him.
Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger, thank you very much.
REP. ABIGAIL SPANBERGER: Thank you so much for having me.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Meantime, the human toll of Russia's invasion of Ukraine is already massive, with more than 600,000 people who've left the country and many more who are still in Ukraine, but who cannot safely stay in their homes.
We hear now from two Ukrainian parents in different parts of the country, both unsure of what the next day will bring, and both trying to keep their children safe.
INNA KOZUB, Kharkiv, Ukraine: I'm Inna Kozub.
I'm living in Kharkiv.
People are very frightened who is in apartment, because they hear constant bombing.
And I understand how lucky we are because we're in the subway station and don't hear it.
Every day, twice or three times a day, we get food, milk, water, and even sweets for children.
Today, it was the best day.
All small children get cakes.
When I see news, when I state videos, I'm crying.
And so I'm trying to be positive with my daughter.
And, sometimes, when I go to sleep, I'm crying a little bit to make my stress out.
And every morning, when I get up, I saying, "Hi, my daughter" (INAUDIBLE) trying to make him as comfortable here as we can.
And we are happy that we don't hear what is going on up there.
I don't know if I will be OK. From time to time, I think this is -- I'm dreaming.
I have to wake up.
And this is -- I never feel this feeling.
And I think everyone -- and when I talk -- we talk to people, and they -- everyone say the same.
They think they are dreaming.
We can't believe, in 21st century, it could be.
VLADYSLAV STADNYK, Resident of Kyiv: I'm Vladyslav Stadnyk.
I'm from Kyiv myself.
The big war has caught us while we were on a family retreat skiing in the mountains in the western part of Ukraine.
And we have done this vacation since the summer, like most normal families do.
And we hoped that nothing like that would ever happen to Ukraine.
So what I have been doing for the past several days is collecting money from everywhere -- everywhere in Ukraine, from the diaspora, from just people just from all across the world, and trying to purchase everything we can in the neighboring countries, with vests, bulletproof vests, helmets, and just simple stuff like that.
What is absolutely incredible is how quickly all of us just simply changed.
There are no normal way of being.
I have -- I have a regular job, like everyone else, which I go to 9:00 to 5:00.
I travel a lot.
I do a blog about heavy metal music for myself.
Yet all of these things are -- just suddenly became absolutely unimportant.
And you understand that the only thing which is important to you is the safety of your family first, and then the safety of your country.
The scariest thing is to hear your daughter, who is -- I have two daughters -- one of them is 4 and the other one is 1 -- just asking you: "Hey, why can't we go home, and when will the Russians go away from our land, and why did they come?"
and just having the struggle of, how do we explain a thing like that to a 4-year-old?
And how do you make it so it doesn't scar her for life JUDY WOODRUFF: Those are two sets of parents in Ukraine, absolutely heartbreaking and completely human.
And, now, we heard a moment ago from Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger, a Democrat of Virginia.
Now, for a Republican perspective on Ukraine, I'm joined by Congressman Andy Barr of Kentucky.
He serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee and on the Financial Services Committee, where he helps oversee sanctions policy.
Congressman Barr, thank you very much for joining us.
I don't know if you were able to hear some of these parents speaking right now, but it has to go straight to one's heart, to your heart, because they were speaking like any other parent.
What is your sense right now of what's happening in Ukraine?
REP. ANDY BARR (R-KY): Well, as a parent myself, it is totally heartbreaking.
It's barbaric, what's happening.
And, really, one can describe what's happening as war crimes.
That -- those are the reports that we are receiving as well.
And what the world is witnessing is something we haven't seen since World War II, which is a full-scale invasion by land, air, sea, through cybersecurity and missiles, an invasion of a sovereign, democratically elected country, government and a country.
And, again, this is the largest military mobilization and invasion of a sovereign country since World War II.
I agree with my Democratic colleague and friend that we need to hear from President Biden a forceful position in solidarity with the Ukrainian resistance.
But we need more than forceful speaking.
We need a stronger set of actions both in terms of support for the Ukrainian resistance with arms and weapons, small-arms support, ammunition, anti-armor, anti-aircraft Stinger missiles, which have not been delivered in the quantity needed.
These Ukrainians are fighting with -- literally with broomsticks and kitchen knives and Molotov cocktails.
What they need are weapons.
What they need are Stinger missiles in order to counter the significant firepower of Putin's war machine.
And then, on the sanctions front, we're glad that the Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on Russian banks and the Russian Central Bank.
We appreciate the Europeans leading on reimposing those sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
And we're glad that the Biden administration has followed suit, after they waived those sanctions, removing the important deterrence that those sanctions provided.
But what we need now is more forceful sanctions that deal with this energy loophole.
The problem with the sanctions, Judy, right now is that there is a general license to all energy-related transactions.
That's where Putin gets most of his foreign currency reserves, which is literally financing this war effort.
We need to close that loophole.
And I'm hoping the president will announce that tonight.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, let me bring you first back to the call for more weapons to be provided.
They would have to be defensive weapons, as we understand it, because of NATO restrictions.
We know that they are already being provided Stinger missiles, other weaponry by not just the United States and NATO.
What exactly more are you saying they need?
REP. ANDY BARR: Well, they're asking for more weapons.
The Ukrainian prime minister, the president, Zelensky, asking for more lethal defensive weapons, those Stinger missiles, anti-aircraft, anti -- anti-armor, more Javelins, more small arms.
We need to provide them with defensive small arms.
And we were asking for this during the mobilization.
This was an eight-month mobilization of Russian troops on the border of Ukraine, not just in the Donbass, but also the exercises that were happening in the north in Belarus and also in the Crimea.
We knew this was coming.
Putin telegraphed this.
We were calling for those Stinger missiles.
Now, when they're under siege, it's harder to get those weapons to the Ukrainian resistance.
So we're pushing for more of that.
And, again, we need tougher sanctions.
We need to close these loopholes.
JUDY WOODRUFF: What evidence do you see, Congressman, that the sanctions that are being imposed - - and I think everyone agrees these are the harshest sanctions yet to be imposed on Russia - - are having any deterrent effect on Vladimir Putin?
REP. ANDY BARR: Well, clearly these sanctions alone were not deterring Putin.
But one of the reasons is that we waived sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
The Biden administration waived those sanctions.
I was the author of the legislation that authorized those sanctions.
Those sanctions were put into place.
Construction the Nord Stream 2 pipeline was halted and then waived last May.
That was a green light for Putin to invade, because the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline enabled Putin to continue to send Russian gas to continental Europe.
And he didn't need the pipelines that went through the Ukraine.
Fortunately, those sanctions have been reimposed.
But, again, one of the ways in which Putin is financing this war effort is through the energy transactions, the energy sales.
And, frankly, the United States continues to this day, post-invasion, to be importing over 500,000 barrels of Russian oil every day.
That is revenue of up to over $60 million a day.
And so, in effect, until we block those imports, we continue -- the United States and our allies in Europe continue to finance this war effort.
We need to stop that.
And as Russia draws down on the hard currency that they have in their Central Bank, we don't need to have a faucet of foreign hard currency flowing into that country.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, just to quickly wrap this up, you're saying the United States is in part enabling what Vladimir Putin is doing?
REP. ANDY BARR: Yes, because we're continuing, even to this day, post-invasion, we are purchasing oil from Russia.
We need to immediately suspend that.
We need to apply sanctions to energy-related transactions and stop the flow of Russian oil into the United States and into Europe.
And that is where we can really have an effect on the Russian economy.
Furthermore, we need to replace that Russian oil with domestically produced American energy.
The best way that we can counter Russian aggression here is to unleash domestic energy production, reverse the policies of the Biden administration constraining the supply, the domestic supply of energy, not just Keystone XL pipeline, but production of and exploration of energy on federal lands, and more leasing, and also ending financial regulators weaponizing financial regulation to redirect capital away from American energy companies.
That's happening under the Biden administration's policies.
I'm hoping, tonight, that President Biden reverses course, so that we can become energy-dominant once again.
That's the best way that we can help our allies in the Ukraine and in Europe in countering Russian aggression and deterring further aggression from Russia.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Congressman Andy Barr of Kentucky, thank you so much for joining us.
We appreciate it.
REP. ANDY BARR: Thank you.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And now, for a more in-depth look at the ongoing war on Ukraine, we are joined by retired Lieutenant General Doug Lute.
He had a 35-year career in the Army, and he served on the National Security Council staff during both the George W. Bush and the Obama administrations.
He also was U.S. ambassador to NATO during the Obama administration.
And Angela Stent worked in the State Department during the Clinton administration and served as a top U.S. intelligence officer on Russia during the George W. Bush administration.
She's now a professor at Georgetown University.
Hello to both of you.
And welcome to this special this evening.
To you first, General Lute.
Tell us what your best understanding is at this hour of Russia's military advance on Ukraine.
LT. GEN. DOUGLAS LUTE (RET.
), Former U.S.
Ambassador to NATO: Well, Judy, I think it's important to appreciate we're only six days into this.
But these first six days have been -- have been revealing in several ways.
First of all, they have revealed that Putin attacked with some faulty assumptions.
First of all, I think the assumption that the Ukrainian government would collapse, that the Ukrainian military would not fight, that the Ukrainian people would not resist, that proved false.
I think he attacked with the assumption that his forces would have a relatively easy ride.
That's not proven true.
And then, finally, I think he attacked with the assumption that the West would simply not get its act together, would not be solid, would not be coherent.
And, in fact, we have seen just the reverse.
We have seen an unprecedented coherence of - - both on the diplomatic front, and now with economic sanctions coming out of the West.
So he was wrong on all three fronts.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, right now, we see the Russians, yes, they have been slower than some people expected, but they seem to be determined in their move toward the major cities in Ukraine.
LT. GEN. DOUGLAS LUTE: Look, he has the military capability, he has the firepower, the manpower and so forth to lay siege to these large Ukrainian cities, Kharkiv in the east and Kyiv, the capital city.
So he can -- he can do this.
The issue is not his capability, but to what extent is his capability, is it offset by the Ukrainian will to fight, the Ukrainian will to resist?
History has a lot of examples where the lesser-armed protagonist in a conflict actually prevails over the better-armed opponent because of higher morale, increased will to fight.
Right now, my bet is on the Ukrainian people.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Angela Stent, as someone who has studied not only Russia, but you have studied Vladimir Putin, and we don't -- we don't have eyes on him, certainly not close eyes.
There's no access for the press where he is.
But what is your sense, as we see increasing attacks on civilians in Ukraine, on residential buildings?
What's going on in the mind of Vladimir Putin?
Is there no fear on his part of the kind of reaction there's going to be when that is the shape of the Russian advance?
ANGELA STENT, Director, Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies, Georgetown University: You mustn't forget that President Putin came to power during the -- and then launched the second war in Chechnya.
And what did they do?
They leveled Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, to the ground, brutal fighting tactics.
They subdued the Chechens.
That's what he knows.
That was his experience.
That was really how -- really how he consolidated his own power.
So, frankly, I think, in his playbook, it doesn't matter if you kill civilians.
The Russians are saying formally, we're not killing civilians.
Your show has provided ample evidence that this is exactly what's happening families, the heartrending stories we heard.
He and the people around him don't care about this.
If we see them surrounding Kyiv, we can go back to various playbooks.
Are they going to try and starve Kyiv out, as Leningrad was started out when -- just before he was born, which his parents lived through?
That's one tactic.
They're bombing indiscriminate buildings.
So, I think it's part of their playbook.
It's part of his experience.
And they -- and, hopefully, they will continue to meet a lot of resistance from the Ukrainians, who are bravely fighting back, and they will get all the supplies from NATO countries that they're entitled to.
But they're not going to stop because of this.
It just might take them much longer than they realized.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Should we take at -- we are hearing a number of analysts say what they think Vladimir Putin wants to do.
And, to some extent, he signaled this himself.
And that is set up a government in the country that is sympathetic to him.
He believes -- he said that he believes the Zelensky government is illegitimate.
Should we take him at his word that that's what this is about?
ANGELA STENT: Oh, I'm sure that that's what it's about.
It's been about that from the beginning, to conquer Ukraine and then set - - and set up a puppet government that will do Moscow's bidding.
And we had a hint of this.
RIA Novosti, which is an official news agency got a little bit ahead of itself.
It published an article obviously written before the invasion, two days after the invasion, proclaiming victory, we're in a new world, the West is broken apart, we have a friendly Ukrainian government.
That article has now gone off their Web site, but, funnily enough, they left it up maybe longer than they should have.
So we have some idea then what it was that they thought would happen.
And they thought that the Ukrainians would greet them with open arms, they would be reunited with mother Russia, and then they would go forward in glory into the new world order.
It's going to be much more difficult to do that.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Doug Lute, in the bit of time that we have left, we have heard a number of prescriptions tonight from different directions about what else needs to happen to help the Ukrainians.
What do you see -- what more do you see that NATO, that the United States could do to support the Ukrainian resistance?
LT. GEN. DOUGLAS LUTE: Well, Judy, do you think, in long, prolonged conflict, brutal conflicts like this, logistics are typically the thing that spells the success or failure.
And it's the logistics on both sides.
I mean, there are early signs that President Putin's forces have logistics challenges.
Those are likely to get only more severe as time goes on and as distances grow from their supply basis.
We have a responsibility to help the Ukrainians with logistics.
Here, on the humanitarian front, we have seen some 600,000 Ukrainians are now refugees in NATO countries.
They need to be cared for.
That's a logistics challenge.
And then the logistics challenge of continuing to sponsor, to -- continuing to support the Ukrainians in their fight, so shoulder-fired anti-tank systems, as the congressperson was talking about, likewise, Stinger surface-to-air missile systems.
These are the ones that -- these are the systems that the Ukrainians can best employ and can best distribute under the pressure of the Russian campaign.
And we have got to make sure those are ready.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Such an enormous challenge, but so important to hear the perspective of the two of you.
Retired General Doug Lute, Angela Stent, we thank you both.
ANGELA STENT: Thank you, Judy.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And in explaining why he launched this invasion, President Putin falsely claimed that Ukraine was always a part of Russia.
And just as he did the first time he invaded Ukraine, Putin made bogus assertions about pro-Russian Ukrainians being under threat.
To help sort fact from fiction and get a better understanding of how we got to this point, the "NewsHour"s Ali Rogin looks at the history of Ukraine and of its people's political independence.
ALI ROGIN: In 1991, at the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union, Ukraine declared independence after nearly 70 years under Moscow's control.
And when Russian President Vladimir Putin took power a decade later, he began trying to get it back.
Ukraine, he says, is part of Russia's family.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, Russian President (through translator): We will believe that Ukraine is not only our closest neighbor, but is indeed our brotherly republic.
ALI ROGIN: At a NATO summit in 2008, he reportedly told then-President George W. Bush that Ukraine was not even a country.
And he repeated those claims last week before launching the invasion.
VLADIMIR PUTIN (through translator): Ukraine never had a tradition of genuine statehood.
Modern Ukraine was entirely created by Russia.
ALI ROGIN: That claim ignores the centuries of history through which modern Ukraine took shape.
It was first home to the Kyivan Rus, who were Scandinavians traders and Russia's namesake.
Over time, it was absorbed by Poland and Lithuania, and then the Russian Empire and Austria-Hungary.
A post-World War I treaty briefly recognized its independence, long enough to spark Ukrainian nationalist movements.
The Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic was born in 1922.
Under Soviet rule, Ukrainian identity was under constant threat.
In 1932, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin deliberately imposed famine there, killing at least three million Ukrainians in a single year.
Indeed, by World War II, some Ukrainians welcomed Nazi occupation as a way to challenge Soviet control.
But the Nazis slaughtered more than 1.5 million Ukrainian Jews.
Millions more non-Jewish Ukrainians were also killed or put to hard labor.
By 1954, the country that exists today was part of the USSR.
The final piece was Crimea, a peninsula on the Black Sea, which Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred from Russia to Ukraine.
But even after Ukraine declared independence in 1991, pro-Russian political elements remained, which Putin exploited.
In Ukraine's 2004 presidential elections, he supported the pro-Russian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.
Yanukovych ran against Viktor Yushchenko, a pro-Western opposition politician.
VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO, Former Ukrainian President (through translator): It would be a great mistake if Ukraine misses a train bound for Europe.
ALI ROGIN: Yanukovych won, but international monitors said the election fell short of its standard.
Yushchenko supporters took to the streets.
They sparked the Orange Revolution, so-called for the campaign's colors, holding protests and storming Parliament.
The Ukrainian Supreme Court deemed the results invalid, and Yushchenko one the next election.
During the election, Yushchenko became ill and his face became disfigured.
It was found to be dioxin poisoning.
His supporters blamed the pro-Russian government.
VASIL (Resident of Kyiv): Who's responsible?
The Ukrainian authorities are, who have been doing everything not to let Yushchenko win.
ALI ROGIN: He did win, though, and continued pushing West.
VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO (through translator): The political goal is the final integration to the European Union and NATO.
The main question is not in the direction of movement, but in the speed of it.
ALI ROGIN: But, in Eastern Ukraine, support for Russia remained strong.
In 2010, Yanukovych again and won.
VIKTOR YANUKOVYCH, Former Ukrainian President (through translator): My task is to make sure that Russia-Ukraine relations take a radical turn in the right direction.
ALI ROGIN: One of those radical turns came in 2013.
Yanukovych stopped trade talks with the E.U., instead of pursuing a similar agreement with Russia.
That night, crowds gathered in Kyiv's Maidan, or Independence, Square, which continued to grow into a sprawling camp.
YURA, Protester (through translator): We are ready for war, but we're hoping for the best.
The government should be afraid of the people, not the people afraid of the government.
ALI ROGIN: But the head of the Russian government vilified the Ukrainian people.
VLADIMIR PUTIN (through translator): In my view, this is an attempt by the opposition to shake the current and, I want to emphasize, legitimate authorities in the country.
ALI ROGIN: As 2014 began, authorities grew more violent.
In late February, Ukrainian security forces shot and killed dozens.
Then, the opposition and government reached a truce, and Yanukovych fled, reappearing a few days later in Russia.
VIKTOR YANUKOVYCH (through translator): I intend to keep fighting for the future of Ukraine against those who are using fear and terror to seize the country.
ALI ROGIN: But the one trying to seize Ukraine was Putin.
He sent unidentified armed men to occupy airports in Crimea, which Putin has long said was stolen from Russia.
Putin denied sending in troops, but said he would if asked, setting up a pretext, just as he did for this invasion.
VLADIMIR PUTIN (through translator): What can be a reason to use the armed forces?
This is, of course, the last resort, simply the last resort.
If we see that lawlessness starting in eastern regions too, if people ask us for help, we reserve the right to use all options at our disposal to protect those citizens.
ALI ROGIN: Those so-called requests for help soon followed.
On March 6, the Crimean Parliament voted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.
Days later, a public referendum rife with alleged fraud passed with 95.5 percent of the vote.
That July, the U.S., E.U., Canada, and other allies imposed sanctions on Russia.
More unidentified vehicles arrived in Crimea escorted by Russian police cars, and Russian troops took over more buildings.
As it is today, the Putin regime said it was helping Crimeans defend themselves, with little evidence they needed defending.
DMITRY PESKOV, Spokesman for Vladimir Putin (through translator): Will Russia be able to remain indifferent to the situation when, in neighboring Ukraine, Russians are facing a deadly threat?
The answer is simple.
No, Russia cannot remain indifferent, and it will not remain indifferent.
ALI ROGIN: Two months later, Ukraine elected its next president, pro-European businessman Petro Poroshenko.
PETRO POROSHENKO, Former Ukrainian President (through translator): We should do everything possible to bring European values to Ukraine.
ALI ROGIN: But the events in Crimea had inspired pro-Russian separatists in two other regions, Donetsk and Luhansk, collectively known as the Donbass.
LUDMILA, Pro-Russian Activist (through translator): We want to have an independent republic of Donetsk.
We want to be independent from Ukraine.
ALI ROGIN: The political protests took on a military dimension.
Russian-backed separatists began an insurgency against the Ukrainian military.
There were diplomatic attempts to reach a cease-fire, but those never held.
The fighting continued into 2019, when Poroshenko lost reelection to TV star and neophyte politician Volodymyr Zelensky, who'd once played an accidentally elected president of Ukraine.
He campaigned on domestic issues, but also wanted to restore peace to the Donbass.
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY (through translator): Most likely, if I meet Mr. Vladimir Putin, I will tell him the following: Well, you finally gave us back our territories.
How much money are you ready to give as compensation for the fact that you took our territories and that you assisted people who participated in escalation in Crimea, Donbass and assisted them on the awful, cruel and disgusting path?
ALI ROGIN: Three years later, Putin is forcing the Ukrainian people further down that cruel path, while Zelensky fights to lead them out.
For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Ali Rogin.
JUDY WOODRUFF: What a helpful look at the history of that country.
And bringing us back to Washington, it was just moments ago that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the House chamber to order.
That's ahead of President Biden's speech at the Capitol tonight.
And our Lisa Desjardins is inside the House chambers.
Lisa, tell us what you are seeing.
LISA DESJARDINS: Judy, I'm seeing something we haven't seen for two years.
For the first time in two years, the United States Congress has been able to gather as a body.
Members are spread out.
There are no guests in this chamber, with the exception of some guests that the White House will bring in the first lady's box.
This is members only.
That also is rare.
I see very few masks in this chamber.
Today, for the first time in well over a year, the order that masks be worn in this chamber was lifted.
That has to do with the decrease in COVID in this country and in this area.
Everyone in this chamber had to test negative in order to be here.
You hear a hush now.
Until now, it has been probably one of the most vibrant chambers I have been in a long time, as members were enjoying being face to face.
You can see and I think you will see in some of the pictures here a lot of yellow, a lot of blue.
That is a show of support for Ukraine.
And I think viewers should watch.
I have seen Representative Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania pass out small Ukrainian flags that many members have.
I think we will see those waved during the speech.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, as we just saw, we just saw Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger wearing blue and yellow.
We see blue on House Speaker Pelosi, and Congressman Andy Barr, we just spoke with him from Kentucky, wearing the Ukrainian colors in a ribbon on his lapel.
Lisa, we should tell our audience the reason we don't see you right now is because we don't - - we don't have news cameras inside of the House chamber.
So we're talking to you by telephone.
But we know Lisa, in past State of the Union addresses, not all members show up for these.
LISA DESJARDINS: Right.
JUDY WOODRUFF: What's your sense of what the attendance is going to be like tonight?
LISA DESJARDINS: This is a large attendance.
This chamber looks full to me.
However, it is spaced out.
Members are sitting every other seat for the most part.
And there were many questions about how many Republicans would be here.
I see many Republicans.
I believe a majority of the Republican Conference is here, though I don't think there's much more than that.
So, it looks like maybe 100 members.
They also have messages they have brought.
Representative Lauren Boebert of Colorado, I noticed, has a black scarf that, if you look at it carefully, it says on it "Drill, baby drill."
So, as much as this speech will be about Ukraine - - and there is unity in his body in general about Ukraine -- there is -- also, we will hear tonight and we are seeing signs of the very real and sharp political divide still in this country.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Can't get rid of it anytime soon.
Lisa Desjardins, we're going to be coming back to you throughout this evening.
Thank you, Lisa.
LISA DESJARDINS: Thanks.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And as we await the president's arrival, we're going to get additional analysis over the next few minutes from Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart and Peter Wehner.
He is a contributor to "The Atlantic" and to The New York Times.
Hello to both of you, as we wait for the president to arrive in the House chamber.
Jonathan, to you first.
How does the fact that the war is raging in Ukraine halfway around the world, what effect does have on the president's job tonight?
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Well, what we have seen since the Russians invaded Ukraine is an American president who's been leading.
And so, while the United States is not at war, and President Biden is not a wartime president, the fact that the United States has been able to rally NATO, rally the E.U., rally the Western alliance against the Russian aggression against Ukraine, it allows the president to use, not in a pejorative sense, but to use the moment to not just galvanize the world, but to galvanize the United States and talk about this in the larger frame.
And that is democracy.
And what is happening in Ukraine is democracy vs. autocracy.
And one of the main things that drove President Biden into the campaign, remember, he said, was to fight for the soul of America.
And so there are people who are fighting for democracy halfway around the world.
And he's going to talk about his leadership there.
But then he also has to talk about And use that energy to convince the American people that the job -- the job he's doing here at home in terms of the domestic agenda, getting inflation under control, getting rising prices under control, that he is the leader and is doing everything to get those things under control.
So he's got to -- the State of the Union address is always a big moment for the president.
But this speech for President Biden, his first official State of the Union address, is coming at a very momentous time for the nation and the world.
JUDY WOODRUFF: No question about it.
Pete Wehner, how big a test do you see this for the president, given all that is going on and given this moment in American history?
PETER WEHNER, Ethics and Public Policy Center: It's a really big test.
It would be a test for any president, because this is the largest land war in Europe since 1945.
And State of the Union speeches always matter, but they're usually forgotten.
This one may be remembered.
If it's remembered, it'll be remembered because of Ukraine.
Often, speeches make moments, but, more often, moments make speeches.
And this is a big moment for Biden, for the United States, and really for the world.
The other thing I'd say, just piggybacking on what Jonathan said, is, I would say that the biggest problem that Joe Biden has had over the last year is a sense that he's been overmatched by events.
He's 13 points lower and approval rating now than he was a year ago.
It's a huge loss.
And there are particular issues that are behind that.
But I think underneath it all is a sense that he has not been in control of events.
And he has shown, I think in a very impressive way, that he is, in fact, in control of events.
Things still have to have to unfold, and a lot can -- a lot can happen.
But the way he has rallied NATO and the E.U.
against this Ukrainian crisis or the Russian aggression of Ukraine has really been impressive.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Jonathan, I know some are saying this could be an opportunity for the president, if you will, to turn the page.
But it's a tricky, tricky thing to do, isn't it?
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Yes.
And I don't see how he's going to be able to turn the page, when what we're seeing is day six of a Russian invasion of a democracy, of Ukraine, but, at the same time, Americans at home, again, dealing with high prices, dealing -- high gasoline prices, dealing with supply chain issues, dealing with high inflation.
And so what the president needs to do is not turn the page, but to convince the American people that, while he's got a lot of good economic data to crow about, that he understands that, at the kitchen table level, he knows that there's pain and he's got a plan to ease that pain.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Pete Wehner, in that vein, can the president -- is it -- I mean, is it possible for a president to say to the American people, I'm going to take a slightly different approach going forward?
I mean, how do you do that and still be authentic?
PETER WEHNER: Well, I think he can.
He can give voice to what's going on in the country.
And it's very important.
I have worked on State of the Union speeches, which are hard, and they're hard because they can be undisciplined, and you can also get too defensive, try and convince (AUDIO GAP) that you have done well.
But, no, what he can do is, he can signal that he knows that things are different, that he hears the American public and lay out an agenda.
But, in the end, it's events that matter.
He's just got to be able to say what he's going to do, but then he has to execute on what he wants to do.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Pete Wehner and Jonathan Capehart.
And we will be coming back to talk with the two of you after the president's State of the Union.
We thank you both.
And to all of you who are watching, please stay with us.
Our coverage of President Biden's State of the Union continues in just a moment right here on PBS.
(BREAK) JUDY WOODRUFF: And welcome to our "PBS NewsHour" special live coverage of President Biden's State of the Union address.
I'm Judy Woodruff in Washington.
The president is going to be arriving at the U.S. Capitol, the House chambers momentarily.
We are going to be turning to our correspondents throughout the night for their reporting on the president's speech.
Our Amna Nawaz is on Capitol Hill.
She's in the Cannon House Office Building.
Geoff Bennett is at the White House.
And our Lisa Desjardins is inside the House chambers, where she is going to be speaking to us by phone.
For additional analysis, we're going to be joined again tonight by Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart and by Peter Wehner.
He's a contributor to "The Atlantic" and to The New York Times.
And since it is just after 9:00 in the East, and I'm looking at my phone to see if my time is right, it is just about the moment when they announce the arrival of President Biden in the House chamber.
You see there these are live pictures coming to us from the Capitol.
That's Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Ukrainian blue on the right, and, on the left, Vice President Kamala Harris, the traditional positions since early last year, when the president gave a joint address to Congress.
It wasn't a State of the Union, but it was an address where House and Senate members came together to hear the new president speak.
This is the second time we have seen the joint - - the joint chambers, the two chambers come together in joint session.
We're seeing assorted members of Congress, members of the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, the chief justice, John Roberts.
We're seeing a parade of -- and Justice Stephen Breyer, who is retiring at the end of this term of the Supreme Court.
We have been reporting on the nomination of the first Black woman, Ketanji Brown Jackson, to take Justice Breyer's place.
And those confirmation hearings will be coming up in several weeks.
But let's bring in some of our correspondents and analysts.
Lisa Desjardins, you are there in the House chamber.
You have got a bird's-eye view of what's going on.
Tell us what you're seeing that we should know about.
LISA DESJARDINS: Well, it looks like they're running a few minutes behind.
That's not a shock.
This is the first time many of these members have been able to interact in this form literally in years.
There are few masks in this chamber.
That's because the mask requirement was lifted just today because of the situation with COVID here in the District of Columbia, low enough to allow that.
Also, every person in this chamber had to test negative in the past day in order to be here.
I -- there will be a great show, I think, of support for Ukraine.
I see members holding flags.
Those were given out by one of the Republican members of Congress.
You will see a lot of yellow, a lot of blue.
I also have noticed some interesting bipartisan moments, one of the presidential chief advisers, Louisa Terrell, hugging the chief of staff for Republican Senator Mitch McConnell.
So, some of these moments that you see actually matter in terms of relationships at a time like this, a big speech, but I think, more than anything, this feels like a sense of normal that many of these members have wanted, to just be able to gather together in this chamber.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So many things coming together at the same time, Lisa, as you say, people wanting so badly to get back to normal, to shake off the restrictions of COVID.
But, as we have been reporting now for several days, this speech comes in the middle of a crisis around the globe in Ukraine, where the Russians have invaded that sovereign country and are marching on their way to take over - - in their attempt to take over cities.
And, as they have said, their goal is to take over the government.
We are still waiting for President Biden.
We're keeping an eye out on the House chamber, waiting for President Biden to arrive.
Amna Nawaz, as we said, is at the Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building.
And, Amna, I think you have been reporting for the last -- well, ever since the invasion happened, and trying to get a sense of international reaction to it.
This is one of the rare times when news that is not centered right here in the United States is going to be front and center at a State of the Union.
AMNA NAWAZ: You're absolutely right, Judy.
I mean, the confluence of factors that have to be top priorities for the president right now is really unprecedented.
I mean, you think about it.
He's talking during a time of pandemic recovery after a once-in-a generation, once-in-a-century pandemic.
(CROSSTALK) JUDY WOODRUFF: Going to interrupt you, Amna, just one second.
AMNA NAWAZ: I will toss it back to you, Judy.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Come right back to you in a minute.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) JUDY WOODRUFF: We have just heard the president of the United States announced by General William Walker.
He's the House sergeant at arms.
And here comes President -- President Biden greeting members of Congress, many of whom he knows.
He served for more than three decades in the Senate.
He knows many of these members on both sides of the aisle there.
And we see him greeting many of them personally.
And, as Lisa Desjardins pointed out, this is one of the only times we have seen members of Congress certainly that we have present without a mask in a large setting like this.
But, Amna, I want to come back to you.
I didn't mean to interrupt you making the point that you were about how unusual it is that this terrible conflict in Ukraine is going to be is going to be, frankly, subject number one for the State of the Union.
AMNA NAWAZ: That's absolutely right, Judy.
It sets up a real challenge for the president, right, because this is chiefly meant to be an address to the American people, sort of a victory lap after his first year.
And so many of the same challenges the president came into office and inherited and stepped into remain with him today.
And now on top of that you have this world-altering event with the Russian invasion into Ukraine.
What strikes me as I'm watching this feed, though, is the number of Ukrainian flags you see lawmakers holding, the number of lawmakers who are wearing blue and yellow in solidarity with Ukraine.
And I should also say I have been getting messages from some of my contacts on the ground in Ukraine who are watching this tonight, are watching our livestream, and staying up late.
It's 4:00 in the morning in Kyiv right now.
And they wanted to be able to see what President Biden has to say live.
So the challenge for him is enormous.
He has to both message to an American public who are pandemic-weary, who are dealing with record inflation, and also speak to the rest of the world about how the U.S. is going to continue to lead, continue to rally those NATO and Western allies and deter Russia in the midst of this ongoing invasion in Ukraine.
And we should mention too foreign policy is something that's not typically high on Americans' list as a recommended and a wanted priority for the president.
But, lately, it does rank up there.
Obviously, the economy and inflation are the top concerns for Americans, but in the sort of quartet of issues that follow, Americans still say foreign policy is something that they want the president to pay attention to and should be a priority.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Amna Nawaz watching it all from the Cannon House Office Building.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) JUDY WOODRUFF: And you see the president receiving a warm greeting there in the House chamber, both Democrats and Republicans.
All of them seem to be standing and applauding, as they wait for the president to speak.
JOE BIDEN, President of the United States: Thank you.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Thank you all very much.
Thank you, gentlemen.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Thank you.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Thank you.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Thank you all very, very much.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Thank you.
Thank you so much.
Madam Speaker, Madam Vice President, and our First Lady and Second Gentlemen, members of Congress and the Cabinet, Justice of the Supreme Court, my fellow Americans.
Last year, COVID-19 kept us apart.
This year, we're finally together again.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Tonight, we meet as Democrats, Republicans, Independents, but most importantly as Americans with a duty to one another, to America, to the American people, and to the Constitution, and an unwavering resolve that freedom will always triumph over tyranny.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Thank you.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Six days ago, Russia's Vladimir Putin sought to shake the very foundations of the Free World, thinking he could make it bend to his menacing ways.
But he badly miscalculated.
He thought he could roll into Ukraine and the world would roll over.
Instead, he met with a wall of strength he never anticipated or imagined.
He met Ukrainian people.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) From President Zelensky, to every Ukrainian, their fearlessness, their courage, their determination literally inspires the world.
Groups of citizens blocking tanks with their bodies.
Everyone from students, to retirees, to teachers turned soldiers defending their homeland.
And in this struggle, President Zelensky said in his speech to the European Parliament, light will win over darkness.
Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States is here tonight sitting with the First Lady.
Let's each of us, if you're able to stand, stand and send an unmistakable signal to the world, to Ukraine.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Thank you.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) She's bright, she's strong, she's resolved.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Yes.
We, the United States of America stand with the Ukrainian people.
Throughout our history we've learned this lesson.
When dictators do not pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos, they keep moving, and the cost -- the threats to America, and to the world keeps rising.
That's why the NATO Alliance was created, to secure peace and stability in Europe after World War II.
The United States is a member, along with 29 other nations.
American diplomacy matters.
American resolve matters.
Putin's latest attack on Ukraine was premeditated and totally unprovoked.
He rejected repeated, repeated efforts at diplomacy.
He thought the West and NATO wouldn't respond.
He thought he could divide us at home, in this chamber, in this nation.
He thought he could divide us in Europe as well.
But Putin was wrong.
We are ready.
We are united, and that's what we did, we stayed united.
We prepared extensively and carefully.
We spent months building coalitions of other freedom loving nations in Europe and the Americas to the Asian and African continents to confront Putin.
Like many of you, I spent countless hours unifying European allies.
We shared with the world in advance what we knew Putin was planning, and precisely how we would try to falsify and justify his aggression.
We countered Russia's lies with the truth, and now -- now that he's acted the Free World is holding him accountable, along with 27 members of the European Union including France, Germany, Italy -- as well as countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand -- and many others, even Switzerland are inflicting pain on Russia and supporting the people of Ukraine.
Putin is now isolated from the world more than he has ever been.
Together... (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Together, along with our allies we are right now enforcing powerful economic sanctions.
We're cutting of Russia's largest banks an international financial system, preventing Russia's central bank from defending the Russian Ruble, making Putin's $630 billion war fund worthless.
We're choking Russia's access... (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) We're choking Russia's access to technology that will sap its economic strength and weaken it's military for years to come.
Tonight, I say to the Russian oligarchs and the corrupt leaders who built billions of dollars off this violent regime, no more.
The United States... (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) I mean it.
The United States Department of Justice is assembling a dedicated task force to go after the crimes of the Russian oligarchs.
We're joining with European allies to find and seize their yachts, their luxury apartments, their private jets.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) We're coming for you, ill-begotten gains, and tonight I'm announcing that we will join our allies in closing off American air space to all Russian flights, further isolating Russia and adding additional squeeze on their economy.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) He has no idea what's coming.
The ruble has already lost 30 percent of its value.
The Russian stock market has lost 40 percent of its value, and trading remains suspended.
The Russian economy is reeling, and Putin alone is the one to blame.
Together with our allies we're providing support to the Ukrainians in their fight for freedom; military assistance, economic assistance, humanitarian assistance.
We're giving more than a billion dollars of direct assistance to Ukraine, and we'll continue to aid Ukrainian people as they defend their country and help ease their suffering.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) But let me be clear our forces are not engaged and will not engage in the conflict with Russian forces in Ukraine.
Our forces are not going to Europe to fight in Ukraine but to defend our NATO allies in the event that Putin decides to keep moving west.
For that purpose we have mobilized American ground forces, air squadrons, ship deployments to protect NATO countries, including Poland, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.
And as I've made crystal clear the United States and our allies will defend every inch of territory that is NATO territory with the full force of our collective power.
Every single inch.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) And we're clear-eyed.
Ukrainians are fighting back with pure courage.
The next few days, weeks, and months will be hard on them.
Putin has unleashed violence and chaos, but while he may make gains on the battle field he'll pay a continuing high price over the long run.
And a pound of Ukrainian people, proud, proud people, pound-for-pound ready to fight with every inch of energy they have.
They've known 30 years of independence, have repeatedly shown that they will not tolerate anyone who tries to take their country backwards.
To all Americans I will be honest with you as I always promised I would be, a Russian dictator invading a foreign country has costs around the world, and I'm taking robust action to make sure the pain of our sanctions is targeted at Russian economy and that we use every tool at our disposal to protect American businesses and consumers.
Tonight, I can announce the United States has worked with 30 other countries to release 60 million barrels of oil from reserves around the world.
America will lead that effort.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Releasing 30 million barrels of our own strategic petroleum reserve, and we stand ready to do more if necessary united with our allies.
These steps will help to blunt gas prices here at home, but I know news about what's happening can seem alarming to all Americans.
But I want you to know we're going to be OK. We're going to be OK.
When the history of this era is written Putin's war in Ukraine will have left Russia weaker and the rest of the world stronger.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) While it shouldn't... (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) And while it shouldn't have taken -- and while shouldn't have taken something so terrible for people around the world to see what's at stake, now everyone sees it clearly.
We see the unity among leaders of nations, a more unified Europe, a more unified west.
We see unity among the people who are gathering in cities and large crowds around the world, even in Russia, to demonstrate their support for the people of Ukraine.
And the battle between democracies and autocracies, democracies are rising to the moment and the world is clearly choosing the side of peace and security.
This is the real test, and it's going to take time.
So let us continue to draw inspiration from the iron will of the Ukrainian people.
To our fellow Ukrainian Americans who forged a deep bond that connects our two nations, we stand with you.
We stand with you.
Put may circle Kiev with tanks but he'll never gain the hearts and souls of the Iranian (sic) people.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) He'll never -- he'll never extinguish their love of freedom, and he will never, never weaken the resolve of the free world.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) We meet tonight in an America that has lived through two of the hardest years this nation has ever faced.
The pandemic has been punishing, and so many families are living paycheck-to-paycheck, struggling to keep up with the rising cost of food, gas, housing, and so much more.
I understand like many of you did.
My dad had to leave his home in Scranton, Pennsylvania to find work.
So like many of you, I grew up in a family when the price of food went up it was felt throughout the family.
It had an impact.
That was one of the first things I did as president was fight to pass the American Rescue Plan because people were hurting.
We needed to act, and we did.
Few pieces of legislation have done more at a critical moment in our history to lift us out of a crisis.
It fueled our efforts to vaccinate that nation and combat COVID-19, delivered immediate economic relief to tens of millions of Americans.
It helped put food on the table.
Remember those long lines of cars waiting for hours just to get a box of food put in their trunk.
It cut the cost of health care insurance, and as my dad used to say gave the people just a little bit of breathing room.
Unlike the $2 trillion tax cut passed in the previous administration that benefited the top 1 percent of Americans, the American Rescue Plan -- the American Rescue Plan helped working people and left no one behind.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Folks, and it worked.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) It worked.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) It worked and created jobs, lots of jobs.
In fact, our economy created over 6.
5 million new jobs just last year.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) More jobs in one year than ever before in the history of the United States of America.
The economy grew at a rate of 5.
7 last year, the strongest growth rate in 40 years and the first step in bringing fundamental change to our economy that hasn't worked for working people in this nation for too long.
For the past 40 years we were told the tax break for those at the top and benefits would trickle down and everyone would know -- would benefit, but that trickle-down theory led to a weaker economic growth, lower wages, bigger deficits, and a winding gap between the top and everyone else in nearly a century.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Look, Vice President Harris and I ran for office, and I realize we had fundamental disagreements on this, but ran for office with a new economic vision for America.
Invest in America.
Grow the work force.
Build the economy from the bottom up in the middle out, not from the top down because we know... (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) ... because we know... (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) ... because we know when the middle class grows -- when the middle-class gross, the poor have a way up and the wealthy do very well.
America used to have the best roads, bridges, and airports on Earth, and now our infrastructure is ranked 13th in the world.
We won't be able to compete for the jobs of the 21st century if we don't fix it.
That's why it was so important to pass the bipartisan infrastructure law, and I thank my Republican friends who joined... (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) ... to invest and rebuild America, the single biggest investment in history.
It was a bipartisan effort, and I want to thank the members of both parties who worked to make it happen.
We're done talking about infrastructure weeks.
We're now talking about an infrastructure decade.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) And look, it's going to -- it's going to transform America, to put us in a path to win the economic competition of the 21st century that we face with the rest of the world, particularly China.
I told Xi Jinping, it's never been a good bet to bet against the American people.
We'll create good jobs for millions of Americans, modernizing roads, airports, ports, waterways, all across America.
And we'll do it to withstand the devastating infects of climate change and promote environmental justice.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) We'll build a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations.
Begin to replace the poisonous led pipes so every child, every American has clean water to drink at home and at school.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) We're going to provide -- provide affordable high-speed Internet for every American, rural, suburban, urban and tribal communities.
Four thousand projects have already been announced.
Many of you have announced them in your districts.
And tonight, I'm announcing that this year we will start fixing over 65,000 miles of highway and 1,500 bridges in disrepair.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) And folks, when we use taxpayer's dollars to rebuild America, we're going to do it by buying American.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Buy America products, support American jobs.
The Federal Government spends about $600 billion a year to keep this country safe and secure.
There's been a law on the books for almost a century to make sure taxpayer's dollars support American jobs and businesses.
Every administration, Democrat and Republican, says they'll do it.
But, we're actually -- we're actually doing it.
We'll buy America, to make sure every -- everything, from the deck of an aircraft carrier to the steel on highway guardrails is made in America from beginning to end, all of it.
All of it.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) But, folks, to compete for the jobs of the future we also need a level playing field with China and other competitors.
That's why it's so important to pass the bipartisan Innovation Act sitting in Congress that will make record investments in emerging technologies and American manufacturing.
We used to invest almost 2 percent of our GDP in research and development.
We don't now.
Let me give you one example why it's so important to pass.
If you travel 20 miles east of Columbus, Ohio, you'll find 1,000 empty acres of land.
It won't look like much, but if you stop and look closely, you'll see a field of dreams.
The ground in which America's future will be built.
That's where Intel, the American company that helped build Silicone Valley is going to build a $20 billion semiconductor mega site.
Up to eight state-of-the-art factories in one place, 10,000 new jobs.
And in those factories the average about $135 -- $135,000 a year.
Some of the most sophisticated manufacturing in the world to make computer chips the size of a fingertip.
The power of the world in everyday lives, from smartphones, technology that is the Internet, technology is yet to be invented.
But, that's just the beginning.
Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, who's here tonight.
I don't know where Pat is.
Pat, there you go.
Pat, stand up.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Pat... (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Pat came to see me and he told me they're ready to increase their investment from $20 billion to $100 billion.
That would be the biggest investment in manufacturing in American history and all they're waiting for is for you to pass this bill.
So, let's not wait any longer.
Send it to my desk, I will sign it.
And we'll really take off in a big way.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) And, folks, Intel is not alone.
There's something happening in America.
Just look around and you'll see an amazing story.
The rebirth of pride that comes from stamping products Made in America, the revitalization of American manufacturing.
Companies are choosing to build new factories here, when just a few years ago they would have gone overseas.
That's what's happening.
Ford is investing $11 billion in electric vehicles, creating 11,000 jobs across the country.
GM is making the largest investment in its history, $7 billion to build electric vehicles, creating 4,000 jobs in Michigan.
All told, 369,000 new manufacturing jobs were created in America last year alone.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) And, folks, powered by people I have met like JoJo Burgess from generations of union steelworkers in Pittsburgh, who's here tonight.
Where are you JoJo?
There you go.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) As Ohio -- as Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown says... (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) - -- as Sherrod Brown says, it's time to bury the label Rust Belt.
It's time to see the what used to be called Rust Belt become the home of -- of a significant resurgence of manufacturing.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) And with all the bright spots in our economy, record job growth, higher wages, too many families are struggling to keep up with their bills.
Inflation is robbing them of gains they thought otherwise they would be able to feel.
I get it.
That's why my top priority is getting prices under control.
Look, our economy roared back faster than almost anyone predicted.
But the pandemic meant that businesses had a hard time hiring enough people because of the pandemic to keep up production in their factories.
If you didn't have people making those beams that went into buildings because they were out, the factory was closed.
The panic also disrupted the global supply chain.
When that happens, it takes longer to make goods and get them to the warehouses, to the stores and prices go up.
Look at cars last year, one-third of all the inflation was because of automobile sales.
There weren't enough semiconductors to make all the cars that people wanted to buy.
And guess what?
Prices of automobiles went way up.
Especially used vehicles as well.
And so, we have a choice.
One way to fight inflation is to drive down wages and make Americans poor.
I think I have a better idea to fight inflation.
Lower your costs, not your wages.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) And, folks, that means make more cars and semiconductors in America.
More infrastructure and innovation in America.
More goods moving faster and cheaper in America.
More jobs where you can earn a good living in America, instead of relying on foreign supply chains let's make it in America.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Look, economists... (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) (CROWD CHANTING -- USA) Economists call this increasing the productivity capacity of our economy.
I call it building a better America.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) My plan to fight inflation will lower your costs and lower the deficit.
Seventeen Nobel Laureates in economics said my plan will ease long-term inflationary pressures.
Top business leaders and I believe most Americans support the plan.
And here's the plan.
First, cut the cost of prescription drugs.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) We pay more... (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) ... for the same drug produced by the same company in America than any other country in the world.
Just look at insulin.
One in 10 Americans has diabetes.
In Virginia, I met a 13-year-old boy, the handsome young man standing up there, Joshua Davis.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) He and his dad both have Type I diabetes, which means they need insulin every single day.
Insulin costs about $10 a vial to make.
That's what it costs the pharmaceutical company.
But drug companies charge families like Joshua and his dad up to 30 times that amount.
I spoke with Joshua's mom.
Imagine what it's like to look at your child who needs insulin to stay healthy, and have no idea how in god's name you're going to be able to pay for it.
What it does to your family, but what it does to your dignity.
Your ability to look your child in the eye.
To be the parent you expect yourself to be.
I really mean it, think about that -- that's what I think about.
You know, yesterday -- Joshua's here tonight, but yesterday was his birthday.
Happy Birthday, buddy, by the way.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) For Joshua and 200,000 other young people with Type I Diabetes let's cap the cost of insulin $35 a month so everyone can afford it.
And drug companies will do very, very well, their profit margin.
While we're at it, I know we have great disagreements on this floor with this -- let's let Medicare negotiate the price of prescription drugs.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) They already set the price for VA drugs.
Look, the American Rescue Plan is helping millions of families of the Affordable Care Act plans to save them $2,400 a year on their health premiums.
Let's close the coverage gap and make these savings permanent.
And second... (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Let's cut energy cost for families an average of $500 a year by combating climate change.
Let's provide an investment tax credit to weatherize your home and your business, to be energy efficient and get a tax credit for it.
Double America's clean energy production in solar, wind, and so much more.
Lower the price of electric vehicles, saving another $80 a month that you're not going to have to pay at the pump.
Folks... (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Third -- the third thing we can do to change the standard of living for hardworking folks is cut the cost of childcare.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Cut the cost of childcare.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Folks, if you live in a major city in America, you pay up to $14,000 a year for childcare per child.
I was a single dad for five years raising two kids, had a lot of help though.
I had a mom and dad, a brother and a sister that really helped.
But middle-class and working folks shouldn't have to pay more than 7 percent of their income to care for the young children.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) My plan -- my plan would cut the cost of childcare in half for most families.
And help parents, including millions of women who left the work force during the pandemic because they couldn't afford childcare to be able to get back to work, generating economic growth.
But my plan doesn't stop there, it also includes home and long-term care, more affordable housing, pre-K for three and four year olds -- all these will lower costs to families.
And under my plan nobody -- let me say this again, nobody earning less than $400,000 a year will pay an additional penny in new taxes, not a single penny.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) I may be wrong, but my guess is if we took a secret ballot on this floor, that we'd all agree that the present tax system ain't fair.
We have to fix it.
I'm not looking to punish anybody, but let's make corporations and wealthy Americans start paying their fair share.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Look, last year... (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Last year -- like Chris Coons and Tom Carper, and my distinguished Congresswoman, we come from the land of corporate America.
There are more corporations in corporate America than every other state in America combined, and I still won 36 years in a row.
The point is, even they understand they should pay just a fair share.
Last year 55 of the Fortune 500 companies earned $40 billion in profit and paid zero in federal taxes.
Now look, it's not fair.
That's why I proposed a 15 percent minimum tax rate for corporations.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) We've got -- and that's why in the G7 and other meetings overseas we're able to put together -- I was able to be somewhat helpful, 130 countries to agree on a global minimum tax rate so companies can't get out of paying their taxes at home by shipping jobs and factories overseas and raise billions of dollars.
And that's why I proposed closing loopholes for the very wealthy who don't pay -- who pay a lower tax rate than a teacher and firefighter.
So that's my plan, but we have to go into more detail later.
I'm going to grow -- we will grow the economy, lower the cost to families.
So what are we waiting for?
Let's get this done, we all know we've got to make changes.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Folks... (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) And while you're at it, confirm my nominees for the Federal Reserve, which plays a critical role in fighting inflation.
My plan will not only lower costs and give families a fair shot, it will lower the deficit.
The previous administration not only ballooned the deficit with those tax cuts for the very wealthy and corporations, it undermined the watchdogs, the job of those to keep pandemic relief funds being wasted.
Remember we had those debates about whether or not those watchdogs should be able to see every day how much money was being spent, where -- was it going to the right place?
Under my administration the watchdogs are back.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) And we're going to go after the criminals who stole billions of relief money meant for small business and millions of Americans.
And tonight I'm announcing that the Justice Department will soon name a chief prosecutor for pandemic fraud.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Look... (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) I think we all agree -- thank you.
By the end of this year the deficit will be down to less than half of what it was when I took office.
The only president ever to cut the deficit by more than $1 trillion in a single year.
Lowering your costs also meant demanding more competition.
I'm a Capitalist, but Capitalism without competition is not Capitalism.
Capitalism without competition is exploitation, it drives up profits.
When corporations have to compete, their profits go up and your prices go up when they don't have to compete.
Small businesses, and family farmers, and ranchers -- I need not tell some of my Republican friends from those states, guess what?
You've got four basic meat packing facilities, that's it.
You play with them or you don't get to play at all, and you pay a hell of a lot more -- a hell of a lot more because there's only four.
See what's happening with ocean carriers moving goods in and out of America.
During the pandemic, about half-a-dozen or less foreign owned companies raised prices by as much as 1,000 percent and made record profits.
Tonight, I'm announcing a crackdown on those companies overcharging American businesses and consumers.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Folks... (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) And as Wall Street firms take over more nursing homes, quality in those homes has gone down and costs have gone up.
That ends on my watch.
Medicare is going to set higher standards for nursing homes and make sure your loved ones get the care they deserve, and that they inspect, and they are looked at closely.
We're also going to cut costs to keep the economy going strong, and giving workers a fair shot.
Provide more training and apprenticeships, hire them based on skills, not just their degrees.
Let's pass the Paycheck Fairness Act and paid leave, raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and extend the Child Tax Credit so no one has to raise a family in poverty.
Let's increase Pell Grants, increase our stark support for HBCUs, and invest in what Jill our First Lady who teaches full-time calls America's best kept secret, community colleges.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Look, let's pass the PRO Act.
When a majority of workers want to form a union, they shouldn't be able to be stopped.
When we invest in our workers, and we build an economy from the bottom up and the middle out, together we can do something we haven't done in a long time -- build a better America.
For more than two years COVID has impacted every decision in our lives, and the life of this nation.
And I know you're tired, frustrated, and exhausted.
That doesn't even count the close to a million people who sit at a dining room table or a kitchen table, look at an empty chair because they lost somebody.
But I also know this.
Because of the progress we've made; because of your resilience and the tools that we have been provided by this Congress, tonight I can say we're moving forward safely back to more normal routines.
We've reached a new moment in the fight against COVID-19, where severe cases are down to a level not seen since July of last year.
Just a few days ago, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued new mask guidelines.
Under the new guidelines, most Americans and most of the country can now go mask-free.
And based on projections... (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) And based on projections, more of the country will reach a point across -- that point -- across the next couple of weeks.
And thanks to the progress we've made in the past year, COVID-19 no longer need control our lives.
I know some are talking about living with COVID-19.
But tonight, I say that we never will just accept living with COVID-19.
We'll continue to combat the virus, as we do other diseases.
And because this virus mutates and spreads, we have to stay on guard.
And here are four common-sense steps as we move forward safely, in my view.
First, stay protected with vaccines and treatments.
We know how incredibly effective vaccines are.
If you're vaccinated and boosted, you have the highest degree of protection.
And we'll never give up on vaccinating more Americans.
Now, I know parents with kids under 5 are eager to see their vaccines authorized for their children.
Scientists are working hard to get that done.
And we'll be ready with plenty of vaccines if and when they do.
We're all ready.
We are also ready with antiviral treatments.
If you get COVID-19, the Pfizer pill reduces your chances of ending up in the hospital by 90 percent.
I have ordered more pills than anyone in the world has.
Pfizer's working overtime to get us a million pills this month and more than double that next month.
And now we're launching the Test to Treat initiative, so people can get tested at a pharmacy, and if they prove positive, receive the antiviral pills on the spot at no cost.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Folks, if you're -- if you're immunocompromised or have some other vulnerability, we have treatments and free high-quality masks.
We're leaving no one behind or ignoring anyone's needs as we move forward.
On testing, we have made hundreds of millions of tests available, and you can order them for free to your doorstep.
And we've already ordered free tests -- if you already ordered free tests tonight, I'm announcing you can order another group of tests, COVID -- go to COVIDtest.gov starting next week and you can get more tests.
Second, we must prepare for new variants.
Over the past, we've gotten much better at detecting new variants.
If necessary, we'll be able to develop new vaccines within 100 days instead of, maybe, months or years.
And if Congress provides the funds we need, we'll have new stockpiles of tests, masks, pills, ready if needed.
I can't promise a new variant won't come, but I can promise you we'll do everything within our power to be ready if it does.
Third... (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) ... we can end the shutdown of schools and businesses.
We have the tools we need.
It's time for America to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again with people.
People working from home can feel safe and begin to return to their offices.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) We're doing that here in the federal government.
The vast majority of federal workers will once again work in person.
Our schools are open.
Let's keep it that way.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Our kids need to be in school.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) You know, 75 -- 75 percent of adult Americans fully vaccinated, and hospitalizations down by 77 percent, most Americans can remove their masks and stay in the classroom and move forward safely.
We achieved this because we provided free vaccines, treatments, tests and masks.
Of course, continuing this costs money.
So it will not surprise you I will be back to see you all.
(LAUGHTER) And I'm going to soon send a request to Congress.
The vast majority of Americans have used these tools and may want again -- we may need them again.
So I expect Congress, and I hope you'll pass that quickly.
Fourth, we'll continue vaccinating the world.
We've sent 475 million vaccine doses to 112 countries, more than any nation on earth.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) We won't stop.
Because you can't build a wall high enough to keep out a vaccine -- the vaccine can stop the spread of these diseases.
You know, we've lost so much in COVID-19, time with one another, and worst of all, much loss of life.
Let's use this moment to reset.
So stop looking at COVID as a partisan dividing line.
See it for what it is, a god-awful disease.
Let's stop sending -- seeing each other as enemies and start seeing each other for who we are, fellow Americans.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Look... (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) ... we... (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) We can't change how divided we've been.
It was a long time in coming.
But we can change how to move forward, on COVID-19 and other issues that we must face together.
I recently visited New York City Police Department days after the funerals of Officer Wilbert Mora and his partner, Officer Jason Rivera.
They were responding to a 911 call when a man shot and killed them with a stolen gun.
Officer Mora was 27 years old; Officer Rivera was 22 years old, both Dominican Americans who grew up on the same streets that they later chose to parole -- to patrol as police officers.
I spoke with their families.
And I told them that we were forever in debt for their sacrifices.
And we'll carry on their mission to restore the trust and safety that every community deserves.
Like some of you that have been around for a while, I have worked with you on these issues for a long time.
I know what works, investigating, crime prevention and community policing, cops who walk the beat, who know the neighborhood, and who can restore trust and safety.
Let's not abandon our streets or choose between safety and equal justice.
Let's come together and protect our communities, restore trust and hold law enforcement accountable.
That's why the Justice Department has required body cameras, banned choke holds and restricted no-knock warrants for its officers.
That's why the American Rescue Plan, that you all provided $350 billion, that cities, states and counties can use to hire more police, invest in more proven strategies... (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) ... proven strategies like -- proven strategies like community violence interruption, trusted messengers, breaking the cycle of violence and trauma and giving young people some hope.
We should all agree the answer is not to defund the police.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE): That's right!
JOE BIDEN: It's to fund the police.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Fund them.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Fund them.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Fund them with resources and training, resources and training they need to protect our communities.
I ask Democrats and Republicans alike to pass my budget and keep our neighborhoods safe.
And we'll do everything in my power to crack down on gun trafficking of ghost guns that you can buy online, assemble at home, no serial numbers, can't be traced.
I ask Congress to pass proven measures to reduce gun violence.
Pass universal background checks.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Why should anyone on the terrorist list be able to purchase a weapon?
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Why?
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Folks, ban assault weapons with high-capacity magazines that hold up to a hundred rounds.
You think the deer are wearing Kevlar vests?
(LAUGHTER) Look, repeal the liability shield that makes gun manufacturers the only industry in America that can't be sued.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) The only one.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Imagine had we done that with the tobacco manufacturers.
These laws don't infringe on the second amendment.
They save lives.
The most fundamental right in America is the right to vote and have it counted.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) And look, it's under assault.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) In state after state, new laws have been passed not only to suppress the vote -- we've been there before -- but to subvert the entire election.
You can't let this happen.
Tonight, I call on the Senate to pass -- pass the Freedom to Vote Act.
Pass the John Lewis Act -- Voting Rights Act.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) And while you're at it, pass the DISCLOSE Act so Americans know who is funding our elections.
Look, tonight I would like to honor someone who dedicated his life to serve this country: Justice Breyer, an Army veteran, constitutional scholar, retiring justice of the United States Supreme Court.
Justice Breyer, thank you for your service.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) I mean it.
Let them see you.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) And we all know, no whatever your ideology, we all one of the most important constitutional responsibility the 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.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) One of our nation's top legal minds who will continue in Justice Breyer's legacy of excellence.
A former top litigator in private practice, a former federal public defender, from a family of public school educators and police officers, she's a consensus builder.
Since she's been nominated, she's received a broad range of support, including the Fraternal Order of Police and former judges supported by Democrats and Republicans.
Folks, if we're to advance liberty and justice, we need to secure our border and fix the immigration system.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) As you might guess, I think we can do both.
At our border, we've installed new technology like cutting edge scanners to better detect drug smuggling.
We've set up joint patrols in Mexico and Guatemala to catch more human traffickers.
We're putting in place dedicated immigration judges and significant larger number so families fleeing persecution and violence can have their cases heard faster and those who don't legitimately hear it can be sent back.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) We're screening.
We're securing commitments and supporting partners in South and Central America, to host more refugees and secure their own borders.
We can do all of this while keeping lit the torch of liberty that's led the generation of immigrants to this land, my forbearers and many of yours.
Provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, those with temporary status, farm workers, essential workers.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Revise our laws so businesses have workers they need and families don't wait decades to reunite.
It's not only the right thing to do, it's economically smart thing to do.
That's why the immigration reform is supported by everyone from labor unions to religious leaders to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Let's get it done once and for all.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Folks -- advancing liberty and justice also requires protecting the rights of women.
The constitutional right affirmed by Roe v. Wade, standing precedent for half a century, is under attack as never before.
If you want to go forward, not backwards, we must protect access to health care, preserve a woman's right to choose, and continue to advance maternal health care for all Americans.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) And, folks, for our LGBTQ+ Americans, let's finally get the bipartisan Equality Act to my desk.
The onslaught of state laws targeting transgender Americans and their families is simply wrong.
And I said last year, especially to our younger transgender Americans, I will always have your back as your president so you can be yourself and reach your God-given potential.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Folks -- as I've just demonstrated, while it often appears we do not agree, and that we do agree on a lot more things than we acknowledge, I signed 80 bipartisan bills into law last year -- from preventing government shutdowns, to protecting Asian Americans, from still too common hate crimes, to reforming military justice, and we'll soon be strengthening the Violence Against Women Act that I first wrote three decades ago.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) It's important.
It's important for us to show - - to show the nation that we can come together and do big things.
Tonight, I'm offering a unity agenda for the nation.
Four big things we can do together in my view.
First, beat the opioid epidemic.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) There's so much we can do.
Increase funding for prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery.
Get rid of outdated rules and stop doctors and -- that stop doctors from prescribing treatments.
Stop the flow of illicit drugs by working with state and local law enforcement to go after the traffickers.
If you're suffering from addiction, you know - - you should know you're not alone.
I believe in recovery and I celebrate the 23 million - - 23 million Americans in recovery.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Second, let's take on mental health especially among our children whose lives and education have been turned upside down.
The American Rescue Plan gave schools money to hire teachers and help students make up for lost learning.
I urge every parent to make sure your school, your school does just that, have the money.
We can all play a part.
Sign up to be a tutor or a mentor.
Children are also struggling before the pandemic - - bullying, violence, trauma, and the harms of social media.
As Frances Haugen who is here tonight with us has shown, we must hold social media platforms accountable for the national experiment they are conducting on our children for profit.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Folks -- thank you.
Thank you for the courage you've showed.
It's time to strengthen privacy protections.
Ban targeted advertising to children.
Demand tech companies stop collecting personal data on our children.
And let's get all Americans the mental health services they need.
More people can turn for help and full parity between physical and mental health care if we treat it that way in our assurance.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Look -- the third piece of that agenda is support our veterans.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Veterans are the backbone and the spine of this country.
They're the best of us.
I've always believed that we have a sacred obligation to equip those we send to war and care for those and their family when they come home.
My administration providing assistance with job training and housing, and now helping lower income veterans to get V. A. care debt-free, and our troops in Iraq faced -- and Afghanistan have faced many dangers, one being stationed at bases breathing in toxic smoke from burn pits.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) Many of you have been there.
I've been in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan over 40 times.
These burn pits that incinerate waste, the waste of war, medical, and hazardous material, jet fuel, and so much more.
And they come home, many of the world's fittest and best trained warriors in the world, never the same - - headaches, numbness, dizziness, a cancer that would put them in a flag-draped coffin.
REP. LAUREN BOEBERT (R-CO): You put them in, 13 of them.
(BOOING) JOE BIDEN: One of those -- one of those soldiers was my son, Major Beau Biden.
I don't know for sure if the burn pit that he lived near that his hooch was near in Iraq and earlier than that in Kosovo is the cause of his brain cancer, the disease of so many other troops, but I am committed to find out everything we can, committed to military families like Danielle Robinson from Ohio, the widow of Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson.
He was born a soldier, Army National Guard, combat medic in Kosovo and Iraq, stationed near Baghdad just yards from burn pits the size of football fields.
Danielle is here with us tonight.
They loved going to Ohio state football games.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) And they love building LEGOs with their daughter, but cancer from prolonged exposure to burn pits ravaged Heath's lungs and body.
Danielle says Heath was a fighter to the very end.
He didn't know how to stop fighting, and neither did she.
Through her pain she found purpose to demand that we do better.
Tonight, Danielle, we are going to do better.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) The VA is pioneering new ways of linking toxin exposure disease, already helping more veterans get benefits.
And tonight, I'm announcing we're expanding eligibility to veterans suffering from nine respiratory cancers.
I'm also calling on Congress to pass a law to make sure veterans devastated by toxic exposure in Iraq and Afghanistan finally get the benefits and the comprehensive health care they deserve.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) And fourth, and last, let's end cancer as we know it.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) This is personal.
This is personal to me, and to Jill, and to Kamala, and so many of you.
So many of you have lost someone you love -- husband, wife, son, daughter, mom, dad.
Cancer's the number two cause of death in America, second only to heart disease.
Last month, I announced a plan to supercharge the Cancer Moonshot that President Obama asked me to lead six years ago.
Our goal is to cut cancer death rates by at least 50 percent over the next 25 years, and I think we can do better than that.
Turn cancers from death sentences into treatable diseases.
More support for patients and their families, to get there I call on Congress to fund what I call ARPA-H, Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, patterned after DARPA in the Defense Department.
Projects that led in DARPA to the Internet, GPS, and so much more that make our forces more safer and be able to wage war with more clarity.
ARPA will have a singular purpose, to drive breakthroughs in cancer, Alzheimer's, and diabetes and more.
A unity agenda for the nation.
We can do these things, it's within our power and I don't see a partisan edge to any one of those four things.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) My fellow Americans, tonight we've gathered in this sacred space, a citadel of democracy in this Capitol generation of generation of Americans have debated great questions amid great strife and have done great things.
We fought for freedom, expanded liberty, debated totalitarianism and terror.
We built the strongest, freest, and most prosperous nation the world has ever known.
Now is the hour.
Our moment of responsibility, our test of resolve and conscience of history itself -- it is in this moment that our character of this generation is formed.
Our purpose is found, our future is forged.
Well, I know this nation, we'll meet the test, protect freedom and liberty, expand fairness and opportunity.
And we will save democracy.
As hard as those times have been, I'm more optimistic about America today than I've been my whole life, because I see the future that's within our grasp, because I know there's simply nothing beyond our capacity.
We're the only nation on Earth that has always turned every crisis we've faced into an opportunity.
The only nation that can be defined by a single word, possibilities.
So, on this night, on our 245th year as a nation, I've come to report on the state of the nation, the state of the union, and my report is this -- the state of the union is strong because you, the American people, are strong.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) We are stronger today -- we are stronger today than we were a year ago, and we'll be stronger a year from now than we are today.
This is our moment to meet and overcome the challenges of our time, and we will as one people, one America, the United States of America!
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) God bless you all, and may God protect our troops!
Go get them him!
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) JUDY WOODRUFF: President Biden thanking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, shaking hands with her and with Vice President Kamala Harris, after a one-hour-and-two-minute State of the Union address, starting out on Ukraine, rallying Americans to support the Ukrainian people, who are right now struggling to survive against a Russian onslaught.
The president moving on, after 15, 20 minutes talking about Ukraine, moving on to talk about the challenges of his administration, domestic health care, voting rights, the strength of the country, and then, as you hear in the last few minutes, moments of the speech, coming back to democracy, and calling on the nation to come together, saying: "This is our moment of responsibility, our test of resolve, and conscience, of history itself."
He said: "It is in this moment that our character is formed, the character of this generation.
Our purpose is found.
Our future is forged."
The president making a point to appeal to unity at a time when the country is so clearly divided politically.
As we watch President Biden leave the House chamber, greeting House members, Senate members, Pramila Jayapal, who leads the Progressive Caucus in the House, greeting members of the Senate.
We saw Democrats cheering more than we did Republicans.
But there were times when we saw people across both sides of the House chamber cheering.
We have correspondents joining us as we watch President Biden leave.
We also have our analysts, Jonathan Capehart with The Washington Post, Peter Wehner, who writes for "The Atlantic" magazine.
Jonathan Capehart, I want to come to you.
I was struck that the president used Ukraine in the beginning to bring the country together and then, as he wrapped up the speech, again appealed to unity, appealed to Americans to work across our political divide.
JONATHAN CAPEHART: And the word that comes that connects those two, the beginning in the end, is democracy.
The focus on Ukraine was the focus on a people who had -- have a democratically elected government that is now under siege by a country run by a dictator.
The fact that the president spent the first 12 minutes -- so I have been -- I was keeping tabs -- the first 12 minutes of his speech talking about Ukraine, lauding the spirit and the courage of the Ukrainian people, while at the same time earning bipartisan standing ovations from Democrats and Republicans for the words he was saying, the support -- and the support he was giving to the Ukrainian people.
And then at the end of the speech -- throughout the campaign, Judy, the one time I always saw Joe Biden, candidate Joe Biden, and President Joe Biden get animated, passionate, fiery is when he is talking about the American people and American democracy and what we can -- what we can do and what we can achieve when we are united as a people.
And so, when you look at -- when you look at these two bookends of the speech, what you -- what we heard is a president who is committed in his bones to democracy at home and abroad.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And that theme of unity, as we have just been talking about, ran through the speech in many ways.
I just want to say, we're watching President Biden linger, I think, perhaps longer than other presidents have leaving the chamber.
This is someone who spent 36 years in the United States Senate.
He paid tribute to Justice Stephen Breyer, who you can see standing there, to speak with him before he leaves the chamber.
This is someone who is familiar with the -- with this body, with the Senate, with the House, served -- having served in the Senate.
But these -- you see the -- I think you see the warmth of the friendship between the president and Justice Breyer, who himself worked in the United States Senate.
He was a legal adviser to the late Senator Edward Kennedy.
But I want to bring in Peter Wehner quickly and ask you about what the president had to say, Pete Wehner, about a unity -- what he called a unity agenda.
He said: I think we can work together on cancer.
We can work together, he said, on veterans, on mental health, on defeating the opioid epidemic.
Is that realistic?
PETER WEHNER: I think it is realistic.
I think -- I would say a couple things about the speech.
I thought the emotional high point was at the beginning, when he talked about Ukraine.
And I think he tapped into something, which we have all seen, which is that this moment we have seen from the Ukrainian people and President Zelensky is that honor and courage still stir the human heart.
And we have seen that in Ukraine, but we have seen it in this country too.
And I think he read that moment correctly.
Where I would fault the speech is, I think, after that, it really lost altitude.
And I think, to me, it was the problem with Joe Biden, one of the problems with Joe Biden, which is he has a legislator's mind-set.
This was just a litany of things.
And Jonathan may be right.
The beginning -- the bookends of the speech may have been good, but I'm not sure how many people hung around and were focused at the end.
The other thing I'd say is, if I weren't a Democrat, I would be somewhat concerned, because this, as we discussed at the beginning, could have been a course correction for his presidency, because this is a wounded presidency.
And I don't think that that was it.
This was not a kind of Bill Clinton, the era of big government has ended.
This was more Joe Biden saying, we have achieved a lot, and I should get better credit than I have.
So, the good things that were in the speech, the bipartisan parts, even the moving parts with Beau Biden, I think, just got buried under a whole litany of things that really had no prioritization.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Lisa Desjardins, you were there.
You're there in the chamber, able to watch not only the president, but the reaction.
What did you see?
LISA DESJARDINS: Well, first of all, I have to say, Democrats did a good job of trying to push back the notion of an enthusiasm gap.
Their cheering was something that was almost deafening at times, and it felt authentic.
However, you could see -- I don't know if it was the 12 minutes in the Jonathan just mentioned or somewhere around there, Republicans stopped clapping even for notions that I know they support, things like buying American products.
At some point, they weren't even clapping for those ideas, which were shows of a president trying to evoke bipartisan compromise.
That changed again at the end once you heard about veterans, you heard about several other ideas.
Then Republicans again got on their feet.
There were a few moments of clear tension.
In the center of the room were two of the most controversial Republican members.
I think viewers saw them, Representative Lauren Boebert of California, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.
At one point, when the president was talking about America's wounded and dead warriors and talked about cancer that could put them in a flag-draped coffin, Representative Boebert shouted out, and she said, "You put them there, 13 of them," even as the president was about to speak about his own son, who, of course, served his country in the military and also died of cancer.
And that was a moment you could see other Republicans looking at her and sort of casting her a look of saying: You went too far.
I don't know that she felt that way.
But it was one of the few moments of real rancor that we had in this speech, which is significant, because, last year, I have to say, entering this chamber not that long after January 6, and remember, a year ago, the speech a year ago, we had just finished up an impeachment trial.
So that was a moment where there were bitter, bitter feelings in this chamber.
I didn't sense that tonight, except in just those couple of instances.
One other thing.
There were Republicans meeting - - waiting to try and speak to the president.
But I think he spent so much time on the Democratic side, I'm not sure many of them made it over there.
JUDY WOODRUFF: That's interesting, Lisa Desjardins, in the House chamber and able to have a view of what is going on that we don't have.
We are depending on the television camera, what we call the feed that we get.
And we are dependent on those as our eyes into the chamber.
And, Lisa, thank you for clarifying.
It was hard for me at least to hear what was said.
I could hear at one point before the president spoke about cancer, about his son's death, that someone shouted something in the chamber.
But I couldn't hear what it was.
So, thank you for clarifying -- for clarifying that.
As we watch the president leave, I want to bring in our Geoff Bennett, who's at the White House tonight, and who knows some of what went into this speech.
Geoff, listening to what Pete Wehner said about this really was not a redirection for the president, that he seemed to go back and repeat many of the priorities that we heard about in year one, was there a debate at the White House about how much of that to put in the speech?
GEOFF BENNETT: There was.
And I can tell you, Judy, that, based on my reporting, given the moment in which we are in, world events, the pandemic, inflation at 40-year -- a 40-year high, the president with record low, for him, anyway, approval ratings, you could argue that the president delivered this speech at such a fraught moment.
I mean, not since 2003, when George W. Bush used his State of the Union address to make the case for war in Iraq, or fast forward a few years later to 2010, when President Barack Obama was delivering his State of the Union address at a time of a global recession, never since then has a president found himself in the kind of moment in which President Biden finds himself tonight.
And so the thinking was that it was important, at least in framing his domestic agenda, was to sort of reframe this idea and not focus so much on the crisis, but find ways to turn the crisis into an opportunity.
In fact, the president used that very phrase.
And so what I thought was really interesting was that he went back and he talked about the American Rescue Plan.
And the reason why he did that -- he talked about the child tax credit, the stimulus checks that went out to Americans who qualified, the money in there that allows schools to open safely.
One of the reasons why he did that was because there were so many centrist Democrats who voted for that bill who felt like the White House didn't focus enough on that at the time, and that the American people, by and large - - and this has shown up in opinion polls - - didn't have a good sense of what was included in that and didn't know what the president and what Democrats did.
And so, as a result of that, they weren't giving the president credit for it.
Fast-forward to the Build Back Better Act.
Tonight, you heard the president talk about caps on insulin prescription medication.
He talked about making child care more affordable, making elder care more affordable.
All of those things are included in his Build Back Better legislation.
But the president never once tonight used that name.
The White House believes, they say, it's because the specific policies are more important than what that legislation is called or how it is packaged.
We will have to see whether or not Senator Joe Manchin will be more inclined to vote for one-off bills, as opposed to an overall package, because he, of course, has been the major obstacle in getting that package across the finish line.
And then, beyond that, the president also, I thought, tried to capture some political, some rhetorical ground from Republicans.
He talked about the importance of securing the border, the importance of funding the police.
And, as Lisa mentioned, he spent a good portion of the speech talking about making more products here in America as a way of raising wages and countering inflation.
So, yes, there was an internal debate about how to frame the domestic agenda, and it might have sounded like a laundry list.
But it's in large part because the White House believes they have so much work to do in educating the American people about what their plans are, and how they would be beneficial to everyday Americans.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Really, really interesting, and so interesting that, as Lisa said, even when the president was talking about things that one might think Republicans might be interested in having conversations with the White House about, whether it was more jobs, more manufacturing jobs in America, the conversation, as you just said, about immigration, it's not clear that Republicans were showing their support.
And, as you mentioned, on funding the police, the president made a point to say it three times, don't defund the police, fund the police, and he said it three times in a row.
We're still watching President Biden talking with members of Congress as he leaves the chamber.
They seem to be Democrats, to my eye, who are still there trying to have a have a word with him.
Our Amna Nawaz is there in the Capitol Complex.
She's in the Cannon House Building.
Amna, you were saying earlier that you had been talking to Ukrainians who were going to be staying up late tonight to listen to what the president had to say about Ukraine.
What do you think they heard that would either lift their spirits or not tonight?
AMNA NAWAZ: Well, I will tell you, Judy, right off the bat, the thing that most heartened them, that really impressed them, surprised them was that the president open what is largely a domestic messaging opportunity with Ukraine, speaking directly to the Ukrainian people, hailing them for working so hard to fight and defend their democracy and their freedom.
I got a number of messages of people noticing just how many lawmakers for wearing yellow and blue and waving the Ukrainian flags.
A few lines that stood out to a few people they sent to me here: "Putin can send tanks into Ukraine, but can never conquer the hearts of Ukrainians."
These are the kinds of things that they said really resonated with them.
And that for the many who probably did not stay up until 4:00 a.m. there to watch this speech, they say that will probably be very emotional for many Ukrainians when they wake up in a few hours and begin to hear this.
But I will also mention, one of the challenges we saw from the president going into this speech was, with all this confluence of issues and major crises, foreign and domestic, how he was going to thread the needle and message in one coherent speech, and I actually found a number of opportunities where it seemed like the president was quite deft at doing that.
He was really linking some of the challenges abroad with the challenges here and showing how America's place in this world is changing and how the two depend on each other.
And he talked about defending Ukrainians as defending freedom, and even though the impacts would be felt here at home, why it's necessary for the larger case and strength of democracy in the world, returning to this familiar theme we have heard him talk about before, right, about, in a time of rising autocracies, as he mentioned, the battle between democracies and autocracies, democracies are rising to the moment.
That's a theme we have heard from him before, going back to the January 6 anniversary speech and to his inauguration speech.
But he also talked about domestic investments here in the U.S. and infrastructure, and how those will allow America and American companies and the American economy to compete on the global stage, specifically with China.
So, there was quite a bit of linking going on there between some of these issues that some people thought might be quite difficult to connect in one speech.
The last thing I will mention is the time spent, because, obviously, that is sort of a messaging, in and of itself, in how many minutes the president speaks on each of these issues.
He did open with Ukraine and foreign policy, spent about 10 minutes on that, and then, as we saw, moved into the pandemic and largely the economy and inflation and infrastructure and domestic investments.
And that was the bulk of his speech.
And that is, of course, in response to the fact that is chief on most Americans' minds.
That is a top concern for his primary audience, which is the American public.
The last thing I will mention, though, Judy, is that one message I got from one Ukrainian who was watching as the speech unfolded was not surprised the president went on to spend as much time on COVID and the pandemic and the economy.
And she said this, which was: It's strange to think that up, until February 24, even the top things on our minds here in Ukraine were the pandemic and the economy, and how much the world has completely changed in just the space of one week -- Judy.
JUDY WOODRUFF: No question.
And that is, again, a reminder, Amna, of how much a State of the Union address is tied to the moment.
If this speech had been given - - in fact, normally, State of the Union addresses come earlier in the year.
This was moved later for a number of reasons, COVID having something to do with it.
If it had come several weeks ago, it would have been before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
That wouldn't have been the theme, we presume, that it became tonight.
There would have been different words about COVID.
Today, the United States observed 950,000 Americans have died from COVID, more than any other nation on the planet.
And that wouldn't have been -- surely, the president would have spoken about COVID.
But, tonight, he was able to talk about it.
But he was also -- he was able to say, we have lost so many in our midst, but we are moving beyond it.
And we need to continue to be vigilant.
And he talked about vaccinations and treatments and helping the rest -- the rest of the world.
But this was a speech that had to reflect, had to reflect the moment.
I want to come back to you, Jonathan Capehart.
And I also want to tell our audience that, in just a few moments, we will be bringing you the Republican response.
It's going to be delivered by the governor of Iowa, Kim Reynolds.
And we will take that just as soon as it as it -- as it gets under way.
But, in the meantime, Jonathan, I want to come back to you, because we spoke a moment ago about the president tying democracy together at the beginning and the end of the speech.
And, of course, we're all wanting to jump ahead.
What are people going to most remember about this speech?
Is it going to be the -- rallying the American people behind the Ukrainians, or is it going to be the list of priorities that the president said, the American people he hopes, will find important, and that he hopes the two political parties will come together to work on?
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Well, I'm looking at it this way, Judy.
The Ukraine portion of the speech and the end of the speech were emotional.
They got you here.
We're all focused on what's happening in Ukraine.
But, also, as it's being explained to the Ukrainian people, but to the world, by their president, by President Zelensky.
And he has captured -- he's captured the American people's imagination, a leader standing up for his country, not running away, but leading them through an invasion, through a war.
And I think people will remember that because of the emotional resonance.
But I also think - - and this is where I disagree with what Pete said earlier -- you might not like the laundry list of things that the president talked about he was he was doing -- and I don't think he was looking too much for credit.
There's knowledge out there that the American people want to know and needed to know that the president understood the bite that inflation is taking out of these wage increases that they have been seeing, the bite that those high gas prices have been taking out of their paychecks, and wanted to know.
One, he recognizes it, but, two, want to know, well, what you going to do about it?
And that's where I think, once the -- once the emotion of the Ukraine portion of the speech wears off, folks will then think, well, what did he say about the economy?
What did he say about COVID?
What did he say about any number of things that might be individual -- individually important to various folks in the American public, whether it's the folks who are worried about crime, whether it's transgender Americans or their parents who are living in Texas and worried about the state government investigating them?
So I think the president did what he needed to do for the various audiences he was talking to in the United States and around the world.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And then the question remains, how much will his appeal to unity be reminded, and how -- what will the response be to that?
So, we are now just seconds away from the governor of the state of Ohio, Kim Reynolds.
And let's go to that as soon as -- as soon as we get the picture.
KIM REYNOLDS (R-IA): Good evening.
I'm Kim Reynolds, governor of the great state of Iowa.
Like you, I just watched the president's address.
I listened as the governor of our state, as a mom, and a grandmother of 11 whose worried our country is on the wrong track.
We're now one year into him presidency and instead of moving America forward, it feels like President Biden and his party have sent us back in time to the late '70s and early '80s, when runaway inflation was hammering families, a violent crime wave was crashing our cities, and the Soviet Army was trying to redraw the world map.
Even before taking the oath of office, the president told us that he wanted to -- quote - - "make America respected around the world again, and to unite us here at home."
He's failed on both fronts.
The disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal did more than cost American lives, it betrayed our allies and emboldened our enemies.
North Korea is testing missiles again at an alarming rate.
The speaker of the House recently warned our Olympic athletes not to speak out against China.
And now Russia has launched an unprovoked, full-scale military invasion of Ukraine, an attack on democracy, freedom, and the rule of law.
Now all Americans must stand united in solidarity with the brave people of Ukraine as they courageously defend their country against Putin's tyranny as they fight for their freedom.
But we shouldn't ignore what happened in the run-up to Putin's invasion, waiving sanctions on Russian pipelines, while eliminating oil production here at home, focusing on political correctness, rather than military readiness, reacting to world events instead of driving them.
Weakness on the world stage has a cost, and the president's approach to foreign policy has consistently been too little, too late.
It's time for America to once again project confidence.
It's time to be decisive.
It's time to lead.
But we can't project strength abroad if we're weak at home, and that's what I want to discuss with you tonight.
The president and Democrats in Congress have spent the last year either ignoring the issues facing Americans or making them worse.
They were warned that spending trillions would lead to soaring inflation.
They were told that their anti-energy policies would send gas prices to new heights, but they plowed ahead anyway, raising the price at the pump by 50 percent and pushing inflation to a 40-year high.
Four decades ago, when our nation was last reeling from inflation I was a young working mom just starting out.
My husband, Kevin, worked days while I watched our girls, and then we would literally switch.
We would pass in the yard as he was coming home and I was leaving to work evenings at the local grocery store.
From across that checkout counter, I saw the pain of inflation on my neighbors' faces.
I saw what happens when prices rise faster than wages.
The Biden administration believes inflation is a -- quote -- "high-class problem."
I can tell you, it's an everybody problem.
I saw moms and dads' paychecks buy them less and less.
I watched working people choose which essentials to take home and which ones to leave behind.
And now President Biden's decisions have a whole new generation feeling that same pain.
When I took the oath of office five years ago, I promised Iowans that I would never lose sight of who I was working for, that I wouldn't become detached from the problems they were facing, from the problems that I had faced myself.
But you don't have to check groceries to see what high inflation does to people.
You just need to step outside the D.C. bubble, talk to Americans about what's on their mind, ask them, what are your concerns, what keeps you up at night, and they'll tell you.
And I can tell you what's not on that list.
They won't tell you that spending trillions more and bankrupting their children is the answer to their problems.
They won't tell you that we should be paying people not to work, and they certainly won't tell you that we should give billions in tax giveaways to millionaires and billionaires in Democrat-controlled states like California, New York, and New Jersey.
But that's what the Biden administration has been pushing for over the last year, and that's all part of Build Back Better.
Thankfully, the president's agenda didn't pass, because even members of his own party said enough is enough.
Well, the American people share that view.
Enough is enough.
And it's not just what D.C. spending.
Americans are tired of a political class trying to remake this country into a place where an elite few tell everyone else what they can and cannot say, what they can and cannot believe.
They're tired of people pretending the way to end racism is by categorizing everybody by their race.
They're tired of politicians who tell parents they should sit down, be silent, and let government control their kids' education and future.
Frankly, they are tired of the theater, where politicians do one thing when the cameras are rolling and another when they believe you can't see them, where governors and mayors enforce mandates, but don't follow them, where elected leaders tell their citizens to stay home while they sneak off to Florida for sun and fun, where they demand that your child wear a mask, but they go maskless.
So you've heard the excuses.
They were just holding their breath, but it's the American people who are waiting to exhale, waiting for the insanity to stop.
We now live in a country where violent crime is out of control.
Liberal prosecutors are letting criminals off easy, and many prominent Democrats still want to defund the police.
You know, it seems like everything is backwards.
The Biden administration requires vaccines for Americans who want to go to work or protect this country, but not for migrants who illegally cross the border.
The Department of Justice treats parents like domestic terrorists, but looters and shoplifters roam free.
The American people are left to feel like they're the enemy.
This is not the same country it was a year ago.
The president tried to paint a different picture tonight, but his actions over the last 12 months don't match the rhetoric.
It's not what he promised when he took office, but it doesn't have to be that way.
There is an alternative.
Across the nation, Republican governors and legislators are showing Americans what conservative leadership looks like, what it means to respect the people we serve, to hear them out, to stand up for them and walk along side them.
We know that our problems require bold action.
But we also know that bold action doesn't have to mean government action.
It's Americans making their own decisions for their own families and future.
Republican governors faced the same COVID-19 virus head on, but we honored your freedoms and saw right away that lockdowns and school closures, they came with their own significant costs, that mandates weren't the answer.
And we actually listened to the science, especially with kids in masks and kids in schools.
What happened and is still happening to our children over the last two years is unconscionable, learning loss, isolation, anxiety, depression.
In so many states, our kids have been left behind and so many will never catch up.
That's why Iowa was the first state in the nation to require that schools open their doors.
I was attacked by the left.
I was attacked by the media.
But it wasn't a hard choice.
It was the right choice.
And keeping schools open is only the start of the pro-parent, pro-family revolution that Republicans are leading in Iowa and states across this country.
Republicans believe that parents matter.
It was true before the pandemic, and it has never been more important to say out loud, parents matter.
They have a right to know and to have a say in what their kids are being taught.
Families also have every right to live in a safe and a secure community.
And that begins with a safe and secure country.
But the Biden administration has refused to secure our border.
They've refused to provide the resources to stop human trafficking, to stop the staggering influx of deadly drugs coming into our neighborhoods.
They've refused to protect you.
With Texas and Arizona leading the way, I, along with Republican governors from several states, have sent resources to the border.
And we've actually gone to the border, something that our president and vice president have yet to do since taking office.
On the economy, the contract couldn't be more stark.
While Democrats in D.C. are spending trillions, sending inflation soaring, Republican leaders around the country are balancing budgets and cutting taxes, because we know that money spent on Main Street is better than money spent on bureaucracy.
Today, I signed legislation that eliminates Iowa's tax on retirement income and sets our tax rate at 3.9 percent.
That's less than half of what it was just four years ago.
And it shouldn't come as a surprise that, out of the top 20 states with the lowest unemployment rates, 17 have Republican governors.
Republicans may not have the White House, but we're doing what we can to fill the leadership vacuum.
And on the issues that are affecting Americans, Republicans are leading.
We're standing up for parents and kids.
We're standing up for life.
We're keeping our communities safe and thanking those in uniform.
We're fighting to restore America's energy independence and that includes biofuels.
We're getting people back to work, not paying them to stay home.
Most of all, we're respecting your freedom.
Behind me stands Iowa's Capitol, where we display our state motto, "Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain."
And those aren't just empty words.
It's a belief that the greatness of this state and this country lies in our people, not government.
You shouldn't have to wake up every morning and worry about the next thing the government is going to do to you, your business or your children.
If we, as elected leaders, are doing our job, then the government is working well, but operating in the background.
It's supporting the ingenuity and spirit of our people, not drowning them out.
It's keeping them safe, not restricting their freedom.
That's what I believe.
That's what Republicans believe.
And that's what Republicans are doing.
I am so blessed to be the governor of Iowa, where people are humble, hardworking, and patriotic.
We take care of each other.
And, yes, we are, as they say, Iowa nice.
But you don't have to be from Iowa to see that those are the values of America at its best, all of America.
Over the last few years, I have put my faith in Iowans, and they haven't let me down.
I encourage this president to do the same, to put his faith in you, the American people, who have never wavered in your belief in this country, regardless of who leads it, because you know, you've shown that the soul of America isn't about who lives in the White House.
It's men and women like you in every corner of this nation, who are willing to step up and take responsibility for your communities, for your neighbors, and ultimately for yourselves.
By that most important measure, at least, the state of our union is indeed strong.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.
JUDY WOODRUFF: We have been listening to Kim Reynolds.
She's the governor, Republican governor of the state of Iowa, elected in 2018.
She tonight delivered the Republican response to President Biden's State of the Union address.
For a little more Republican reaction, I'm joined now by Congressman Kevin Brady of Texas.
He is the ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee.
He is going to be retiring from Congress after this term.
Congressman, thank you very much for joining us.
We just heard from Governor Reynolds.
It sounds like she didn't like much of what she heard tonight.
What about you?
Did you hear anything that you liked, or -- tell us your reaction.
REP. KEVIN BRADY (R-TX): Yes.
Good to see you.
Thanks for having me on.
So, start with right off the bat, I think there's such strong bipartisan support for Ukraine.
Certainly, the bravery -- bravery of that country and their president, I think, finally got American and the West off their duff.
And, obviously, sanctions won't stop those bullets or those missiles.
But lethal aid will.
And I'm really pleased, finally, the West is starting provide Ukraine there, so I think common ground and bipartisan support, no doubt.
I was just thinking about, if you're an American family worried about inflation that is crushing you, you couldn't have been -- feel very good about tonight.
If you're a Main Street business just struggling to find workers, you heard nothing that will help you.
And, of course, when it comes to the economy, I just think the president's disconnected from reality here.
I know he believes the economy's doing great, has a lot to brag about, but I'll tell you, half Americans right now, latest poll just a few days ago, believe the economy is either in a recession or a depression.
And two-thirds believe that prices are going to be higher than their paycheck for the next three to five years.
So I think the president's economic message fell flat.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So when he spoke about creating more jobs in America, he recognized the CEO of Intel that's building a company, I guess, in Ohio, when he spoke about things like funding the police, you're saying those -- what, that those are not messages that resonate with Republican?
REP. KEVIN BRADY: Well, I think, from the standpoint of Intel, I think they have made it clear that they will build that only if taxpayers subsidize it, to the tune of tens of billions of dollars.
The truth of matter is, these are very successful businesses that don't need taxpayer subsidies to compete and win, in my view.
There's no question that Republicans support funding the police, but we know the new message from the president's really just poll-tested.
American public have turned their backs on Democrats.
Crime is surging across America, as it is from the open borders.
And so I don't think you can just switch on a dime and hope the American people believe that.
they just don't.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And just very quickly, Congressman, when the president says -- talks about a unity agenda, let's work together on things like fighting cancer, opioid addiction, mental illness, are any of those areas you see bipartisan cooperation?
REP. KEVIN BRADY: I do.
The question is, is he serious about it?
We heard the same things at his inauguration a year ago.
And it's been the most partisan year in all my 26 years in Congress.
I'm hoping - - I was hoping he would course-correct.
But I worry those are just empty words.
If he's serious, I'm telling you, Republicans are eager to find common ground, but, so far, at least in the House, that just doesn't exist.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Congressman Kevin Brady, ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, thank you so much for joining us.
REP. KEVIN BRADY: Thanks, Judy.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, as I thank the congressman, I want to turn quickly to our Lisa Desjardins, who was in the chamber during this speech - - Lisa.
LISA DESJARDINS: That's right.
I'm texting and talking with members of Congress who were watching the speech.
No surprise, there is a partisan divide in reaction, but an unusual one, Judy.
I have never seen this kind of reaction, where several offices are telling me that they are in the process of or have already rewritten their planned statements after this speech.
I'm hearing from Democrats they are rewriting statements, because they are more pumped up by this speech than they expected to be, moderates progressives.
There's a moderate member of Congress telling me that this was the speech they wanted to hear last year, pragmatic, specific, not just buzzwords, something that you can sink your teeth into.
On the other hand, some Republican offices, one that I wouldn't classify as a bomb thrower, someone who is also pragmatic, telling me they just completely scrapped their statement because they were disappointed.
They felt this speech was too partisan and did not achieve as much.
So, some very different reactions.
One other note.
On the way to this location, I passed about two dozen members of the National Guard.
As opposed to a year earlier, where I was standing in that same spot watching rioters break into the Capitol, tonight, they were packing up, simply going home.
No problems tonight.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Very good.
It's good to have a bit of good news amidst everything else we're watching.
Lisa Desjardins down at the Capitol.
And, just quickly now, we want to get some more Democratic reaction to the president's speech.
I'm joined by Congresswoman Debbie Dingell of Michigan.
Congresswoman, we have just heard Governor Reynolds of Iowa.
We have heard Kevin Brady saying what we heard from the president tonight was more of the same, it was not a course correction.
And they're not sure they take his offers of bipartisanship of unity seriously.
REP. DEBBIE DINGELL (D-MI): Judy, it's good to see you tonight.
I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with my colleague.
I think there is no president that's been more serious about working together in a bipartisan manner than Joe Biden.
He opened it with -- and you felt it on the floor -- the -- both sides very strongly supporting Ukrainians and the president on what we're doing in Ukraine.
And he closed his speech with a unity agenda that all of us should be able to agree on.
And I think he tried to remind us all that we're Americans first.
I'm tired of all of these labels.
He acknowledged that inflation was real, that Americans are worried about it, that we had to work together to address those issues.
Is it really bad to think every corporation should have to pay some amount of money?
The amount of money that corporations made and paid zero taxes on is simply not OK.
So, I think -- I think people were enthusiastic when I left the floor.
I agree with the person who observed this was a stronger speech than some even expected.
I think he appealed to the American people.
And I guess, if I have one message following up on this, let's all of us make America better, and let's remember that we're Americans first, period.
I think that was part of his real message tonight.
Let's work together as Americans.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Do you see, Congresswoman Dingell, coming out of this tangible opportunities for the two parties to get together in a way, on any issue, on a way that they have not been able to do before now?
REP. DEBBIE DINGELL: Well, I'm certainly going to be one of those members that's going to work very hard to try to make that happen.
I think we should be able to on the subject of opioid drugs and mental health and veterans.
We should be able to get burn pits done in the next few weeks.
We need to get the chip bill done.
We need to bring manufacturing back to this country.
You think that I, Debbie Dingell from Michigan, wasn't happy to hear what he was talking about, manufacturing, bringing the supply chain home, cars, building them here, making it in America?
All of us should be able to agree on that.
I hope we're going to get the chips bill -- or I call it the chips bill -- done in the next few weeks.
But there are a lot of other things that I am committed to working with the president, the Cabinet and my colleagues on the other side of the aisle together for this country.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, just quickly, I was saying with Congressman Brady was -- I asked him that very question.
And he said, but these things are going to require subsidy, more payments from the American people.
REP. DEBBIE DINGELL: The fact of the matter is, is, we're going to -- if corporations pay their fair share, we're going to get extra income right there.
If everybody's working and making a different - - a decent wage, there are going to be taxes there.
Build Back Better, which you did not hear those words tonight, paid for itself.
We do not need to add to the deficit, but we need to do things in a smart way.
And I think, if we have a thriving economy, that will happen.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Congresswoman Debbie Dingell of Michigan, thank you so much.
Very good to see you.
REP. DEBBIE DINGELL: Thanks, Judy.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And now let's go back to our Geoff Bennett at the White House -- Geoff.
GEOFF BENNETT: Hey, Judy.
Well, I can tell you now the White House is focused on the work that remains.
Tomorrow, President Biden will head to Superior, Wisconsin, to talk about his infrastructure plan.
Wisconsin, as you know, is a state that he won by 1 percentage point in the 2020 election.
And, back here in D.C., the Supreme Court confirmation process for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson kicks off in earnest.
She will have the first of what are known as those courtesy calls with senators, those 30-to-45-minute get-to-know-you sessions.
And that will start tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. Eastern with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
And Democrats have the hope of confirming her by early April, by the time they leave for their Easter break.
I have talked to White House officials who say that they know President Biden won't be judged by the State of the Union address, but that he will be judged by the results come November midterm elections.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Geoff reminding us that there is a tomorrow after the State of the Union address.
Geoff, thank you so much for your excellent coverage tonight, and to all of our correspondents and all of our guests and our analysts.
And that does conclude our special live coverage of the president's State of the Union address and the Republican response.
We do want to thank our guests.
We want to thank everyone who joined us.
We thank you for watching.
I'm Judy Woodruff.
And you can find more analysis of the president's speech online.
Please join us again right here on PBS tomorrow night.
For all of us here at the "PBS NewsHour," thank you, and we'll see you soon.