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Delaware's Congressional delegation praises Biden’s State of the Union Address

Roman Battaglia
Delaware Public Media

Sen. Tom Carper, Sen Chris Coons and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester all applauded President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Carper had many positive things to say about the over hour-long speech, specifically Biden’s emphasis on unity.

With Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine, Biden took the opportunity to call for global unity, especially amongst NATO allies. But, as Carper pointed out, he also made efforts to bring lawmakers in Congress together with a “unity agenda.”

“I think we’re stronger, much stronger, united than being divided," Carper told Delaware Public Media. "I thought tonight, one of the things I liked most about the president's message was the call for unity. And I was pleased to see how many Republicans rose and applauded for any number of times during the speech. Not all of them, but a lot.”

Biden’s “unity agenda,” something Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester also praised, included pursuing legislation to fight the opioid crisis, address mental health, assist veterans and battling cancer.

Carper, who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, also agrees with Biden that the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed last year sets up an infrastructure decade - one that could address climate change and boost the US economy.

“I like to say we can walk and chew gum at the same time. We can fight this climate crisis and create a strong economy,” said Carper. “And the president alluded to any number of ways we can do that, I could not agree more.”

Carper also applauded Biden’s work navigating the COVID pandemic and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression created by that healthcare crisis.

Blunt Rochester also complimented Biden for his Administration's work during the COVID pandemic, but like Biden noted the resiliency of the American people is equally as important to acknowledge during this time.

“I was also pleased to see President Biden lay out his vision and plans as we move into the endemic phase of our battle against COVID and look to safely resume our normal routines,” said Blunt Rochester in a statement. “Thanks to the resolve and resiliency of the American people, we’ve made incredible progress in our battle against the virus, and we will continue to use every tool at our disposal moving forward.”

Sen. Coons praised Biden’s focus on issues facing working Americans and their families by lowering the costs they face.

“The address we heard is a call to help create a nation where working Americans are finally front and center, where we build on the economic progress of the past year and create an economy that grows from the bottom up and the middle out,” said Coons in a statement. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to making that America our reality. Thanks to President Biden, I’m confident our best days are yet to come.”

While some may see Biden’s overall focus on positive change over the last year as unrealistic, Carper argued Biden’s positive tone - focusing primarily on growth- was a tactic in and of itself that would help rally the American people during a time of uncertainty.

Quinn Kirkpatrick was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware and graduated of the University of Delaware. She joined Delaware Public Media in June 2021