WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday hailed the recovery of the U.S. economy and creation of a record 12 million jobs in his State of the Union address, while urging Republicans to stop "fighting for the sake of fighting."
Biden's first address to a joint session of Congress since Republicans took control of the House of Representatives followed themes he has repeatedly highlighted since taking office. Here are excerpts from the speech as written:
AMERICA, THE GREAT
"The story of America is a story of progress and resilience…We are the only country that has emerged from every crisis stronger than when we entered it. That is what we are doing again."
"Today, COVID no longer controls our lives. And two years ago, our democracy faced its greatest threat since the Civil War. Today, though bruised, our democracy remains unbowed and unbroken."
THE US ECONOMY
"Two years ago our economy was reeling. As I stand here tonight, we have created a record 12 million new jobs – more jobs created in two years than any president has ever created in four years. Two years ago, COVID had shut down our businesses, closed our schools, and robbed us of so much."
"My economic plan is about investing in places and people that have been forgotten. Amid the economic upheaval of the past four decades, too many people have been left behind or treated like they’re invisible."
"That’s why we’re building an economy where no one is left behind. Jobs are coming back, pride is coming back because of the choices we made in the last two years. This is a blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America and make a real difference in your lives."
MY REPUBLICAN FRIENDS
"To my Republican friends, if we could work together in the last Congress, there is no reason we can’t work together in this new Congress. The people sent us a clear message. Fighting for the sake of fighting, power for the sake of power, conflict for the sake of conflict, gets us nowhere."
"And that’s always been my vision for the country: to restore the soul of the nation, to rebuild the backbone of America: the middle class, to unite the country. We’ve been sent here to finish the job!"
"Already, we’ve funded over 20,000 projects, including at major airports from Boston to Atlanta to Portland...I sincerely thank my Republican friends who voted for the law.
And to my Republican friends who voted against it but still ask to fund projects in their districts, don’t worry. I promised to be the president for all Americans."
"Every day, millions need insulin to control their diabetes so they can stay alive. Insulin has been around for 100 years. It costs drug companies just $10 a vial to make. But, Big Pharma has been unfairly charging people hundreds of dollars – and making record profits. Not anymore...Let’s cap the cost of insulin at $35 a month for every American who needs it."
"Big corporations aren’t just taking advantage of the tax code. They’re taking advantage of you, the American consumer."
"We all want the same thing. Neighborhoods free of violence.
Law enforcement who earn the community’s trust. Our children to come home safely."
"Equal protection under the law; that’s the covenant we have with each other in America...I know most cops are good, decent people. They risk their lives every time they put on that shield. But what happened to Tyre in Memphis happens too often.
We have to do better."
SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE
"We united NATO and built a global coalition. We stood against (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s aggression. We stood with the Ukrainian people.
"Tonight, we are once again joined by Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States. She represents not just her nation, but the courage of her people. Ambassador, America is united in our support for your country. We will stand with you as long as it takes."
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Heather Timmons and Lincoln Feast)