Tonight - Domestic issues to be a big part of State of the Union speech

Published: Mar. 1, 2022 at 12:24 PM MST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - A security fence is back up around the Capitol building, where in just a short time, President Joe Biden will be arriving to deliver his message to the American people.

What will he say? According to White House press releases — the economy, infrastructure, manufacturing and jobs will be a big part.

Gray Television Washington News Bureau senior reporter Ted Fioraliso asked White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre why the president is focusing on domestic issues.

“He’s going to make a strong case...about how his economic policy, as we’ve seen that this past year, has helped build that economy,” Jean-Pierre explained.

The administration believes the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan did that, as well as the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure law.

What the administration did not get last year was the passage of social reforms. Jean-Pierre says the president will push for those again.

“Supporting paycheck fairness, raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. All of these things -- creating a new, national, comprehensive, paid family and medical leave program,” she said.

It can’t happen without support of the Senate, which is still tied 50-50 through the rest of this year.

Senate Republican Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) expressed what many in the GOP leadership feel.

“I hope he sort of pivots and changes gears from what we’ve seen this last year, which is a very partisan agenda, a very radical agenda, and actually comes to the middle and tries to work with Republicans to try to get a few things done,” said Thune.

Besides the domestic issues, Jean-Pierre says the president will also address the current war in Ukraine.

But it does appear the administration wants to focus on the home front coming out of this speech. On Wednesday, the president will travel to Wisconsin -- and the Vice President to North Carolina -- to tout the infrastructure law and jobs.

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