Five key takeaways from Joe Biden's 2024 State of the Union address | Joe Biden News

Washington DC – US President Joe Biden has touted his administration's economic record and sought to distinguish himself from his predecessor Donald Trump as he delivered his third State of the Union address just months before the US presidential election. .

Addressing a joint session of Congress on Thursday night, the Democratic president repeatedly attacked Trump but did not mention his Republican rival by name.

“My purpose tonight is to wake up Congress and alert the American people that this is not just any moment,” Biden said, warning that “freedom and democracy are under attack both at home and abroad.”

Recent polls show Biden and Trump are neck and neck in their fight for the White House, and their looming rematch in November's presidential election casts a long shadow over Thursday's State of the Union.

The speech provided an important platform for Biden, who He continues to face questions about whether he is fit to seek a second term, as well as protests over his steadfast support for Israel despite its deadly military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Here are five key takeaways from his 2024 State of the Union address.

US to build 'temporary dock' to boost aid to Gaza

Biden, who has faced months of fierce criticism for his unwavering support for Israel amid the Gaza war, announced that his administration would build a “temporary dock” off the coast of the Palestinian territory to facilitate the delivery of aid.

The dock will be able to “receive large shipments of food, water, medicine and temporary housing,” Biden said during his speech, without specifying how long its installation would take.

The move comes a week after the United States airdropped 36,000 meals to hundreds of thousands of hungry people in northern Gaza.

But the Biden administration has ruled out conditioning aid or stopping arms transfers to Israel to pressure it to allow more aid to Gaza, and stressed that its support for the US ally remains “strong.”

Critics of Biden's stance said the Gaza dock will likely fail to alleviate a growing hunger crisis in the territory. Israel has blocked aid deliveries as it continues its military offensive.

“It appears to be just another effort to divert attention from the real problem here, which is that 700,000 people are starving from northern Gaza on down, and Israel is not allowing the humanitarian aid they need to reach them,” said Palestinian politician Mustafa. Barghouti to Al Jazeera before the conference. Biden's address.

More than 100 protesters demanding a ceasefire in Gaza blocked a road leading to the US Capitol ahead of Thursday night's speech. “What do we want? Permanent ceasefire. When do we want it? Now,” they chanted.

Pledges support for Ukraine and promotes pro-Israel good faith

While Biden urged Israel to allow more aid into the Gaza Strip, he stressed that he has been a “lifelong supporter” of the US ally.

“No one has a stronger request than me. I challenge any of you here,” she said.

He also urged Congress to unlock aid to Ukraine to help the country defend itself from the Russian invasion. A growing number of Republican lawmakers have expressed opposition to the high price of continued U.S. funding of kyiv.

“My message to President Putin, whom I have known for a long time, is simple: we will not leave. We will not bow. “I will not bow,” Biden said.

He also attacked Trump for saying that he would tell Russia “to do what it wants” with a NATO country that does not spend enough on defense. “A former president actually said that, bowing to a Russian leader,” Biden said during his speech.

“I think it's outrageous. It is dangerous and unacceptable.”

Biden attacked Putin and Trump during his speech [Shawn Thew/Pool via Reuters]

Contrast with his Republican rival Trump

Biden has long tried to present himself as a bulwark protecting American democracy against Trump and the former Republican president's Make America Great Again (MAGA) base, and that was again a major theme Thursday night.

A mob of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol in January 2021, in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying Biden's 2020 election victory. Trump also faces two criminal cases related to his efforts to overturn the election results. .

During his State of the Union address, Biden criticized his Republican rival multiple times.

My predecessor and some of you here seek to bury the truth about January 6; I will not do that,” Biden said. “Here's the simple truth: you can't love your country only when you win.”

Al Jazeera's Kimberly Halkett, reporting from the US Capitol, said Biden mentioned Trump at least 10 times throughout his speech, referring to him as “my predecessor.”

“It was really more of a campaign speech than a State of the Union address,” Halkett said. “It was unusual in the fact that not only [Biden] “He mentioned it once, but he continued to mention it throughout the speech with every topic that was brought up.”

US Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Mike Johnson before Biden's speech
US House Speaker Mike Johnson (right) and Vice President Kamala Harris on the House floor before Biden's speech. [Shawn Thew/Pool via Reuters]

Abortion, reproductive rights.

Biden has also sought to distinguish himself and his Democratic Party from American conservatives who celebrated a 2022 Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade. That landmark ruling had enshrined the constitutional right to abortion in the United States for decades.

Republican-led states passed a series of abortion restrictions and bans after Roe was overturned, sparking outrage. The issue resonates with many Democratic voters who have continued to call for access to abortion and reproductive health care.

On Thursday night, Biden vowed to defend abortion access nationwide.

“If you, the American people, send me a Congress that supports the right to choose, I will restore Roe v Wade as the law of the land again,” he said.

Citing Democrats' recent election victories since abortion rights were repealed, the US president also said women's “electoral power” will help his party win votes again in November.

He also blamed Trump for the downfall of Roe; The Republican president appointed three conservative Supreme Court justices who helped overturn legal precedent.

Economy, economy, economy.

Much of Biden's speech focused on domestic issues, the most important of which was his administration's handling of the economy.

The US president said he inherited an economy “on the brink” during the COVID-19 pandemic, but that his policies helped revive it. “Now our economy is literally the envy of the world: 15 million new jobs in just three years,” he said.

Biden also gave a nod to American unions and the American middle class, while emphasizing that he plans to ensure corporations pay their fair share.

“I am a capitalist. Do you want to win a million or millions of dollars? Brilliant. Just pay your fair share in taxes,” he said. “A fair tax code is how we invest to make this country great.”

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