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5 on 45: Four Voters (And One Non-Voter) On Trump’s First 100 Days

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After 100 Days, would these Trump, Clinton, Johnson, Sanders Write-In and Non-Voters Change Anything?

It’s been 100 days since Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States.

For many across the country, even if Trump had their vote, that isn’t something they believed they’d ever read. (And, full disclosure, not something this writer believed he’d ever write.)

But whether you’re a believer in Donald Trump or a detractor of his, certain (not alternative) facts remain. On his 100th day in office, he is as loathed as he is loved, as cheered as he is jeered, and we are a nation divided on just how to Make America Great Again: by his remaining in office, or by his departing it.

To mark Trump’s 100th day, NCRM spoke with five willing individuals about the current president. Each participant’s name has been changed and they self-identified as follows:

A straight, white female and Republican who voted for Donald Trump.

A straight, black female and Democrat who voted for Hillary Clinton.

A gay, white male and Independent who voted first for Bernie Sanders and then for Gary Johnson.

A bisexual, white male and Democrat who voted first for Bernie Sanders and ultimately wrote him in.

And finally, a straight, white male and Republican who didn’t vote—intentionally.

Below, edited for clarity and brevity, 5 on 45:

The Trump Voter

Amy Johnson of Florida, 39, previously voted for Bush, McCain and Romney. She’s always been opinionated and vocal about politics.

She considers herself open-minded, having no issue with same-sex marriage and having begun “to change [her] views on abortions since having a child,” which she describes as a personal choice. (“I don’t want to pay for them for other people, though,” Johnson said.)

Between mental health and drug abuse, she believes the country has a major crisis on its hands, and feels that white Christians are the “punchline for most jokes.” (“People don’t want to offend gay people, Muslims, illegal immigrants, etcetera, but have no problem offending us,” she said.)

“We are on this earth for a short amount of time,” she said. “Enjoy life and stop letting the current president ruin your life. Lighten up and just be nice!”

NCRM: Did you vote in the 2016 presidential primary? If so, for whom?

AJ: My primary vote was for Trump. Truthfully, I wasn’t always sold on him when he first announced his run, but as time went on, I became more impressed with his ideals, goals, objectives and accomplishments. He made the other candidates “man up” and take a tougher stance on their views, which was refreshing!

NCRM: Were you satisfied with your vote after the primary results?

AJ: Yes, I was very satisfied. He got the official nod.

NCRM: What were your reactions when Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein were named candidates for POTUS?

AJ: I was energized when Trump was announced and not surprised Hillary was announced. Truthfully, I had no opinions on the others.

NCRM: Did you vote in the 2016 presidential election?

AJ: Yes. I voted in person, after work.

NCRM: Who received your vote?

AJ: DJT!!!  I wanted him to win.

NCRM: What was your reaction when Donald Trump was declared the victor?

AJ: Honestly, total shock. I went to bed thinking Hilary was going to win and I randomly woke up at 3 A.M. when Trump was declared the winner, and I could not even believe it. It was awesome!!

NCRM: Were you satisfied with your vote for Trump after the results?

AJ: Yes, I am still satisfied with my vote because he won and it proved my vote counted. I felt the country could really make some serious forward progress.

NCRM: It’s been 100 days since Donald Trump became POTUS. Are you satisfied with your vote now?

AJ: Yes, I am still satisfied with my vote. Being the president doesn’t mean having everyone like you. He isn’t rattled by that. The expression being lonely at the top certainly rings true. He has an extremely unorthodox method of getting things accomplished, but he does what he says and will continue to follow through. I’m not ignorant to think things are going perfectly, but I fully support him.

NCRM: What do you consider to be positives about the Donald Trump presidency?

AJ: I appreciate his follow through and tough stance on terrorism. He will continue to work on stimulating the economy and keeping the citizens of the US safe. Cutting back on the bleed of money. Stop funding to sanctuary cities. Hands down he did the right thing with dropping the bombs in Syria and Afghanistan. Trying to change Obamacare. Unsuccessfully at the moment, but it’s in progress…

NCRM: What do you consider to be negatives about the Donald Trump presidency?

AJ: His tweets.

NCRM: If the 2020 presidential election featured the same four candidates, would you vote in the same way?

AJ: I would vote the same way.  I’m pleased with him and his presidency so far.

The Clinton Voter

Cecelia Knight of Florida, 32, tends to vote Democrat and “tow the party line,” having previously voted for Barack Obama (twice) and before that, John Kerry.

She currently believes the country is the “laughingstock of the world” following the election of Donald Trump and that the country finds itself in a tailspin. “But we need to come together to find a way to survive the next four years,” she said, fully believing any hardship can be overcome.

“Let this election be a lesson to us all that we all need to support one another and provide one another with love, respect, kindness and unconditional acceptance,” Knight said. “Unless you are a racist or you have hate in your heart for any group.”

NCRM: Did you vote in the 2016 presidential primary? If so, for whom?

CK: Yes, I happily voted in the 2016 primary. I voted for Hillary Clinton. I tend to vote democrat and tow the party line when voting.

NCRM: Were you satisfied with your vote after the primary results?

CK: I was satisfied with my vote as I felt I chose the person who was most qualified. I was not satisfied with the votes of others, however.

NCRM: What were your reactions when Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein were named candidates for POTUS?

CK: I was in disbelief regarding the Republican candidate, however I expected it. I feel that a lot of Republicans and those that support them wanted someone they felt would serve them best.

NCRM: Did you vote in the 2016 presidential election?

CK: I voted early, as I always do, in person at my local court house in downtown Clearwater.

NCRM: Who received your vote?

CK: I voted for Hillary. She was most qualified candidate, and her stance on countless, important issues mirrored the world I want to see.

NCRM: What was your reaction when Donald Trump was declared the victor?

CK: I was absolutely horrified. I felt that the country voted against its best interests and chose an ill-equipped person with no history of political involvement to be the leader of the “free world.” That, over a person with a lifetime of experience and impressive credentials. I didn’t watch the results live because it gave me too much anxiety. I turned the television off and blocked out all social media until the final results were in, and when I saw Trump had won I had almost an existential crisis. I cycled through a few of the five stages of grief for a good month: lingering somewhere between anger, disbelief and depression. I never thought it would impact me in the way it did. I didn’t think he could actually win.

NCRM: Were you satisfied with your vote for Clinton after the results?

CK: I stood by my vote then, and I still stand behind my vote 100%.

NCRM: It’s been 100 days since Donald Trump became POTUS. Are you satisfied with your vote now?

CK: Regardless of what happens, I’m satisfied with my vote and my conscience is clean. I just remain disappointed with the racism, xenophobia, homophobia, gynophobia and every other phobia that this president and his administration seem to do nothing but cultivate.

NCRM: Currently, what do you consider to be positives about the Donald Trump presidency?

CK: The only positive I see is that people can actually now see what happens when they do not engage in their civic duty and stand idly by thinking things won’t happen a certain way. In addition, they can see just how everyone’s vote matters.

NCRM: Currently, what do you consider to be negatives about the Donald Trump presidency?

CK: Everything. A “businessman” shouldn’t be president. The country isn’t a business. Megalomania and narcissism are not qualities a person responsible for strengthening diplomatic relationships or safeguarding confidential information and nuclear codes should have.

NCRM: If the 2020 presidential election featured the same four candidates, would you vote (or abstain from voting) in the same way? Why/why not? What do you think could change your mind?

CK: F**k yeah! (Can you use f**k? I want you to use all of this!) I believe it’s both my duty and responsibility to vote in every election. Not even 50 years ago, there were women that looked like me—black women—that would be killed or beaten just for this simple, inalienable right that so many take for granted. I will vote until the day I die, because I owe it to those who gave their lives and I owe it to myself to be active in the political process.

The Sanders-Turned-Johnson Voter

Kyle McKenna, 36, voted Democrat from 2000 to 2012. In 2016, however, he went Libertarian after Bernie Sanders didn’t clinch the Democratic nomination.

He likened Sanders to Barack Obama, another candidate that wasn’t another “pre-selected candidate cut from the same mold,” and one who might change just how Washington was run. “I know he’s a Democratic Socialist,” McKenna said, “but I felt if he would’ve made it, he would’ve compromised.” Sanders further excited him because, like McKenna himself, he was actually an Independent.

McKenna doesn’t vote party, he said, “I vote candidate.”

NCRM: Did you vote in the 2016 presidential primary? If so, for whom?

KM: Yes I did.  I voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary.  I voted Bernie not because I saw eye to eye with him on many policy aspects.  I, for one, do not align myself with Democratic Socialism.  I voted for him because in my adult life I have voted in every election from 2000 on.  There was an energy in Bernie I hadn’t seen in a candidate since Obama.

NCRM: Were you satisfied with your vote after the primary results?

KM: No.  I’m not a fan of how the Democrats award their delegates—and the idea that they have Super Delegates at all doesn’t sit well with me.  

NCRM: What were your reactions when Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein were named candidates for POTUS?

KM: I was shocked about Trump.  I couldn’t believe the United States of America nominated that guy to be president. I mean, Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Reagan, Clinton… Trump? I kept expecting it to be a joke.  With Clinton, I felt the Democrats got lazy. It came as no surprise because she has been the heir apparent, and is technically the most qualified person to ever run for President of the United States. But the only people she excited was the Democratic Base. And rule of thumb is, to win a general election, you have to win over Independents and the undecideds.  She wasn’t able to do that.

Gary Johnson? Hang on a second.  (That was literally my reaction when I read about him being the Libertarian Nominee.) He’s not a true Libertarian, he’s a Republican. Most true Libertarians didn’t like him being their nominee. And honestly, I didn’t give Jill Stein much thought. She’s far too extreme for me so I gave it as much thought as I just typed.

NCRM: Did you vote in the 2016 presidential election?

KM: Yes. In person at my Fort Worth polling place on Election Day. (I just like the old fashioned way of going to my polling place on the day of.).

NCRM: Who received your vote?

KM: Gary Johnson, because as a third party candidate, he wouldn’t have been beholden to the Partisan Politics that have infected Washington. In order for him to get things done, he would be forced to compromise and it would force the Republicans and Democrats to compromise as well. I think we need a president that is neither Republican nor Democrat, but I didn’t vote for him purely for that reason. I love his advocacy of free speech, his opposition to the Patriot Act, censorship of the internet, militarization of the police and the indefinite detention of prisoners. Johnson was focused on Millennials.

Clinton pandered to Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers (I am closer to that one, but still), whereas Johnson offered the only plan with a credible chance of leaving a safety net for millennials and their children. In fact, when he ran in 2012, the ACLU actually gave him the highest score of any presidential candidate., and he preached that the government should stay out of our bedrooms and wallets. While his plan to abolish the IRS was out there, it was well thought out.  His idea to replace most of the tax code with a single consumption tax was pretty creative.  It would eliminate loopholes for the 1% and businesses. He was adamant about a balanced budget, which he had promised to submit within his first 100 days. And it wasn’t just talk: he’d proven in New Mexico as governor that he knew how to handle tax payers’ money.  I knew he wouldn’t win, and many people told me that I was wasting my vote. But I disagreed. It’s my vote, only I can determine if it had value. I wasn’t voting thinking my candidate would win, and I knew it was going to be Clinton or Trump, but someone has to vote for someone who can actually do the job that isn’t one of the “big two.”

NCRM: What was your reaction when Donald Trump was declared the victor?

KM: Pardon my French, but literally, “What the f***?”  What happened to America?  Am I secretly in an interactive movie?  We just elected a con man, a misogynistic, sexual predator, reality TV star who rode the wave of hate to the top?  What the hell are we going to tell our children when they ask why the bully won?

NCRM: Were you satisfied with your vote for Johnson after the results?

KM: I was. Gary Johnson received 3.3% of the vote.  While it was not the 5% goal, it was more than anticipated. Hopefully it will make a difference going forward.  .

NCRM: It’s been 100 days since Donald Trump became POTUS. Are you satisfied with your vote now?

KM: Yes, I still am. I’ve had people tell me I’m part of the reason Trump won because I didn’t vote for Hillary. Well, I live in Texas.  Hillary was NOT winning Texas. Not a chance. And my vote did more for Gary Johnson than it ever would’ve done for Hillary.

NCRM: What do you consider to be positives about the Donald Trump presidency?

KM: I think it’s opening the eyes of the American people about what can happen when we don’t take the election seriously.  

NCRM: What do you consider to be negatives about the Donald Trump presidency?

KM: Where do I begin?  The man has no clue what he’s doing. There’s one screw up after another. He has proven he lied and conned his way into the White House. Put down the damn Twitter!!! You’re the President for crying out loud!!!!! Gutting the EPA and the Parks Department is deplorable. I don’t care how many jobs you may create, those jobs aren’t going to do an ounce of good if our planet is inhabitable!

Stop pissing off our allies please. They are our allies. We really do need them. I also think he’s the biggest hypocrite to sit in that office in my lifetime. He has a Republican dominated House and Senate who have been foaming at the mouth for seven years to get rid of and replace the ACA and they still can’t get it done because they actually haven’t thought up a good plan in seven years!  His budget proposal is a joke. He has this need to attack anyone who criticizes him. He’s not strong enough or mature enough to focus on what matters. His image is the most important thing. All the obnoxious boys we hated growing up: the bullies, the brats that never seemed to deal with consequences from their well-to-do parents? Yeah, we just elected him president, FYI.  

NCRM: If the 2020 presidential election featured the same four candidates, would you vote in the same way?

KM: Thing with me is, I never decide this far in advance.  I don’t know which party I will vote with in 2020.  We’ll see who shows up to run this country.

The Sanders Write-In Voter

In the back of his mind, Ellis Roberts now feels that “a ‘Donald Trump’ had to happen to the United States at some point.” He’d previously voted for George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and initially supported Bernie Sanders last year, leading the 29 year-old Democrat to ultimately write-in the Vermont Senator’s name for president.

“Instead of being negative I am going to celebrate that I get to have a role in shaping history,” he said. “I am going to be prouder, louder and more involved.”

Roberts sees the “regressive left” as becoming an issue, and feels that “overreaction and the dismissal of any values that are not seen favorable is becoming too common.” Citing a need for the left to pick their battles, he cautions others to accept that there are those in the world that may not like you. (“And that’s okay,” he said.)

“Fight for what you believe in, but simply understand others are doing the same,” Roberts said. “At the end of the day, we’re all just human and we’re on this planet together for a very, very short time.”

NCRM: Did you vote in the 2016 presidential primary? If so, for whom?

ER: I voted for Bernie Sanders. The crowded, Republican stage was pretty terrifying, and I felt hyper aware of how behind we were on progressive issues compared to other countries. There are laws on the books regarding wages and regulations that date back to the 70s. Inflation has not kept up with wages.

I felt like Bernie had a message that connected with people, that he made people proud to be political and excited about the process. He had a progressive agenda that was loud and unapologetic, and he wasn’t afraid to call out the staged, political bulls*** and talk about our outdated policies and real feelings.

Most importantly, I followed poll numbers and did a lot of what I like to call “listening to the ground.” Hillary was unpopular in the polls from the very beginning, and that was an understatement. She was unpopular with half of her own party, and Republicans were trained for years to loathe her. Right or wrong, it was what it was. I spoke to my Republican family members and friends who had no negative feelings about Bernie, and they just disagreed on policies. When in it came to Hillary, they’d implode just by hearing her name. Counting bumper stickers seems silly, but it’s one way people tell the world who they are excited to vote for. It was not Hillary.

I concluded that the opportunity for real change was going to come from Bernie, not just for his policies, but because I felt sadly confident she would lose to a Republican candidate. This was a popularity contest.

NCRM: Were you satisfied with your vote after the primary results?

ER: Yes and no. I was satisfied in that I felt I made the right decision, but I felt that I was cheated and rightfully so. We now know that the DNC cheated. Hillary was handed questions early, Bernie was worked against by what was supposed to be a neutral party. The worst part of it all, though, was that it was unfortunately doing nothing but damaging Hillary even more, especially within her own party.

NCRM: What were your reactions when Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein were named candidates for POTUS?

ER: I thought Donald was going to be the death of the Republican Party. It actually made me more excited for Hillary. Donald continued to be outlandish, so I thought there was a chance she could win. After the first debate I thought the whole thing was over. (How wrong I was.) I was excited for Jill and Gary: they both had soaring popularity compared to many other third party candidates, and I liked that they were getting attention. I strongly believe that we need more national support for other political parties.

NCRM: Did you vote in the 2016 presidential election?

ER: Yes, I voted by mail-in ballot.

NCRM: Who received your vote?

ER:  I knew I wasn’t going to immediately just vote for Hillary, especially after an interview she did with Rachel Maddow that has permanently stuck in my head. Maddow asked her how she was going to “bridge the gap” between her supporters and Bernie’s, and her extremely hubris response about how she was winning so essentially there was no need to reach out made me feel like she truly didn’t care enough about me to have my vote. That she was truly okay with that. So, I was okay with not voting for her.

That being said, I was pretty floored that Donald Trump had gotten as far as he did. I decided I was going to cast a protest vote if I lived in a safe area. I did some research for my area and found that where I lived consistently voted Democrat. Jill was my first protest vote choice due to my strong support for anything third party, but then her running mate (whose name I can’t even remember) said some ridiculous things, so that was that.

I threw my hands up and decided I wanted my heart to feel happy, and since my area was going Democratic anyway: Bernard Sanders as a write-in for president it was! I actually got teary eyed when I wrote his name down.

NCRM: What was your reaction when Donald Trump was declared the victor?

ER:  I literally almost fainted. I thought for sure Hillary had it in the bag: if not for being a normal candidate then because the establishment would cheat to make sure she was voted in. I thought there was no way she would not win. Democracy won… for better or worse.

NCRM: Were you satisfied with writing Sanders in after the results?

ER:  I was satisfied with my vote, but not by my actions. I felt that maybe I was too nice about Hillary in the primary. I kept thinking that maybe if I campaigned harder for Bernie we wouldn’t be in this situation.

NCRM: It’s been 100 days since Donald Trump became POTUS. Are you satisfied with your vote now?

ER:   I am. The horror that is Donald Trump being president is not my fault, it’s the opposing candidate’s. Votes shouldn’t just be given under any circumstance: votes are earned by the candidate. If they don’t earn them, that’s ultimately their fault.

NCRM: What do you consider to be positives about the Donald Trump presidency?

ER:  I’m actually far more optimistic than people realize. Not for Donald, but because from the darkness comes light. People are woke as f*** when it comes to politics now, moreso than at any other point in my life. (And at every level.) They are tuned in and focused on issues. The spotlight is on every aspect of politics in a way that it is absolutely historic. Donald won, sure…. but progressive policies are more popular than they’ve ever been, and people are paying more attention than ever. Trump was the b****-slap in the face that America may have needed to wake up.

NCRM: What do you consider to be negatives about the Donald Trump presidency?

ER:  Prestige, class and respect that used to come with the highest office in the land has all but eroded. America look like a joke to the rest of the world, which weakens our position on everything. Image is very important.  And the environmental rules and regulations that are being overturned and relaxed may have permanent damage. A lot of policies and regulations can be changed and updated, but you cannot simply replace the world we live in.

NCRM: If the 2020 presidential election featured the same four candidates, would you vote in the same way?

ER: Hillary could change my mind easily. She could have changed my mind easily. She would need to lose her sense of entitlement. The fact that she has yet to take honest blame has left me disheartened. Apologize, admit your wrongs and proudly take visible action to show you mean it. That’s the key to win over anyone that you have wronged, in life and in politics.

The (Intentional) Non-Voter

Bruce Conroy’s overall stance on politics is to stay educated and “stay out of it for the most part.” The 33-year-old Republican, who voted for George W. Bush, John McCain and Barack Obama, does understand why the current political climate is so important to so many, however.

“I’m a straight, white male with a graduate degree in Business,” Conroy said. “I’ve never had to struggle for equal pay, marriage equality, healthcare or to find a decent job. I’ve never really been impacted by particular politics.”

He considers himself a “RINO,” or Republican in Name Only, and while he agrees with basic concepts of the Republican party, he feels it’s drastically drifted from its message in the last decade.

“I’m extremely liberal on social issues,” he said. “A woman should have the right to choose, a person should be able to marry whomever they love, and although I think modifications need to be made, everyone is entitled to quality healthcare.”

NCRM: Why didn’t you vote in the 2016 presidential primary?

BC: There wasn’t a single remaining candidate on the ticket that I wished to endorse as a presidential nominee. Had either Jeb Bush or Rand Paul been anywhere near the top of the pack, I would’ve voted for one of them.

NCRM: Were you satisfied with your lack of vote after the primary results?

BC: Yes. I have a strong opinion that even though I may be registered with a specific party, I shouldn’t be forced to endorse a candidate that I feel is nowhere near capable of being a successful president. That was the case last year.

NCRM: What were your reactions when Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein were named candidates for POTUS?

BC: I would like to say I was shocked that Trump gained the nomination, but I was more confused as to how a large portion of this country’s population felt (and still feel) that he is what this country needed in order to “shake things up.” I wasn’t surprised at all to see Hillary as the Democratic nominee. As for Johnson and Stein, to be perfectly honest, I find both of their nominations completely irrelevant.

NCRM: Why didn’t you vote in the 2016 presidential election?

BC: Just like with the primary, I did not have a candidate that I supported and would endorse as president. The “lesser of two evils” scenario doesn’t sway my vote one way or another, which is truly what I feel this election was. If anything, I would’ve voted for Gary Johnson, but if we are being completely honest, why would I take the time out of my day to basically throw a vote away?

NCRM: What was your reaction when Donald Trump was declared the victor?

BC: I had already anticipated that he would win the election, so I wasn’t that surprised. One way or another at the end of Election Day, half of the country will be happy and half will be sad.

NCRM: It’s been 100 days since Donald Trump became POTUS. Are you satisfied with your lack of vote now?

BC: I’m satisfied because he wasn’t a candidate I would’ve been able to endorse. At the same time, however, I feel I do not have the right to complain because I did not exercise my right to vote.  

NCRM: What do you consider to be positives about the Donald Trump presidency?

BC: Withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

NCRM: What do you consider to be negatives about the Donald Trump presidency?

BC: The fact that he continuously taunts and threatens our enemies, and obviously the fact that I consider him very emotionally unstable with thin skin, which isn’t a strong characteristic for a president. He has the nuclear codes… enough said.

NCRM: As of now, do you plan to vote in the 2020 election?

BC: I may… it will certainly be interesting as I don’t necessarily think Trump will run mostly unopposed or without a reasonable threat, like most incumbent presidents typically do. If it is feasible, I will consider voting in the 2020 primary.

NCRM: If the 2020 presidential election featured the same four candidates, would you still abstain from voting?

BC: I would. What would truly change my mind is if the candidates got to switch parties. If Gary Johnson was running as the Democratic nominee and had a chance to participate in all the debates while obtaining the funding and endorsements that Hillary received, maybe it would shake things up a bit. And I know if there are any Johnson (or Stein) supporters reading this they probably think that if more people who thought like that had voted for him, things would be different. But no. They wouldn’t be different; he still wouldn’t have a chance in hell.

It’s been 100 days since Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States.

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Former GOP Congressman Calls for Marjorie Taylor Greene to Be Censured After Calling President Biden a ‘Liar’

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U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) numerous times heckled President Joe Biden as he delivered the State of the Union Address, including repeatedly calling him a “liar.”

Not in modern history has anyone so clearly disturbed the decorum of the nationally-televised event watched live by 40 million Americans. Not even U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), who infamously also called the President a liar – “You lie!” – during another nationally-televised event, that one by President Barack Obama in September of 2009.

Tuesday night Congresswoman Greene repeatedly yelled, “You lie!” and, “Liar!” at President Biden, who, ironically, was sitting one seat back from his current position the last time it happened.

Here is that moment:

Greene also heckled President Biden at other times throughout his speech – something she and Rep. Lauren Boebert did one year ago, also during the State of the Union.

Republican former U.S. Congressman Adam Kinzinger Tuesday night tweeted, “Did @RepMTG just yell ‘liar’?! Awful. Yet she will not be punished in response.”

READ MORE: ‘Salute Their Flags’: Sarah Huckabee Sanders Appears to Attack LGBTQ Americans and BLM During Angry GOP SOTU Response

He then called for Greene’s censure – and called for her fellow Republicans to do it.

The GOP should lead the censure of @RepMTG for her behavior,” Kinzinger tweeted.

He wasn’t done.

Posting a screenshot of Greene standing during the State of the Union heckling President Biden, with her thumb pointing down, Kinzinger asked, “My fellow Republicans… you really want this as a role model for your kids? Do you really think the next generation will want to be part of this? I don’t.”

Kinzinger went one step further, reposting a tweet likening Congresswoman Greene to the fictional Disney villain Cruella de Vil – a comparison many on social media had been making during the evening’s event.

“Representative Joe Wilson was formally rebuked by the House on Tuesday for his outburst during President Obama’s health care address,” The New York Times reported, less than a week after what was at the time an unthinkable act. “The vote came after a Congressional clash over civility that showcased the deep partisan divisions in the House.”

Congressman Wilson also apologized for calling President Obama a “liar,” barely hours after his outburst.

“This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the President’s remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill,” he said in a statement. “While I disagree with the President’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the President for this lack of civility.”

Congresswoman Greene likely will not apologize, and likely will not face any formal rebuke.

 

 

 

 

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Read: President Biden’s State of the Union Address

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President Joe Biden is delivering his State of the Union Address.

Read his remarks below, as prepared for delivery, via The White House.

______________________________________________________

Mr. Speaker. Madam Vice President. Our First Lady and Second Gentleman.

Members of Congress and the Cabinet. Leaders of our military.

Mr. Chief Justice, Associate Justices, and retired Justices of the Supreme Court.

And you, my fellow Americans.

I start tonight by congratulating the members of the 118th Congress and the new Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy.

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to working together.

I also want to congratulate the new leader of the House Democrats and the first Black House Minority Leader in history, Hakeem Jeffries.

Congratulations to the longest serving Senate Leader in history, Mitch McConnell.

And congratulations to Chuck Schumer for another term as Senate Majority Leader, this time with an even bigger majority.

And I want to give special recognition to someone who I think will be considered the greatest Speaker in the history of this country, Nancy Pelosi.

The story of America is a story of progress and resilience. Of always moving forward. Of never giving up.

A story that is unique among all nations.

We are the only country that has emerged from every crisis stronger than when we entered it.

That is what we are doing again.

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.

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.

As we gather here tonight, we are writing the next chapter in the great American story, a story of progress and resilience. When world leaders ask me to define America, I define our country in one word: Possibilities.

You know, we’re often told that Democrats and Republicans can’t work together.

But over these past two years, we proved the cynics and the naysayers wrong.

Yes, we disagreed plenty. And yes, there were times when Democrats had to go it alone.

But time and again, Democrats and Republicans came together.

Came together to defend a stronger and safer Europe.

Came together to pass a once-in-a-generation infrastructure law, building bridges to connect our nation and people.

Came together to pass one of the most significant laws ever, helping veterans exposed to toxic burn pits.

In fact, I signed over 300 bipartisan laws since becoming President. From reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, to the Electoral Count Reform Act, to the Respect for Marriage Act that protects the right to marry the person you love.

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 our 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.

For decades, the middle class was hollowed out.

Too many good-paying manufacturing jobs moved overseas. Factories at home closed down.

Once-thriving cities and towns became shadows of what they used to be.

And along the way, something else was lost.

Pride. That sense of self-worth.

I ran for President to fundamentally change things, to make sure the economy works for everyone so we can all feel pride in what we do.

To build an economy from the bottom up and the middle out, not from the top down. Because when the middle class does well, the poor have a ladder up and the wealthy still do very well. We all do well.

As my Dad used to say, a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about your dignity. It’s about respect. It’s about being able to look your kid in the eye and say, “Honey –it’s going to be OK,” and mean it.

So, let’s look at the results. Unemployment rate at 3.4%, a 50-year low. Near record low unemployment for Black and Hispanic workers.

We’ve already created 800,000 good-paying manufacturing jobs, the fastest growth in 40 years.

Where is it written that America can’t lead the world in manufacturing again?

For too many decades, we imported products and exported jobs.

Now, thanks to all we’ve done, we’re exporting American products and creating American jobs.

Inflation has been a global problem because of the pandemic that disrupted supply chains and Putin’s war that disrupted energy and food supplies.

But we’re better positioned than any country on Earth.

We have more to do, but here at home, inflation is coming down.

Here at home, gas prices are down $1.50 a gallon since their peak.

Food inflation is coming down.

Inflation has fallen every month for the last six months while take home pay has gone up.

Additionally, over the last two years, a record 10 million Americans applied to start a new small business.

Every time somebody starts a small business, it’s an act of hope.

And the Vice President will continue her work to ensure more small businesses can access capital and the historic laws we enacted.

Standing here last year, I shared with you a story of American genius and possibility.

Semiconductors, the small computer chips the size of your fingertip that power everything from cellphones to automobiles, and so much more. These chips were invented right here in America.

America used to make nearly 40% of the world’s chips.

But in the last few decades, we lost our edge and we’re down to producing only 10%. We all saw what happened during the pandemic when chip factories overseas shut down.

Today’s automobiles need up to 3,000 chips each, but American automakers couldn’t make enough cars because there weren’t enough chips.

Car prices went up. So did everything from refrigerators to cellphones.

We can never let that happen again.

That’s why we came together to pass the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act.

We’re making sure the supply chain for America begins in America.

We’ve already created 800,000 manufacturing jobs even without this law.

With this new law, we will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs across the country.

That’s going to come from companies that have announced more than $300 billion in investments in American manufacturing in the last two years.

Outside of Columbus, Ohio, Intel is building semiconductor factories on a thousand acres – a literal field of dreams.

That’ll create 10,000 jobs. 7,000 construction jobs. 3,000 jobs once the factories are finished.

Jobs paying $130,000 a year, and many don’t require a college degree.

Jobs where people don’t have to leave home in search of opportunity.

And it’s just getting started.

Think about the new homes, new small businesses, and so much more that will come to life.

Talk to mayors and Governors, Democrats and Republicans, and they’ll tell you what this means to their communities.

We’re seeing these fields of dreams transform the heartland.

But to maintain the strongest economy in the world, we also need the best infrastructure in the world.

We used to be #1 in the world in infrastructure, then we fell to #13th.

Now we’re coming back because we came together to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the largest investment in infrastructure since President Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System.

Already, we’ve funded over 20,000 projects, including at major airports from Boston to Atlanta to Portland.

These projects will put hundreds of thousands of people to work rebuilding our highways, bridges, railroads, tunnels, ports and airports, clean water, and high-speed internet across America.

Urban. Suburban. Rural. Tribal.

And we’re just getting started. 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.

We’ll fund your projects. And I’ll see you at the ground-breaking.

This law will help further unite all of America.

Major projects like the Brent Spence bridge between Kentucky and Ohio over the Ohio River. Built 60 years ago. Badly in need of repairs.

One of the nation’s most congested freight routes carrying $2 billion worth of freight every day. Folks have been talking about fixing it for decades, but we’re finally going to get it done.

I went there last month with Democrats and Republicans from both states to deliver $1.6 billion for this project.

While I was there, I met an ironworker named Sara, who is here tonight.

For 30 years, she’s been a proud member of Ironworkers Local 44, known as the “cowboys of the sky” who built the Cincinnati skyline.

Sara said she can’t wait to be ten stories above the Ohio River building that new bridge. That’s pride.

That’s what we’re also building – Pride.

We’re also replacing poisonous lead pipes that go into 10 million homes and 400,000 schools and childcare centers, so every child in America can drink clean water.

We’re making sure that every community has access to affordable, high-speed internet.

No parent should have to drive to a McDonald’s parking lot so their kid can do their homework online.

And when we do these projects, we’re going to Buy American.

Buy American has been the law of the land since 1933. But for too long, past administrations have found ways to get around it.

Not anymore.

Tonight, I’m also announcing new standards to require all construction materials used in federal infrastructure projects to be made in America.

American-made lumber, glass, drywall, fiber optic cables.

And on my watch, American roads, American bridges, and American highways will be made with American products.

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.

Maybe that’s you, watching at home.

You remember the jobs that went away. And you wonder whether a path even exists anymore for you and your children to get ahead without moving away.

I get it.

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.

For example, too many of you lay in bed at night staring at the ceiling, wondering what will happen if your spouse gets cancer, your child gets sick, or if something happens to you.

Will you have the money to pay your medical bills? Will you have to sell the house?

I get it. With the Inflation Reduction Act that I signed into law, we’re taking on powerful interests to bring your health care costs down so you can sleep better at night.

You know, we pay more for prescription drugs than any major country on Earth.

For example, one in ten Americans has diabetes.

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.

We capped the cost of insulin at $35 a month for seniors on Medicare.

But there are millions of other Americans who are not on Medicare, including 200,000 young people with Type I diabetes who need insulin to save their lives.

Let’s finish the job this time.

Let’s cap the cost of insulin at $35 a month for every American who needs it.

This law also caps out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors on Medicare at a maximum $2,000 per year when there are in fact many drugs, like expensive cancer drugs, that can cost up to $10,000, $12,000, and $14,000 a year.

If drug prices rise faster than inflation, drug companies will have to pay Medicare back the difference.

And we’re finally giving Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices. Bringing down prescription drug costs doesn’t just save seniors money.

It will cut the federal deficit, saving tax payers hundreds of billions of dollars on the prescription drugs the government buys for Medicare.

Why wouldn’t we want to do that?

Now, some members here are threatening to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act.

Make no mistake, if you try to do anything to raise the cost of prescription drugs, I will veto it.

I’m pleased to say that more Americans have health insurance now than ever in history.

A record 16 million people are enrolled under the Affordable Care Act.

Thanks to the law I signed last year, millions are saving $800 a year on their premiums.

But the way that law was written, that benefit expires after 2025.

Let’s finish the job, make those savings permanent, and expand coverage to those left off Medicaid.

Look, the Inflation Reduction Act is also the most significant investment ever to tackle the climate crisis.

Lowering utility bills, creating American jobs, and leading the world to a clean energy future.

I’ve visited the devastating aftermaths of record floods and droughts, storms and wildfires.

In addition to emergency recovery from Puerto Rico to Florida to Idaho, we are rebuilding for the long term.

New electric grids able to weather the next major storm.

Roads and water systems to withstand the next big flood.

Clean energy to cut pollution and create jobs in communities too often left behind.

We’re building 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations installed across the country by tens of thousands of IBEW workers.

And helping families save more than $1,000 a year with tax credits for the purchase of electric vehicles and energy-efficient appliances.

Historic conservation efforts to be responsible stewards of our lands.

Let’s face reality.

The climate crisis doesn’t care if your state is red or blue. It is an existential threat.

We have an obligation to our children and grandchildren to confront it. I’m proud of how America is at last stepping up to the challenge.

But there’s so much more to do.

We will finish the job.

And we pay for these investments in our future by finally making the wealthiest and the biggest corporations begin to pay their fair share.

I’m a capitalist. But just pay your fair share.

And I think a lot of you at home agree with me that our present tax system is simply unfair.

The idea that in 2020, 55 of the biggest companies in America made $40 billion in profits and paid zero in federal income taxes?

That’s simply not fair.

But now, because of the law I signed, billion-dollar companies have to pay a minimum of 15%.

Just 15%.

That’s less than a nurse pays. Let me be clear.

Under my plan, nobody earning less than $400,000 a year will pay an additional penny in taxes.

Nobody. Not one penny.

But there’s more to do.

Let’s finish the job. Reward work, not just wealth. Pass my proposal for a billionaire minimum tax.

Because no billionaire should pay a lower tax rate than a school teacher or a firefighter.

You may have noticed that Big Oil just reported record profits.

Last year, they made $200 billion in the midst of a global energy crisis.

It’s outrageous.

They invested too little of that profit to increase domestic production and keep gas prices down.

Instead, they used those record profits to buy back their own stock, rewarding their CEOs and shareholders.

Corporations ought to do the right thing.

That’s why I propose that we quadruple the tax on corporate stock buybacks to encourage long term investments instead.

They will still make a considerable profit.

Let’s finish the job and close the loopholes that allow the very wealthy to avoid paying their taxes.

Instead of cutting the number of audits of wealthy tax payers, I signed a law that will reduce the deficit by $114 billion by cracking down on wealthy tax cheats.

That’s being fiscally responsible.

In the last two years, my administration cut the deficit by more than $1.7 trillion – the largest deficit reduction in American history.

Under the previous administration, America’s deficit went up four years in a row.

Because of those record deficits, no president added more to the national debt in any four years than my predecessor.

Nearly 25% of the entire national debt, a debt that took 200 years to accumulate, was added by that administration alone.

How did Congress respond to all that debt?

They lifted the debt ceiling three times without preconditions or crisis.

They paid America’s bills to prevent economic disaster for our country.

Tonight, I’m asking this Congress to follow suit.

Let us commit here tonight that the full faith and credit of the United States of America will never, ever be questioned.

Some of my Republican friends want to take the economy hostage unless I agree to their economic plans. All of you at home should know what their plans are.

Instead of making the wealthy pay their fair share, some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security to sunset every five years.

That means if Congress doesn’t vote to keep them, those programs will go away.

Other Republicans say if we don’t cut Social Security and Medicare, they’ll let America default on its debt for the first time in our history.

I won’t let that happen.

Social Security and Medicare are a lifeline for millions of seniors.

Americans have been paying into them with every single paycheck since they started working.

So tonight, let’s all agree to stand up for seniors. Stand up and show them we will not cut Social Security. We will not cut Medicare.

Those benefits belong to the American people. They earned them.

If anyone tries to cut Social Security, I will stop them. And if anyone tries to cut Medicare, I will stop them.

I will not allow them to be taken away.

Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever.

Next month when I offer my fiscal plan, I ask my Republican friends to offer their plan.

We can sit down together and discuss both plans together.

My plan will lower the deficit by $2 trillion.

I won’t cut a single Social Security or Medicare benefit.

In fact, I will extend the Medicare Trust Fund by at least two decades.

I will not raise taxes on anyone making under $400,000 a year. And I will pay for the ideas I’ve talked about tonight by making the wealthy and big corporations begin to pay their fair share.

Look, here’s the deal. Big corporations aren’t just taking advantage of the tax code. They’re taking advantage of you, the American consumer.

Here’s my message to all of you out there: I have your back. We’re already preventing insurance companies from sending surprise medical bills, stopping 1 million surprise bills a month.

We’re protecting seniors’ lives and life savings by cracking down on nursing homes that commit fraud, endanger patient safety, or prescribe drugs they don’t need.

Millions of Americans can now save thousands of dollars because they can finally get hearing aids over-the-counter without a prescription.

Capitalism without competition is not capitalism. It is exploitation.

Last year I cracked down on foreign shipping companies that were making you pay higher prices for everyday goods coming into our country.

I signed a bipartisan bill that cut shipping costs by 90%, helping American farmers, businesses, and consumers.

Let’s finish the job.

Pass bipartisan legislation to strengthen antitrust enforcement and prevent big online platforms from giving their own products an unfair advantage.

My administration is also taking on “junk” fees, those hidden surcharges too many businesses use to make you pay more.

For example, we’re making airlines show you the full ticket price upfront and refund your money if your flight is cancelled or delayed.

We’ve reduced exorbitant bank overdraft fees, saving consumers more than $1 billion a year.

We’re cutting credit card late fees by 75%, from $30 to $8.

Junk fees may not matter to the very wealthy, but they matter to most folks in homes like the one I grew up in. They add up to hundreds of dollars a month.

They make it harder for you to pay the bills or afford that family trip.

I know how unfair it feels when a company overcharges you and gets away with it.

Not anymore.

We’ve written a bill to stop all that. It’s called the Junk Fee Prevention Act.

We’ll ban surprise “resort fees” that hotels tack on to your bill. These fees can cost you up to $90 a night at hotels that aren’t even resorts.

We’ll make cable internet and cellphone companies stop charging you up to $200 or more when you decide to switch to another provider.

We’ll cap service fees on tickets to concerts and sporting events and make companies disclose all fees upfront.

And we’ll prohibit airlines from charging up to $50 roundtrip for families just to sit together.

Baggage fees are bad enough – they can’t just treat your child like a piece of luggage.

Americans are tired of being played for suckers.

Pass the Junk Fee Prevention Act so companies stop ripping us off.

For too long, workers have been getting stiffed.

Not anymore.

We’re beginning to restore the dignity of work.

For example, 30 million workers had to sign non-compete agreements when they took a job. So a cashier at a burger place can’t cross the street to take the same job at another burger place to make a couple bucks more.

Not anymore.

We’re banning those agreements so companies have to compete for workers and pay them what they’re worth.

I’m so sick and tired of companies breaking the law by preventing workers from organizing.

Pass the PRO Act because workers have a right to form a union. And let’s guarantee all workers a living wage.

Let’s also make sure working parents can afford to raise a family with sick days, paid family and medical leave, and affordable child care that will enable millions more people to go to work.

Let’s also restore the full Child Tax Credit, which gave tens of millions of parents some breathing room and cut child poverty in half, to the lowest level in history.

And by the way, when we do all of these things, we increase productivity. We increase economic growth.

Let’s also finish the job and get more families access to affordable and quality housing.

Let’s get seniors who want to stay in their homes the care they need to do so. And give a little more breathing room to millions of family caregivers looking after their loved ones.

Pass my plan so we get seniors and people with disabilities the home care services they need and support the workers who are doing God’s work.

These plans are fully paid for and we can afford to do them.

Restoring the dignity of work also means making education an affordable ticket to the middle class.

When we made 12 years of public education universal in the last century, it made us the best-educated, best-prepared nation in the world.

But the world has caught up.

Jill, who teaches full-time, has an expression: “Any nation that out-educates us will out-compete us.”

Folks, you all know 12 years is not enough to win the economic competition for the 21st Century.

If you want America to have the best-educated workforce, let’s finish the job by providing access to pre-school for 3- and 4-year-olds.

Studies show that children who go to pre-school are nearly 50% more likely to finish high school and go on to earn a 2- or 4-year degree, no matter their background.

Let’s give public school teachers a raise.

And we’re making progress by reducing student debt and increasing Pell Grants for working- and middle-class families.

Let’s finish the job, connect students to career opportunities starting in high school and provide two years of community college, some of the best career training in America, in addition to being a pathway to a four-year degree.

Let’s offer every American the path to a good career whether they go to college or not.

And folks, in the midst of the COVID crisis when schools were closed, let’s also recognize how far we’ve come in the fight against the pandemic itself.

While the virus is not gone, thanks to the resilience of the American people, we have broken COVID’s grip on us.

COVID deaths are down nearly 90%.

We’ve saved millions of lives and opened our country back up.

And soon we’ll end the public health emergency.

But we will remember the toll and pain that will never go away for so many. More than 1 million Americans have lost their lives to COVID.

Families grieving. Children orphaned. Empty chairs at the dining room table.

We remember them, and we remain vigilant.

We still need to monitor dozens of variants and support new vaccines and treatments.

So Congress needs to fund these efforts and keep America safe.

And as we emerge from this crisis stronger, I’m also doubling down on prosecuting criminals who stole relief money meant to keep workers and small businesses afloat during the pandemic.

Before I came to office many inspector generals who protect taxpayer dollars were sidelined. Fraud was rampant.

Last year, I told you the watchdogs are back. Since then, we’ve recovered billions of taxpayer dollars.

Now, let’s triple our anti-fraud strike forces going after these criminals, double the statute of limitations on these crimes, and crack down on identity fraud by criminal syndicates stealing billions of dollars from the American people.

For every dollar we put into fighting fraud, taxpayers get back at least ten times as much.

COVID left other scars, like the spike in violent crime in 2020, the first year of the pandemic.

We have an obligation to make sure all our people are safe.

Public safety depends on public trust. But too often that trust is violated.

Joining us tonight are the parents of Tyre Nichols, who had to bury him just last week. There are no words to describe the heartbreak and grief of losing a child.

But imagine what it’s like to lose a child at the hands of the law.

Imagine having to worry whether your son or daughter will come home from walking down the street or playing in the park or just driving their car.

I’ve never had to have the talk with my children – Beau, Hunter, and Ashley – that so many Black and Brown families have had with their children.

If a police officer pulls you over, turn on your interior lights. Don’t reach for your license. Keep your hands on the steering wheel.

Imagine having to worry like that every day in America.

Here’s what Tyre’s mom shared with me when I asked her how she finds the courage to carry on and speak out.

With faith in God, she said her son “was a beautiful soul and something good will come from this.”

Imagine how much courage and character that takes.

It’s up to us. It’s up to all of us.

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.

And we know police officers put their lives on the line every day, and we ask them to do too much.

To be counselors, social workers, psychologists; responding to drug overdoses, mental health crises, and more.

We ask too much of them.

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.

Give law enforcement the training they need, hold them to higher standards, and help them succeed in keeping everyone safe.

We also need more first responders and other professionals to address growing mental health and substance abuse challenges.

More resources to reduce violent crime and gun crime; more community intervention programs; more investments in housing, education, and job training.

All this can help prevent violence in the first place.

And when police officers or departments violate the public’s trust, we must hold them accountable.

With the support of families of victims, civil rights groups, and law enforcement, I signed an executive order for all federal officers banning chokeholds, restricting no-knock warrants, and other key elements of the George Floyd Act.

Let’s commit ourselves to make the words of Tyre’s mother come true, something good must come from this.

All of us in this chamber, we need to rise to this moment.

We can’t turn away.

Let’s do what we know in our hearts we need to do.

Let’s come together and finish the job on police reform.

Do something.

That was the same plea of parents who lost their children in Uvalde: Do something on gun violence.

Thank God we did, passing the most sweeping gun safety law in three decades.

That includes things that the majority of responsible gun owners support, like enhanced background checks for 18 to 21-year-olds and red flag laws keeping guns out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves and others.

But we know our work is not done.

Joining us tonight is Brandon Tsay, a 26-year-old hero.

Brandon put off his college dreams to stay by his mom’s side as she was dying from cancer. He now works at a dance studio started by his grandparents.

Two weeks ago, during Lunar New Year celebrations, he heard the studio’s front door close and saw a man pointing a gun at him.

He thought he was going to die, but then he thought about the people inside.

In that instant, he found the courage to act and wrestled the semi-automatic pistol away from a gunman who had already killed 11 people at another dance studio.

He saved lives. It’s time we do the same as well.

Ban assault weapons once and for all.

We did it before. I led the fight to ban them in 1994.

In the 10 years the ban was law, mass shootings went down. After Republicans let it expire, mass shootings tripled.

Let’s finish the job and ban assault weapons again.

And let’s also come together on immigration and make it a bipartisan issue like it was before.

We now have a record number of personnel working to secure the border, arresting 8,000 human smugglers and seizing over 23,000 pounds of fentanyl in just the last several months.

Since we launched our new border plan last month, unlawful migration from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela has come down 97%.

But America’s border problems won’t be fixed until Congress acts.

If you won’t pass my comprehensive immigration reform, at least pass my plan to provide the equipment and officers to secure the border. And a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, those on temporary status, farm workers, and essential workers.

Here in the people’s House, it’s our duty to protect all the people’s rights and freedoms.

Congress must restore the right the Supreme Court took away last year and codify Roe v. Wade to protect every woman’s constitutional right to choose.

The Vice President and I are doing everything we can to protect access to reproductive health care and safeguard patient privacy. But already, more than a dozen states are enforcing extreme abortion bans.

Make no mistake; if Congress passes a national abortion ban, I will veto it.

Let’s also pass the bipartisan Equality Act to ensure LGBTQ Americans, especially transgender young people, can live with safety and dignity.

Our strength is not just the example of our power, but the power of our example. Let’s remember the world is watching.

I spoke from this chamber one year ago, just days after Vladimir Putin unleashed his brutal war against Ukraine.

A murderous assault, evoking images of the death and destruction Europe suffered in World War II.

Putin’s invasion has been a test for the ages. A test for America. A test for the world.

Would we stand for the most basic of principles?

Would we stand for sovereignty?

Would we stand for the right of people to live free from tyranny?

Would we stand for the defense of democracy?

For such a defense matters to us because it keeps the peace and prevents open season for would-be aggressors to threaten our security and prosperity. One year later, we know the answer.

Yes, we would.

And yes, we did.

Together, we did what America always does at our best.

We led.

We united NATO and built a global coalition.

We stood against 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.

Our nation is working for more freedom, more dignity, and more peace,
not just in Europe, but everywhere.

Before I came to office, the story was about how the People’s Republic of China was increasing its power and America was falling in the world.

Not anymore.

I’ve made clear with President Xi that we seek competition, not conflict.

I will make no apologies that we are investing to make America strong. Investing in American innovation, in industries that will define the future, and that China’s government is intent on dominating.

Investing in our alliances and working with our allies to protect our advanced technologies so they’re not used against us.

Modernizing our military to safeguard stability and deter aggression.

Today, we’re in the strongest position in decades to compete with China or anyone else in the world.

I am committed to work with China where it can advance American interests and benefit the world.

But make no mistake: as we made clear last week, if China’s threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country. And we did.

And let’s be clear: winning the competition with China should unite all of us. We face serious challenges across the world.

But in the past two years, democracies have become stronger, not weaker.

Autocracies have grown weaker, not stronger.

America is rallying the world again to meet those challenges, from climate and global health, to food insecurity, to terrorism and territorial aggression.

Allies are stepping up, spending more and doing more.

And bridges are forming between partners in the Pacific and those in the Atlantic. And those who bet against America are learning just how wrong they are.

It’s never a good bet to bet against America.

When I came to office, most everyone assumed bipartisanship was impossible. But I never believed it.

That’s why a year ago, I offered a Unity Agenda for the nation.

We’ve made real progress.

Together, we passed a law making it easier for doctors to prescribe effective treatments for opioid addiction.

Passed a gun safety law making historic investments in mental health.

Launched ARPA-H to drive breakthroughs in the fight against cancer,
Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and so much more.

We passed the Heath Robinson PACT Act, named for the late Iraq war veteran whose story about exposure to toxic burn pits I shared here last year.

But there is so much more to do. And we can do it together.

Joining us tonight is a father named Doug from Newton, New Hampshire.

He wrote Jill and me a letter about his daughter Courtney. Contagious laugh. Her sister’s best friend.

He shared a story all too familiar to millions of Americans.

Courtney discovered pills in high school. It spiraled into addiction and eventually her death from a fentanyl overdose.

She was 20 years old.

Describing the last eight years without her, Doug said, “There is no worse pain.”

Yet their family has turned pain into purpose, working to end stigma and change laws.

He told us he wants to “start the journey towards America’s recovery.”

Doug, we’re with you.

Fentanyl is killing more than 70,000 Americans a year.

Let’s launch a major surge to stop fentanyl production, sale, and trafficking, with more drug detection machines to inspect cargo and stop pills and powder at the border.

Working with couriers like Fed Ex to inspect more packages for drugs. Strong penalties to crack down on fentanyl trafficking.

Second, let’s do more on mental health, especially for our children. When millions of young people are struggling with bullying, violence, trauma, we owe them greater access to mental health care at school.

We must finally hold social media companies accountable for the experiment they are running on our children for profit.

And it’s time to pass bipartisan legislation to stop Big Tech from collecting personal data on kids and teenagers online, ban targeted advertising to children, and impose stricter limits on the personal data these companies collect on all of us.

Third, let’s do more to keep our nation’s one truly sacred obligation: to equip those we send into harm’s way and care for them and their families when they come home.

Job training and job placement for veterans and their spouses as they return to civilian life.

Helping veterans afford their rent because no one should be homeless in this country, especially not those who served it.

And we cannot go on losing 17 veterans a day to the silent scourge of suicide.

The VA is doing everything it can, including expanding mental health screenings and a proven program that recruits veterans to help other veterans understand what they’re going through and get the help they need.

And fourth, last year Jill and I re-ignited the Cancer Moonshot that President Obama asked me to lead in our Administration.

Our goal is to cut the cancer death rate by at least 50% over the next 25 years. Turn more cancers from death sentences into treatable diseases. And provide more support for patients and families.

It’s personal for so many of us.

Joining us are Maurice and Kandice, an Irishman and a daughter of immigrants from Panama.

They met and fell in love in New York City and got married in the same chapel as Jill and I did.

Kindred spirits.

He wrote us a letter about their little daughter Ava.

She was just a year old when she was diagnosed with a rare kidney cancer.

26 blood transfusions. 11 rounds of radiation. 8 rounds of chemo. 1 kidney removed.

A 5% survival rate.

He wrote how in the darkest moments he thought, “if she goes, I can’t stay.”

Jill and I understand, like so many of you.

They read how Jill described our family’s cancer journey and how we tried to steal moments of joy where you can.

For them, that glimmer of joy was a half-smile from their baby girl. It meant everything.

They never gave up hope.

Ava never gave up hope. She turns four next month.

They just found out that Ava beat the odds and is on her way to being cancer free, and she’s watching from the White House tonight.

For the lives we can save and for the lives we have lost, let this be a truly American moment that rallies the country and the world together and proves that we can do big things.

Twenty years ago, under the leadership of President Bush and countless advocates and champions, we undertook a bipartisan effort through PEPFAR to transform the global fight against HIV/AIDS. It’s been a huge success.

I believe we can do the same with cancer.

Let’s end cancer as we know it and cure some cancers once and for all.

There’s one reason why we’re able to do all of these things: our democracy itself.

It’s the most fundamental thing of all.

With democracy, everything is possible. Without it, nothing is.

For the last few years our democracy has been threatened, attacked, and put at risk.

Put to the test here, in this very room, on January 6th.

And then, just a few months ago, unhinged by the Big Lie, an assailant unleashed political violence in the home of the then-Speaker of this House of Representatives. Using the very same language that insurrectionists who stalked these halls chanted on January 6th.

Here tonight in this chamber is the man who bears the scars of that brutal attack, but is as tough and strong and as resilient as they get.

My friend, Paul Pelosi.

But such a heinous act never should have happened.

We must all speak out. There is no place for political violence in America. In America, we must protect the right to vote, not suppress that fundamental right. We honor the results of our elections, not subvert the will of the people. We must uphold the rule of the law and restore trust in our institutions of democracy.

And we must give hate and extremism in any form no safe harbor.

Democracy must not be a partisan issue. It must be an American issue.

Every generation of Americans has faced a moment where they have been called on to protect our democracy, to defend it, to stand up for it.

And this is our moment.

My fellow Americans, we meet tonight at an inflection point. One of those moments that only a few generations ever face, where the decisions we make now will decide the course of this nation and of the world for decades to come.

We are not bystanders to history. We are not powerless before the forces that confront us. It is within our power, of We the People. We are facing the test of our time and the time for choosing is at hand.

We must be the nation we have always been at our best. Optimistic. Hopeful. Forward-looking.

A nation that embraces, light over darkness, hope over fear, unity over division. Stability over chaos.

We must see each other not as enemies, but as fellow Americans. We are a good people, the only nation in the world built on an idea.

That all of us, every one of us, is created equal in the image of God. A nation that stands as a beacon to the world. A nation in a new age of possibilities.

So I have come here to fulfil my constitutional duty to report on the state of the union. And here is my report.

Because the soul of this nation is strong, because the backbone of this nation is strong, because the people of this nation are strong, the State of the Union is strong.

As I stand here tonight, I have never been more optimistic about the future of America. We just have to remember who we are.

We are the United States of America and there is nothing, nothing
beyond our capacity if we do it together.

May God bless you all. May God protect our troops.

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Salute Their Flags’: Sarah Huckabee Sanders Appears to Attack LGBTQ Americans and BLM During Angry GOP SOTU Response

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Arkansas GOP Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders appears to be targeting the LGBTQ community and its allies, Black Lives Matter activists and supporters, and all of the “left-wing” as she takes a national platform as the Republican Party’s chosen representative to deliver its response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address Tuesday night.

“Every day, we are told that we must partake in their rituals, salute their flags, and worship their false idols.. all while big government colludes with Big Tech to strip away the most American thing there is -your freedom of speech,” the former Trump White House press secretary is expected to say, based on excerpts from her prepared remarks. “That’s not normal. It’s crazy, and it’s wrong.”

The excerpts do not specify the “rituals,” “flags,” or “false idols” Huckabee Sanders is referring to, but no one on the left salutes the LGBTQ pride flag or Black Lives Matter flags or banners, and no one on the left forces anyone to worship or partake in any rituals.

“In the radical left’s America, Washington taxes you and lights your hard-earned money on fire, but you get crushed with high gas prices, empty grocery shelves, and our children are taught to hate one another on account of their race, but not to love one another or our great country,” she will also say, in remarks that sound like the ex-president’s.

READ MORE: ‘Progress and Resilience’: Biden in SOTU Will Remind Americans He Is ‘Building an Economy Where No One Is Left Behind’

“And while you reap the consequences of their failures, the Biden administration seems more interested in woke fantasies than the hard reality Americans face every day. Most Americans simply want to live their lives in freedom and peace, but we are under attack in a left-wing culture war we didn’t start and never wanted to fight. Every day, we are told that we must partake in their rituals, salute their flags, and worship their false idols.. all while big government colludes with Big Tech to strip away the most American thing there is -your freedom of speech. That’s not normal. It’s crazy, and it’s wrong.”

And yet, Huckabee Sanders, ignoring her own direct attack on some American families during her State of the Union response, will then say: “Republicans believe in an America where strong families thrive in safe communities. Where jobs are abundant, and paychecks are rising. Where the freedom our veterans shed their blood to defend is the birthright of every man, woman, and child.”

 

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