Graphic of President Biden and different policy considerations. Credit: Marta Lukomska / Musttang News

President Joe Biden delivered the 2023 State of the Union address on Tuesday night, outlining several policies that he intends to pursue and stand out achievements of his office during the past year. 

Mustang News summarized the key points covered by the President:

  • Increased tax on the billionaires and corporations – President Biden spoke on his goal to increase taxes on billionaires to fund other parts of his agenda: financing social security for the next 20 years, making the tax system fairer, etc. Biden also proposed a corporate minimum tax rate in reaction to the growing number of Fortune 500 companies such as Amazon, Coca-Cola, Exxon Mobil and Nike, which are currently paying little to no taxes.
  • Debt Ceiling and Budget negotiations – Democrats and Republicans in Congress are in the process of negotiating the 2023 Government Budget. Negotiations have not been finalized, but both former President Donald Trump and President Biden have urged House Republicans not to include cuts to social security and medicare in their budget proposal. President Biden made a point to claim that Republicans wanted to cut the budget for Social Security and Medicare, referencing a plan by Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) that intends to cut the budget for Social Security and Medicare. Republicans could be heard audibly booing and yelling “liar” in reaction to Biden proclaiming they intended to cut Social Security and Medicare.
  • Reproductive rights – President Biden called on congress to codify Roe v. Wade into law. Currently, there are not enough votes in the senate to codify Roe v. Wade. Sen Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have also stated on several occasions they do not intend to reform the filibuster to codify Roe v. Wade.
  • Caps on prescription drug prices and insulin – President Biden touted the $35 cap on insulin for seniors on Medicare that went into effect on Jan. 1, reiterating that he intends to expand insulin price caps. During the address, he said that “It costs the drug companies roughly $10 a vial to make that insulin … but big pharma has been unfairly charging people hundreds of dollars a month … Not anymore.” Biden also proposed to give Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices with drug companies to lower the costs of prescriptions. 
  • Police reform – In stark contrast to President Biden’s 2022 State of the Union Address which is remembered by many for the “Fund the Police” chant, President Biden proposed a variety of police reforms and passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. The mother and father of Tyre Nichols, a Black Memphis resident who was killed by police on Jan. 7, were also present in the audience. President Biden proposed ending chokeholds, no-knock warrants and increasing training requirements for law enforcement officials.
  • FTC non-compete ban – The Federal Trade Commission announced its intent to ban non-compete agreements on Jan. 5 of this year. While the ban has not gone into effect yet, President Biden stressed the importance of banning such contracts.
  • Child Tax Credit expansion – President Biden proposed to expand the Child Tax Credit, a tax credit given to people with dependent children as a form of tax alleviation. The Child Tax Credit was expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic through the American Rescue Plan and has been attributed to the reduction of child poverty by 50% according to some experts. Biden noted on that statistic to call for the expansion of the tax credit.

“It was the best State of the Union [address] that I can remember, even compared to some of the Obama ones,” Majority Report political analyst Emma Vigeland said in reaction to Biden’s address.

Many of President Biden’s policy proposals will not make it to the Senate, as the House is currently controlled by Republicans. 

Further questions were also raised as to whether President Biden will seek a second term; however, he did not make any allusions about a 2024 bid in his speech. 

President Biden also did not address his plan to end the COVID-19 emergency in May, which could take upwards of 18 million people off of medicaid.