President Joe Biden is set to deliver the annual State of the Union address tonight at 9 PM ET to a divided Congress amidst persistently high inflation. The speech is expected to touch on various pressing issues, including job growth, the Ukraine war, domestic manufacturing, the ongoing pandemic, and America’s strategic competition with China.
This year’s State of the Union marks the first time since 2019 that the president and congressional leaders will be able to bring guests to the event, attended by every member of the House and Senate, the Supreme Court Justices, most of the president’s Cabinet, and the diplomatic corps. Biden will be delivering this important speech before a divided Congress, with Republicans controlling the House.
According to a recent NBC News polling, Biden’s approval ratings remain steady at 45%, with Americans blaming him for rising interest rates and expressing concerns about a possible recession. The poll revealed that just 36% of American adults approve of Biden’s handling of the nation’s shaky economy.
The debt ceiling deadline later this year will also require the president to negotiate with the newly elected Republican majority in the House. According to White House aides, Biden will address US-China relations in the speech, but he will not announce new retaliatory actions against Beijing.
Following the address, Arkansas Republican Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders will deliver the GOP response, followed by a Republican Spanish-language response from newly elected Rep. Juan Ciscomani of Arizona. Biden’s approval rating stands at 41%, which is higher than his predecessor Donald Trump but lower than the previous four presidents at the same point in their terms.
The average approval rating for a president at this stage in the office is 54%, according to Gallup historical data. Biden’s highest approval rating was 57%, shortly after taking office and again in April of his first year of tenure.