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The president will deliver his second State of the Union address – his first to a divided Congress – at a time of tense debate over the nation’s debt ceiling and fresh off the news of a Chinese spy balloon traversing the continental U.S.
House Republicans, hot off the new majority they cinched this Congress, say President Biden should use Tuesday’s State of the Union address to reach across the aisle and avoid his favorite label for the GOP: ‘extreme MAGA Republican.’
What message should Biden send tonight?
‘He needs to show a willingness to work across the aisle and work with Speaker McCarthy,’ Rep. Mike Lawler, a Republican newcomer who flipped a New York House seat in the midterms, told DailyMail.com.
‘If the President takes to that sacred podium as a part of his constitutional duty to give a State of the Union address and uses that opportunity to throw around hyper partisan insults, I think that will be that will be a real lost opportunity, and frankly, really inappropriate,’ Rep. Dusty Johnson, chair of the moderate pro-business Main Street Caucus, told DailyMail.com.
Johnson, R-S.D., said he hopes Biden address the ‘three great challenges’ that face the nation: national debt, China and the southern border – adding there was ‘a large amount of bipartisan agreement’ on what to do on China after the spy balloon saga over the weekend.
Johnson added that the ‘place would erupt’ if Biden announced he was reinstating the Migrant Protection Protocols, otherwise known as the Remain in Mexico policy that required migrants to await their asylum hearings south of the border.
He said there would be ‘real Republican appetite’ for working with Biden to address inflation and bring down healthcare costs.
President Biden will deliver his second State of the Union address – his first to a divided Congress – at a time of tense debate over the nation’s debt ceiling and fresh off the news of a Chinese spy balloon traversing the continental U.S.
Biden could reference GOP as ‘Extreme MAGA Republicans’
On Monday, Speaker Kevin McCarthy promised to be ‘respectful’ during Biden’s address and in turn asked Biden to refrain from using the phrase ‘extreme MAGA Republican’ — a phrase Biden has taken to peppering in to his public addresses.
Biden and McCarthy are in a likely fleeting moment of detente as they work to hash out an agreement to raise the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling.
‘I think it’s very telling of where they are mentally to sit there and say extreme MAGA Republicans over and over again but not address the fact that gasoline is substantially higher than today than it was two years ago,’ Rep. Harriet Hageman, the at-large Republican congresswoman for Wyoming, said.
‘If they want to have a debate on whether it is a good idea to raid the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and sell that to China. We can have that debate just calling me an extreme MAGA Republican because I disagree with it really isn’t a discussion.’
Rep Mike Lawler, R-NY, said: ‘I don’t think extreme MAGA Republican is gonna resonate.’
‘If the President takes to that sacred podium as a part of his constitutional duty to give a State of the Union address and uses that opportunity to throw around hyper partisan insults, I think that will be that will be a real lost opportunity, and frankly, really inappropriate,’ Rep. Dusty Johnson, chair of the moderate pro-business Main Street Caucus, told DailyMail.com
On what she wants to hear out of the president, she said: ‘What I want to hear and what I would like to see which I’m fairly certain will not happen is him coming in and talking about ways in which we’re going to stop spending money. We cannot keep laundering money through DC.’
Lawler said: ‘I don’t think “extreme MAGA Republican” is gonna resonate.’
‘If he goes down that road — people are hurting and they want leaders who are going to put aside petty partisanship and focus in on how we address these challenges.’
Biden could say Republicans want to cut Social Security and Medicare
Biden has also taken up a frequent line of attack against Republicans that includes accusing them of wanting to cut popular social programs like Social Security and Medicare.
‘House Republicans are threatening to cut Social Security and Medicare, putting the dignity of millions of Americans who rely on these programs at risk,’ Biden tweeted on Sunday. ‘I won’t stand for that. We ought to strengthen these programs – not gut them.’
‘I think there’ll be a few people in the audience who have something to say about that’ if Biden repeats the claim, Rep. Greg Murphy, R-N.C., told DailyMail.com.
‘I would ask [Biden] to find any Republican — I’ve asked this of media folks as well — tell me the name of one person that wants to cut the benefits for seniors,’ said Rep. Keith Self, R-Texas.
McCarthy has said that Social Security and Medicare will not be up for budget cuts, but any other program or department – including the Pentagon – could be targeted to trim ‘waste.’
Republicans press Biden to put his budget forth before they propose cuts
Republicans, meanwhile, pressed Biden to put forth his own budget proposal first ahead of a standoff over raising the debt ceiling between the president and Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
‘I think his he’s lying to the American people that when he says he wants to rein in spending,’ GOP Rep. Kevin Hern, who chairs the Republican Study Committee, told DailyMail.com.
‘He does not or you would have a budget showing where his priorities are.’
Biden missed his budget deadline earlier this week but promised to have his FY 2024 priorities in front of Congress by March 9.
‘Speaker Pelosi always said, ‘Show me your budget and I’ll show you your priorities, values.’
But Republicans have been seemingly deliberately vague on what departments’ budgets will be first on the chopping block.
‘We’re working on the details,’ Hern said.
‘The Democrats spend massive amounts of money and then turn around and say, Hey, Republicans try to fix it. If you can’t, it’s your fault. That’s not good negotiation,’ Hageman said, challenging her fellow lawmakers across the aisle to propose cuts.
China: GOP say message of strength needed after spy balloon
Hern also said Biden needs to use the address to ratchet up the message of strength against China in light of the spy balloon found floating over the U.S.
‘Clearly the posture we have with China right now, they’re testing us,’ he said.
‘They are testing our resolve after what they saw on Afghanistan. They want to know what we’re going to do, should they invade Taiwan?’