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The new kids in class share their impressions of Biden’s State of the Union : NPR


President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address.

Image Kevin Dietsch/Getty


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Image Kevin Dietsch/Getty


President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address.

Image Kevin Dietsch/Getty

Welcome to the new NPR series, where we highlight the people and things that are making headlines – and the stories behind them.

They may be new to the school, but they have plenty of insight to offer about Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, from the issues raised to the first-time experience sitting in a conference room. . Also, by school we mean Congress.

Who are they? Two first term House of Representatives from either side of the aisle.

  • The first Gen Z congressman, Democrat Maxwell Alejandro Frost, is from Florida’s 10th district.
  • Republican Mike Lawler, from New York’s 17th district.

What is the big problem? The speech was widely watched as Biden geared up for another campaign ahead of the 2024 election. But what happens in the House from now on will affect those in Congress, like Frost and Lawler. Here are their takeaways.

Experience the Federal State for the first time

“It was surreal. I was once in an apartment, wiretapping with some friends… The whole thing was surreal. But I’ll tell you the house definitely shook the whole. system and in that message you bring.”

— Maxwell’s Frost

“Well, I’ve watched almost every Confederate State since I’ve lived, and it’s been a great experience on a personal level, and certainly professionally, to be there. And more specifically, my wife, an immigrant from Moldova who became a citizen two years ago, was my guest, and so she was able to hear the President of the United States read his State of the Union Address. “

— Mike Lawler

On the possibility of passing bipartisan legislation in the coming months given the current split between the House and Senate

“There are smaller bills and packages that I think will be helpful to our people. But in terms of bold, transformative legislation, as we’ve seen over the past two years — the Science and Technology Act. CHIPS, the bipartisan Infrastructure bill, the Safer Communities Act, all these different amazing bills passed – I don’t think we’re going to see anything that big here. This Congress, just because it’s divided and dysfunctional, especially because of the Republican majority.”

— Maxwell’s Frost

“We’re going to need to work together. There’s no more one-party rule in Washington. So Democrats and Republicans have to work together to tackle the big problems we’re dealing with. whatever you’re talking about?” the debt ceiling, whether we’re talking about immigration, our border problems… Last night, the president could have actually made some concrete suggestions on how we’re going to do that. . And I didn’t hear that. And I think that’s largely where the missed opportunity is to forge the way forward.”

— Mike Lawler

About how they think Biden handles the address

“I mean, I think what he said was great. We need to ban assault weapons. I love that he brought a gun violence survivor, that’s because of his heroic actions. There should be fewer deaths. But I always ask the question, what’s next, isn’t it? specifically what he’s going to do… I know the president really cares about this and wants to be the leader on it and we’ll continue to push it. But overall, it’s great to hear from you. He’s supporting it, talking about it and actually putting it into action when he says we need to ban assault weapons.”

— Maxwell’s Frost

“During the speech, I certainly applauded a lot of the things he talked about, including the bipartisan infrastructure bill, the microchip law, the fentanyl resolution, and the opioid crisis that is plaguing people’s lives. But to be honest with you, I’m a bit disappointed. I think the president, both in tone and substance, could have done more to really forge a path forward. bipartisanship and frankly address important issues that we can really solve together, especially China, our biggest geopolitical threat in terms of what has happened. out last week with his China spy balloon, I think he should have spent more time on that in his speech.”

— Mike Lawler

So what now?

  • Frost wants to continue working towards gun control, which is one of his main points, as is the popular law being put in place to restrict entertainment companies and “junk fees” from ticket sales.
  • Lawler wants to continue to focus on raising the debt ceiling and limiting spending. He, along with Mitt Romney, has continued to call for New York representative George Santos to resign, after it was revealed that he had fabricated much of his background.

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