How Utah’s Republican congressional delegation responded to President Biden’s first State of the Union


President Joe Biden gave his first State of the Union tackle to a maskless viewers of politicians, Supreme Court docket justices and Cupboard secretaries on the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday night.

“Final 12 months COVID-19 stored us aside, this 12 months we’re lastly collectively once more. Tonight we meet as Democrats, Republicans and Independents, however most significantly as Individuals with an obligation to 1 one other, to America, to the American individuals, to the Structure and an unwavering resolve that freedom conquer tyranny, ” Biden started his tackle, which might final simply over an hour.

Russia’s assault on Ukraine was clearly on the viewers’s — and the president’s — thoughts, with numerous company to the Home flooring sporting ribbons or pins honoring the Ukrainian flag.

Russian President Vladimir Putin “badly miscalculated” when attacking Ukraine, Biden mentioned. “He thought he may roll in Ukraine and the world would roll over. As a substitute, he was met with a wall of energy he by no means anticipated or imagined. He met the Ukrainian individuals.”

Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova sat beside first girl Jill Biden. “She’s shiny, she’s robust, she’s resolved,” Biden mentioned of the diplomat.

(Win McNamee | Pool) President Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union tackle to a joint session of Congress on the Capitol, Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Washington.

The president outlined fiscal sanctions in opposition to Russia and Russian oligarchs and formally introduced the discharge of oil reserves to fight fuel costs. He reiterated that American navy forces wouldn’t take part within the preventing in Ukraine however are being staged in European nations to assist NATO allies.

“Tonight I’m asserting that we’ll be part of our allies in closing off American airspace to all Russian flights, additional isolating Russia and including a further squeeze onto their economic system,” Biden declared.

On home coverage, the president spoke at size about bettering the American’s infrastructure, preserving jobs within the States and serving to American households.

“As a substitute of counting on international provide chains, let’s make it in America,” Biden mentioned, spurring applause and a chant of “U.S.A.!” from the Home flooring.

He known as on Congress to approve White Home plans to chop youngster care prices and pharmaceutical costs, laws, Biden mentioned, that might assist American households.

In conclusion to the hourlong tackle, Biden provided a “unity agenda,” or 4 objects he mentioned that politicians from each events may do collectively. These agenda objects included beating the opioid epidemic, addressing psychological well being, supporting America’s veterans and bringing an finish to most cancers.

“The state of the union is robust since you, the American individuals, are robust. We’re stronger in the present day than we had been a 12 months in the past, and we’ll be stronger a 12 months from now than we’re in the present day. That is our second to satisfy and overcome the challenges of our time, and we are going to, as one individuals, one America, america of America,” Biden ended the tackle. “God bless you all. And should God shield our troops.”

All six Republicans of Utah’s congressional delegation reacted to Biden’s State of the Union Tuesday night.

Rep. Blake Moore wrote in a press release that he appreciated the possibility to attend the State of the Union, that the battle in Ukraine has resulted in “unity amid tragedy” and he’d been impressed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

“I additionally appreciated Biden’s name to fund our police, strengthen our border, and assist our veterans.”

However, the Utah congressman added, Biden’s “phrases had been hole,” and the president’s “insurance policies have unnecessarily abdicated international management.”

“In 2020, President Biden ran on a message of unity and bipartisanship, however his hyperpartisan agenda has been out of step with even mainstream Democrats. Utahns are experiencing among the worst inflation and worth hikes in our nation’s historical past on account of his dangerous tax-and-spend agenda and dear vitality insurance policies,” Moore mentioned. “These instantly harm hardworking Utahns once they go to the fuel pump, try on the grocery retailer, and warmth their properties.”

In a press release despatched to The Sale Lake Tribune, Rep. John Curtis mentioned he’d “sat within the Home Chamber of the U.S. Capitol Constructing surrounded by fellow lawmakers, judges, navy, and Biden Administration leaders listening to the President of the best nation on this planet’s State of the Union tackle.”

“Every of us who had been there tonight will take away completely different messages, however for me a very powerful one is displaying unity in preventing evil around the globe, and particularly Putin. Collectively, we should have our respectful and constructive coverage debates at dwelling, however we are going to at all times unite to cease those that oppose freedom and our American values,” Curtis mentioned.

Rep Chris Stewart said Biden had rejected a reality skilled by most Individuals, a actuality of “record-high inflation,” “surging crime” and “foreign-policy threats worldwide.”

“The state of the union is harassed, and the American individuals can’t be jawboned into believing in any other case,” Stewart mentioned. “Nonetheless, I place confidence in the basic values of this nation.”

Rep. Burgess Owens additionally didn’t agree with Biden’s present evaluation of america.

“Regardless of what we heard tonight, the true state of our union is that this: Skyrocketing inflation, rising crime, a humanitarian disaster and safety menace at our southern border, provide chain gridlock, unconstitutional authorities overreach, a rising nationwide debt, and weak spot on the world stage,” Owens wrote in a press release Tuesday night.

“As soon as once more, President Biden’s agenda fails to satisfy the continuing threats to the protection, safety, and prosperity of Utahns within the Fourth District, Individuals throughout the nation, and our allies around the globe,” Owens concluded.

Sen. Mitt Romney mentioned Biden had “efficiently introduced collectively our pals and allies to coordinate a unified and highly effective response to Putin’s actions,” however that he’d “hoped to listen to the president tackle the funding wants of our navy and methods to strengthen our nationwide protection.”

The senator mentioned that though Russia is the issue of in the present day, “we should not overlook that China is working within the background and stays the issue of tomorrow.”

And though Romney mentioned Biden did point out inflation in his tackle and the way it was hurting American households, the senator mentioned, “Including all of this new authorities spending, nevertheless, will solely worsen the inflation drawback. It was triggered, largely, by the completely pointless COVID aid bundle Democrats handed a 12 months in the past.”

Romney known as on Republicans and Democrats to proceed engaged on bipartisan laws, just like the infrastructure invoice that handed final 12 months.

“I used to be happy to listen to President Biden define potential areas for bipartisan cooperation and I hope we are able to come collectively to sort out inflation, household insurance policies just like the youngster tax credit score, and shoring up American vitality sources,” Romney concluded in a video uploaded to his official YouTube account after the tackle.

Sen. Mike Lee accused Biden of talking solely “to a slim portion of his base as a result of he’s shedding it.”

“As a substitute of giving Individuals a purpose to have hope for the longer term, Biden can’t appear to get previous the disaster of his making,” Lee alleged, including that it was “absolutely the weakest potential place for a pacesetter.”

“Individuals deserve extra and we have to anticipate higher than this,” Lee concluded in his statement posted to Twitter.



Texas begins 2022 US election season with congressional primaries | Politics News


The battle between Republicans and Democrats in the US for management of Congress formally begins March 1, as Texas holds the primary main elections of the 12 months to find out candidates for Congress in November.

A lot of the actual political competitors in Republican-dominated Texas this 12 months will likely be contests amongst members of the identical celebration determined by main voters in March or in runoffs in Could, not the final citizens in November.

“The Republicans’ job now’s to not beat the Democrats. Their job is to search out the nuances of their model of Republicanism which are going to have the ability to enchantment to voters,” mentioned Zoe Nemerever, an assistant professor of politics at Texas Tech College.

Texas, the second-largest US state, gained two new seats within the US Home of Representatives after the 2020 census recorded inhabitants progress. Republicans, who management the state legislature, drew new congressional voting maps, including one new Republican district and one new Democratic district whereas decreasing aggressive districts elsewhere.

“Lots of this can come right down to Trump Republicans versus non-Trump Republicans. That’s the main fissure within the celebration,” Nemerever mentioned, referencing former President Donald Trump’s persevering with maintain over Republicans on the grassroots degree.

Democrats in Texas are likewise battling alongside ideological strains between moderates and progressives inside their very own celebration, mentioned Brandon Rottinghaus, a professor of politics on the College of Houston.

“The ways in which the events have developed and the ways in which the candidates are actually attracting the extra polarised voters, is to push themselves to the ideological extremes,” Rottinghaus informed Al Jazeera.

Listed below are 5 Texas main contests to look at:

Democrat challenged by AOC-backed progressive

Within the twenty eighth Texas Congressional District in Laredo and San Antonio, US Consultant Henry Cuellar faces a problem from Jessica Cisneros, a Latina immigration lawyer who has been endorsed by New York progressive Consultant Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the group Justice Democrats.

“Henry Cuellar is among the few remaining reasonable Democrats within the nationwide celebration. She is basically going after him, saying that he must be extra liberal, transfer his coverage positions to the left,” Nemerever mentioned.

Representative Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks about the United States-Mexico border during a news conference.Consultant Henry Cuellar, a Democrat, is going through a problem from the progressive left in Texas’s March 1 main election [Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo]

Cuellar, 66, is a goal for liberals as a result of he’s anti-abortion rights, siding with Republicans over his personal celebration on the abortion situation.

The FBI raided Cuellar’s house in January, reportedly in reference to a US investigation involving Azerbaijan. Cisneros has been utilizing that to promote herself on tv as a more sensible choice for South Texas.

However with the Rio Grande Valley trending extra Republican, the district might be aggressive for Republicans within the basic election if the left-leaning Cisneros wins the first. A profession politician who has served within the US Home since 2005, Cuellar seems to have the higher hand. He beat again a problem from Cisneros two years in the past.

Cisneros, 28, has been mobilising new voters and will pull off a shock upset.

“She’s younger. Even when she doesn’t win this time, I wager she makes it to Congress within the subsequent decade,” Nemerever mentioned.

Republican challenged from the precise

Within the newly redrawn 2nd Texas Congressional District, incumbent Republican Dan Crenshaw could also be in hassle. His district accommodates extra pro-Trump voters than earlier than the redrawing.

The previous Navy SEAL, who misplaced a watch in Afghanistan, has taken a center line amongst Republicans in Washington, calling Home Republican firebrand Marjorie Taylor Greene an “fool” who’s “operating a rip-off”, and calling Freedom Caucus members “grifters”.

“No one would confuse Dan Crenshaw with a reasonable,” mentioned James Henson, a professor of politics on the College of Texas. “He began out with a model that was conservative, however independent-minded. That technique has been tougher to take care of in a Republican Celebration the place there’s a really excessive purity threshold.”

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., left, points to the crowd as Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, speaks during a protest of the Cuban government, Monday, July 26, 2021, at Lafayette Park near the White House.Republican Consultant Dan Crenshaw, who has been dismissive of former President Donald Trump’s claims concerning the 2020 election, faces a main problem from Republicans claiming to be nearer to Trump [Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo]

Crenshaw faces three Republican challengers who all declare to be extra conservative and nearer to Trump than Crenshaw, who wants 50 % of the first vote to keep away from a runoff. In August, Crenshaw obtained heckled by a pro-Trump crowd at a city corridor assembly after he mentioned the 2020 election was not stolen.

Crenshaw has a substantial monetary benefit, with greater than $3m money available, 100 occasions greater than his closest competitor.

Democratic retirement opens door

Within the thirtieth Texas Congressional District in Dallas, Consultant Eddie Bernice Johnson’s retirement announcement after she served practically three many years in Congress was a political earthquake. Johnson, 85, is the longest-serving member from Texas and one of the vital senior members of Congress. She has recruited Jasmine Crockett, a younger, dynamic Black lady who’s a member of the Texas State Legislature, to run in her stead.

Texas House Representative Jasmine Crockett holds her purse during a news conference with Texas Democratic state lawmakers to discuss voting rights, on Capitol Hill.Texas Home Consultant Jasmine Crockett holds her purse throughout a information convention with fellow Texas Democratic state legislators standing in opposition to a Republican plan to restrict voting rights in Texas [Gabrielle/Reuters]

Crockett, who’s extra liberal than the outgoing Johnson, faces competitors for the nomination from a brand new era of younger, progressive Democrats.

“Crockett has raised some huge cash on her personal, however she’s getting plenty of assist from exterior teams, partly as a result of she’s the chosen candidate from Johnson who’s positively the queenmaker there,” mentioned Rottinghaus.

“I’d say Crockett wins with out a runoff, or could be very near successful outright.”

Black Republican has Ted Cruz’s backing

In newly created thirty eighth Texas Congressional District, Republican Wesley Hunt, an African American former Military fight veteran, is main a pack of Republican contenders.

“He’s the form of Republican, frankly, that the Republican Celebration needs entrance and centre; Anyone who’s sensible, devoted, he’s Black and he’s obtained a navy background. It’s the form of range the celebration needs to show,” Rottinghaus mentioned.

 

Texas Senator Ted Cruz and other members of a Republican delegation attend a press conference after a tour around a section of the U.S.-Mexico border on a Texas Highway Patrol vessel in Mission, Texas.US Senator Ted Cruz has emerged as a political kingmaker within the 2022 Texas main elections as Republicans take a harder stance on immigration, crime, and voting restrictions [File: Go Nakamura/Reuters]

Hunt obtained a lift from Senator Ted Cruz, who endorsed him early within the marketing campaign. Hunt obtained Trump’s backing too. If Hunt wins the first contest on March 1, he’ll possible win the final election in November. Trump gained on this space – together with elements of Houston and its suburbs – by 18 share factors over Democrat Joe Biden in 2020.

Proper and left within the Latino vote

The thirty fifth Texas Congressional District in state capital Austin was redesigned by Republicans to pit the incumbent Democrat Lloyd Doggett, a white male, in opposition to Latinos, based on Henson.

Doggett switched to the newly created thirty seventh Democratic district in Austin, clearing the best way for 2 Latino Democrats, Eddie Rodriguez and Greg Casar, to battle for the thirty fifth. Rodriguez is a state legislator and established Democratic celebration official. The up-and-coming Casar is an Austin Metropolis Council member, a pro-labour progressive and a self-described socialist.

“Rodriguez is far more of an institutional participant. Casar is seen as a progressive, maverick-style troublemaker,” Henson mentioned.

‘I vehemently condemn Putin’s horrific invasion of Ukraine.’ Utah’s congressional delegation call for Russian sanctions, support for Ukraine.


Utah leaders responded late Wednesday and early Thursday to the Russian army assaults in Ukraine, which began with the sounds of explosions simply earlier than daybreak within the Japanese European nation, The Related Press reported.

“[Vladimir] Putin’s Ukraine invasion is the primary time in 80 years that an ideal energy has moved to beat a sovereign nation,” Republican Sen. Mitt Romney mentioned. “It’s with out justification, with out provocation and with out honor.”

His assertion, posted to Twitter simply after 8 p.m. Utah time, additionally criticized previous U.S. insurance policies.

“Putin’s impunity predictably follows our tepid response to his earlier horrors in Georgia and Crimea, our naive efforts at a one-sided ‘reset,’ and the shortsightedness of ‘America First.’ The ‘80s known as, and we didn’t reply,” the assertion continued.

“The peril of once more trying away from Putin’s tyranny falls not simply on the individuals of the nations he has violated, it falls on America as properly,” he added. “Historical past reveals {that a} tyrant’s urge for food for conquest isn’t satiated.”

Romney, a member of the Senate Overseas Relations Committee and the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, urged America and its allies to “reply the decision to guard freedom by subjecting Putin and Russia to the harshest financial penalties, by expelling them from international establishments, and by committing ourselves to the growth and modernization of our nationwide protection.”

Sen. Mike Lee said on Twitter Thursday morning that the “horror of conflict has once more proven its face in Europe.”

“Putin’s merciless assault on the individuals of Ukraine is a gross breach of sovereignty. I condemn this violence and evil, and pray for the individuals of Ukraine,” Lee mentioned.

Ukrainians international minister known as the Russian advance “a full-scale invasion,” The New York Occasions reported, with assaults reported in lots of areas of the nation. Explosions had been heard within the Ukrainian capital metropolis of Kyiv and within the second-largest metropolis of Kharkiv.

From the European Parliament constructing in Brussels, Belgium, Rep. John Curtis addressed the attack.

“The temper is somber and nearly surreal, like this will’t be taking place,” Curtis defined of the sensation in parliament throughout a video posted on-line early Thursday morning. “However it’s taking place, and people in Europe know that this has heavy penalties for them, and actually for the remainder of the world.”

The congressman mentioned he has been in Brussels this week to speak about vitality and local weather, however discussions within the European Parliament had shifted to the invasion.

He’d had an opportunity to speak with a European Union commissioner and, in keeping with Curtis, requested what message he might ship again from the EU to the USA.

“She mentioned a very powerful factor we might do is to ship a sign of our help for them and our brotherhood with the European Union,” the congressman mentioned, including that he conveyed again to the commissioner that his constituents again within the U.S. do help the EU.

“They’re very properly conscious that as they impose sanctions in the present day, and this afternoon and this night, that retaliation will probably be getting back from President Putin. And at no time is extra necessary to face with our brothers and sisters right here within the European Union,” Curtis mentioned.

(Ukrainian Police Division Press Service by way of AP) Navy helicopters, apparently Russian, fly over the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. Russian troops have launched their anticipated assault on Ukraine. Huge explosions had been heard earlier than daybreak in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odessa as world leaders decried the beginning of a Russian invasion that would trigger large casualties and topple Ukraine’s democratically elected authorities.

In a press release to The Salt Lake Tribune, Rep. Blake Moore, a member of the Home Armed Companies Committee, mentioned he condemned the invasion was praying for Ukraine. He additionally mentioned the White Home ought to have imposed harder sanctions on Russian earlier than the assaults on Ukraine’s capital metropolis.

“I vehemently condemn Putin’s horrific invasion of Ukraine, and I proceed to face able to work with the Biden Administration to enact crippling sanctions and instantly reverse failed vitality insurance policies with a purpose to rebuild America’s vitality independence and help our companions and allies in Europe,” Moore mentioned.

“I be part of the world in praying for Ukraine throughout this abhorrent, unjustified assault, and I’ll work with Congress, the White Home, and our European allies to help Ukrainians of their struggle for freedom,” he mentioned.

Rep. Burgess Owens mentioned late Wednesday night time that he was praying for all Ukrainians.

“Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine undermines its territorial sovereignty and violates worldwide regulation. America stands with Ukraine, our NATO allies, and freedom,” Owens wrote in a press release posted on-line. ”I’m praying for each man, lady, and baby throughout Ukraine tonight.”

Rep. Chris Stewart mentioned in a statement Thursday morning, “The error the West has made for greater than a decade is to suppose an autocratic bully is usually a cheap geopolitical associate. Putin doesn’t need to be half of the present worldwide order. He needs to blow it up.”

Stewart, a former U.S. Air Power Pilot member of the Home Everlasting Choose Committee on Intelligence, known as for the “strongest doable sanctions and export controls to cripple Russia’s skill to make conflict” and that army tools must be despatched to Ukraine to help an insurgency.

The Utah Home held a second of silence on Thursday morning earlier than the beginning of the day’s session of hearings.

“How are you going to not have compassion on the Ukrainian residents? I by no means thought I’d ever see tanks go throughout the border once more,” Utah Senate President Stuart Adams informed reporters Thursday. “If there’s issues between these two nations, to make use of army pressure I condemn strongly and really feel for the residents which might be in Ukraine.”

Gov. Spencer Cox tweeted a picture Wednesday night time of the colours of Ukraine’s flag that learn, “I Stand With UKRAINE.”

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine places thousands and thousands of lives in danger and represents an all-out assault on democracy,” the governor posted from his official account on Thursday.

On Twitter Thursday, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez asked the Navajo people to pray for Ukrainians and he hoped for a peaceable finish to the battle.

“Simply as our Navajo Code Talkers defended our nation and guarded democracy, our proud Diné women and men serving within the army stand able to serve as soon as once more, however we pray that the scenario doesn’t escalate additional and that our world leaders attain a peaceable decision in order that our army women and men should not put in hurt’s manner,” Nez wrote.

Breaking information editor Rachel Crosby and reporter Kim Bojórquez contributed to this story.