Congressman gives preview on State of the Union

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We spoke with Democratic Congressman Raúl Grijalva to get a preview of President Biden’s State of the Union speech.

What are your expectations for the State of the Union speech tonight?

“You’ve got to deal with the issues that are in front of us. The full recovery from the pandemic, I want to hear about that and I think the American people want to hear about that. You have to deal with the economic issues of inflation and general costs, not only in issues of fuel but in other areas, rental and others, as those costs continue to rise and rise, keeping those costs down and making it manageable for families. And then Ukraine, and Putin’s aggression, the violence,

“Those are what I want to hear about. Not only are they topical but they’re necessary to talk about, and I anticipate the president will, and I anticipate the president will set out the agenda of what needs to be done, and not necessarily what hasn’t been done.”

The Washington Post reports that the president is revising the State of the Union to emphasize Ukraine over domestic issues. Is this wise?

This is an issue that has consequences, it has consequences directly to the American people, and it has consequences to fundamental issues of war and peace in the globe, so yes I think it’s important to talk about that. But yes, the domestic issues around us continue to swirl around us and some emphasis has to be placed on that. Not only do I understand it, but I think it’s almost necessary that you deal directly with the American people and talk about Ukraine, and talk about the American response to that.”

With approval ratings at an all-time low, does the administration need to be relaunched, and is this an opportunity for that?

“I think our expectations for the Biden administration are, and were, and continue to be high, in terms of pushing an agenda. I think that that’s recalibrating, and recalibrating, and refocusing on priorities I think is very important. If I sense anything in the frustration of my constituents, is it’s from a lack of action. When you’re the president of the United States, it ends up in your lap. It ends up in the White House. I think what we need to understand is that what we’re dealing with now is the aftermath of getting out of the pandemic, the economic issues that occurred there, the downturn that occurred there, and now we have Ukraine, and looming over us we have this whole climate crisis. They have to be dealt with. I think that continuing to push those issues forward, I don’t think it’s the wrong thing for the president to do.”

Raúl Grijalva - (D) United States Representative, Arizona, District 3

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