‘The state of the Union is very poor’: Arkansas senator troubled by inflation, border crisis

President Joe Biden is set to deliver his first State of the Union address to both chambers of Congress and the American public Tuesday.
Published: Mar. 1, 2022 at 8:03 AM EST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - President Joe Biden is set to deliver his first State of the Union address to both chambers of Congress and the American public Tuesday.

The speech will come amid the coronavirus pandemic, as inflation rises nationally, and as the Russia-Ukraine conflict continues to unfold.

“I would say that the state of the Union is very poor,” said Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) “[Arkansans] are concerned about the supply chain. They’re concerned about crime in their cities and very concerned about our border.”

Biden has sought to reverse many of the immigration policies implemented by his predecessor. At the beginning of his term, the White House pledged to reform the U.S immigration system, by making better use of existing enforcement resources and providing pathways to citizenship.

“He immediately made it appear that the border was open,” said Boozman. “As a result, I think that’s really what sped up record numbers; almost 2 million people last year caught.”

Boozman also said he is troubled by rising inflation, as well as goods and labor shortages in Arkansas.

“These are the things that are on the minds of Arkansans, yet the president is not dwelling on the result,” said Boozman.

While Republicans tend to blame federal spending for fueling inflation, many Democrats back the President’s policymaking. House Majority Whip Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C) says legislative measures, such as the American Rescue plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, have been well received. He adds they are critical to growing the economy, sustainably and equitably.

“All the programs are there; the programs are very popular with the American people,” said Clyburn.

Republicans will offer a rebuttal speech following the State of the Union address.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is set to deliver the GOP response.

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