How Pa. pols reacted to President Joe Biden’s debut State of the Union speech

Biden rolled out a 4-point ‘unity plan’ that called for beating the opioid epidemic, among other measures

By: - March 1, 2022 10:30 pm

President Joe Biden arrives to deliver the State of the Union address as U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris (L) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) look on during a joint session of Congress in the U.S. Capitol House Chamber on March 1, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Saul Loeb – Pool/Getty Images).

(*This developing story will be updated as more comment becomes available)

President Joe Biden offered a wide-ranging State of the Union address on Tuesday night, talking tough on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and calling for congressional authorization of his Build Back Better plan. Here’s how members of Pennsylvania’s Congressional delegation reacted to the speech.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey D-Pa.: 

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa:

“President Biden began his speech tonight with a good message about Ukraine. I hope that his actions match his rhetoric and he will impose the comprehensive sanctions against Russia that I, and my Republican colleagues, have urged.

“The president then went on to rehash a mostly partisan, liberal wish list, including the tax-and-spend agenda that recently failed in Congress. 

“Tonight was an opportunity for the president to turn a new page towards the unity he promised our country when he first took office, but unfortunately, Americans got more of the same.”


U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-2nd District:

U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans, D-3rd District:

U.S. Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-4th District:

U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, D-5th District:

U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, D-6th District:

U.S. Rep. Susan Wild, D-7th District:

U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-10th District:

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker, R-11th District:

U.S. Rep. Fred Keller, R-12th District:

U.S. Rep. John Joyce, R-13th District:

“Unfortunately, as has been far too often the case during his first year in office, President Biden – once again – signaled his commitment to put the interests of the radical, socialist wing of his party ahead of the urgent needs of our families and communities. From rising energy costs to an influx of illegal migrants and drugs crossing our southern border, President Biden failed to offer serious, actionable solutions to address these real and urgent crises.

“We need leadership that will deliver results – not empty campaign promises – and we need a vision that will empower – not burden – American parents, innovators, and job creators to achieve their true potential,” Joyce said in a statement his office issued after the speech.

U.S. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-14th District:

U.S. Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-15th District:

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-16th District:

“I’m disappointed to hear President Biden fail to provide real solutions to soaring inflation and rising fuel and food prices. Americans shouldn’t have to choose between heating and eating. The President can’t hide from reality: his economic and energy policies have made America poorer and less secure in his first year. I was pleased to hear the President acknowledge that, yes, we do need to fund our police departments and secure our borders. But, his failed immigration policy has allowed nearly 2 million illegal immigrants to cross our Southern border. Actions speak louder than words.

“I support the unified effort between Republicans and Democrats to combat Russian aggression in Ukraine. We must do everything we can to deter Russia’s advances. The eyes of the world — specifically, China, North Korea, and Iran — are watching our response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The President must show strength in the face of evil,” Kelly said in a statement his office issued after the speech.”

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John L. Micek
John L. Micek

A 3-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning political reporter, Micek’s career has taken him from small town meetings and Chicago City Hall to Congress and the Pennsylvania Capitol. His weekly column on U.S. politics is syndicated to 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. He also contributes commentary and analysis to broadcast outlets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Micek’s first novel, “Ordinary Angels,” was released in 2019 by Sunbury Press.