Louisiana Congress Members Respond to Biden’s State of the Union Address
Louisiana's members of Congress have issued their reviews of President Joe Biden's State of the Union Address.
As expected, most of those reviews are negative.
The Republican members of the Louisiana delegation panned Biden's policies. Some focused on what they believe is Biden's lack of progress with national security. Almost all of them hammered the president for his handling of the Ukraine Crisis and his insistence on pivoting to alternative energies instead of allowing oil companies to resume drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
Here are all of the statements--official and unofficial--issued by Louisiana's representatives and senators.
Rep. Clay Higgins (R-Lafayette)
“The State of our Union is imperiled by the policies of President Biden. We face the worst border crisis in our nation’s history, the highest inflation in 40 years, major national security crises, and an ideological war on America’s oil and gas industry. Biden is a failed president. His weakness is a threat to America’s economic and national security.
“I will continue working on behalf of the Louisiana people, and by extension, all of America. I am 100% committed to serve. Together, we battle to preserve our Republic and restore our rights and freedoms. The next generation of Americans deserves no less."
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-Jefferson)
The House Minority Whip did not release an official written statement, but he posted a video response to his official Twitter page. According to Scalise, the state of the union is "in chaos." Scalise also accused Biden of "(attacking) American companies more than he went after Russia or China."
Rep. Julia Letlow (R-Start)
I left incredibly disappointed by the words spoken tonight because at a time when the United States needs to exude strength, we instead found that the most pressing issues for the world, our nation, and our state were simply ignored.
Make no mistake, the policies that the President put forward tonight are the same ideas that have failed our country time and time again. As Republicans, we instead believe that the best way to put America on the right track is to embrace conservative solutions such as "peace through strength," fiscal responsibility, and a focus on domestic energy production.
Over the past week, we’ve all seen the horrific images from Ukraine, as Vladimir Putin and his henchmen have carried out a brutal genocide against innocent civilians. The United States and our allies cannot allow this unwarranted attack of a sovereign, independent, and democratic country to go unpunished. We must use the harshest diplomatic and economic measures possible to expel Russia from the international community and make it clear to hostile nations that we will not stand by and allow the fires of freedom to be extinguished anywhere in the world.
We should heed the words of President Reagan, who said, "Freedom is not the sole prerogative of a chosen few, but the universal right of all God's children."
What is happening in Ukraine is a tragic international crisis, and here at home, we’re feeling financial impacts as gas prices rise all over the country. But Louisiana has the solution that can lead to energy independence. Our state has both abundant oil and gas reserves and a skilled workforce ready to return to work. We can unleash the full power of American energy and fuel the nation once again, but first we need this Administration to change their misguided policies.
Every single day, I hear from hardworking people who are struggling as inflation increasingly eats away at their paychecks. Tonight, the President spoke of creating new social programs and increasing spending. But we know that with a national debt of over $30 trillion, our country can’t afford to keep writing excessive checks. We need to be focused on fiscal responsibility and addressing inflation – it will not only bring order to our economic house, but also increase our standing on the world stage.
Last week, I joined a delegation of my colleagues in Israel for an official visit. While I was there, I was struck by the unity shown by their citizens. Israel has numerous political parties, and as many varying viewpoints as we have here in the United States, but I couldn’t help but notice an emerging theme – the immense and unified national pride. The people firmly believe that they are Israelis first and must work together to protect their homeland.
Let us learn from their example. We are divided politically, but now more than ever, we must come together as Americans first. As we’ve seen in recent days, hostile nations around the world want to replace the values of freedom and liberty with tyranny and oppression. We are the United States – we must stand strong, stand together, and be the shining light of democracy for the world.
Rep. Mike Johnson (R-Minden)
Rep. Garret Graves (R-Baton Rouge)
Rep. Graves did not issue a formal response to President Biden's address. He did post a series of tweets afterward.
Graves also spoke with WAFB-TV before the speech to give a preview.
Rep. Troy Carter (D-New Orleans)
Tonight, Congressman Troy A. Carter Sr. attended President Biden’s first State of the Union address. Following the event, he made the following statement.
“Tonight, President Biden measured realism with relentless optimism, offering the American people a straightforward take of both the opportunities and the challenges that face our nation.
“Under President Biden, we have accomplished so much, from the Infrastructure Law to the American Rescue Plan to the national vaccination effort. We now have a chance to finally reinforce the building blocks of our nation, recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and uplift communities too often left behind.
“Our nation’s economy has come roaring back from the chaos of the pandemic, but there is still a lot of work ahead to lower costs for working families. President Biden has made this a top priority for his administration, and reaffirmed this commitment in his address tonight. I stand ready to support this effort, and am proud to have voted for the COMPETES Act.
“Further, President Biden is the leader we need to guide our strategy through the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Our Commander-in-Chief has made clear that Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this war will bring, and the United States and its allies and partners will make sure Russia pays a steep price.
“With President Biden’s strong strategic leadership to unify our allies, instead of dividing the U.S. from its allies and partners, Russia’s actions have united the world and further isolated it from the community of nations. NATO has been strengthened, not weakened, by Putin’s actions.
“In his speech tonight the President made it clear that he is fighting for the American people of all ages and all backgrounds and acknowledges that we still have many challenges ahead. We must protect democracy here and abroad, increase the federal minimum wage, and fight the climate crisis and natural disasters. We must defeat and recover from COVID, challenge hate and injustice in all forms, and ultimately make our communities safer.
“Tonight, POTUS made his vision for our nation clear. I am confident that President Biden will lead our nation to a brighter future, and I am proud to serve in Congress to help support policies that will uplift families and protect our nation.”
Sen. John Kennedy (R-Mandeville)
“Here's the unvarnished truth as I see it: President Biden has mismanaged Covid. President Biden has mismanaged the economy. President Biden has opened up our southern border, and President Biden has sent inflation sky-high. President Biden has forfeited America's energy independence. President Biden's Justice Department has treated caring parents like criminals, while his tolerance for the Defund the Police movement has helped turn our cities and our streets over to criminals. President Biden has mismanaged Afghanistan, and I pray he doesn't mismanage Russia’s war of aggression.
“And tonight, I heard President Biden say that he aims to stay the course. Isn’t that just like Washington, D.C.? Figure out what doesn't work, and keep doing it.
“For Louisiana families, that’s bad news. It’s bad news at work. It’s bad news at the grocery store. It’s bad news at home, and it’s bad news at the gas pump. It’s bad news for the education of our children. It’s bad news for the security of our country.
“American sovereignty and national security depend on America’s energy independence. We know that. That’s not a startling realization—that’s just a known fact that we all understand. And that depends, in part, on Louisiana’s oil and natural gas resources—resources that this president continues to ignore. He also continues to ignore the good jobs that oil and gas create.
“Right now, the Biden administration doesn’t seem to accept or address the reality of a new Axis of Evil. China and Russia’s de facto alliance anchors a group of bad actors—of outlaws, of tyrants—that are getting bolder and more aggressive every day.
“Because of the president’s own policies at home and abroad, inflation continues to surge at the grocery store—we know that—and at the gas pump, and at the clothing store, and everywhere, and I didn’t hear a solution from him tonight. He still wants to spend more and borrow more.
“What President Biden doesn’t want to do is secure our border. I didn’t hear a plan for doing that tonight, either. We don’t know who’s coming across our border into our country. We have absolutely no idea, and President Biden doesn’t seem to care about the drug or human trafficking that rage on.
“Meanwhile, our kids—we’re only as valuable as our children, folks—our kids are falling behind because their schools were closed for far too long. The president did a whole lot more to intimidate parents than to get teachers back in the classroom.
“A better future for these kids and for all Americans demands principled, clear-eyed, tough leadership, and I hope the American people see some soon.”
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-Baton Rouge)
The junior senator from Louisiana did not issue a formal response to President Biden's address. He did release a video previewing the speech and tweeted about the address after the joint session of Congress was concluded.