Joe Biden Highlights Post-State of the Union Economic Agenda; GOP launches probes: live updates

President Biden is combative State of the Union address Tuesday night signaled more than a new year: It welcomed a different presidency.

Biden’s first two years in office were marked by the passage of far-reaching legislation. But during his second two years in office, even the most basic acts of government seem harder to achieve.

Ahead in Chapter Two: Less Legislation and More Congressional Scrutiny. More defense and less attack from the White House. And an expected re-election bid that starts with Biden’s dismal approval rating and low public confidence in his ability to lead.

Here’s what else is happening in politics:

  • Biden focuses on the working class message as he prepares for a bid in 2024.

  • The Biden administration is on the way: Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are set to hold events in at least 20 states to highlight Biden’s agenda.

  • GOP-led Biden investigations begin: The House Oversight Committee is set to question former Twitter executives about media coverage of Hunter Biden’s laptop.

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Biden is focusing on a working-class message as he prepares for his 2024 bid

The country is at a tipping point, as President Joe Biden likes to say. So is Biden’s presidency as he prepares to compete for a second term.

Biden’s descriptions of how infrastructure investment will benefit middle-class families are not resonating with workers—especially white voters who didn’t go to college. Many defected from the Democratic Party over the past decade and offered tepid support to Biden in the last presidential election.

Ahead of an expected re-election announcement in the coming weeks, Biden is making a concerted effort to bring working-class Americans back into the fold. His first stop on his post-State of the Union tour will be at a union-run apprenticeship and training facility in Wisconsin, a state that epitomizes the challenges Democrats face in the 2024 election, with independents and workers who has been hit hard by the decline in American production.

Francesca Chambers and Joey Garrison

‘Four more years’: Biden hints at 2024 as he gathers Democratic Party leaders in Philadelphia

Biden will travel to Wisconsin and Florida after the speech

Biden administration officials will hit the road this week, holding events in at least 20 states to highlight parts of the president’s message.

Biden himself will outline his economic agenda in Wisconsin on Wednesday and will discuss Social Security and Medicare in Florida on Thursday.

Vice President Kamala Harris is on her way to Georgia and Minnesota. Several other cabinet members are also traveling around the country.

– Maureen Groppe

‘We turn it around’: Biden says Democrats need to pay attention to working-class voters

House panel to quiz former Twitter executives on Hunter Biden’s laptop coverage

The House Oversight and Accountability Committee is scheduled to hear Wednesday from three former Twitter executives suppression of news about Hunter Biden’s laptopthe first salvo in an investigation into his potential influence on his father, President Joe Biden.

Twitter initially blocked distribution of New York Post stories on the laptop in October 2020, weeks before the election, in a decision the former CEO called “unacceptable.” The chairman of the committee, Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., wants to speak with Yoel Roth, former head of trust and security; Vijaya Gadde, former Chief Counsel; and James Baker, former attorney general, on the incident.

But Joe Biden has denied being involved in or profiting from his son’s business deals in Ukraine or China. Hunter Biden’s lawyers called for a criminal investigation into the distribution of the laptop’s contents. And Democrats blasted the investigation as “hyperpartisan” conspiracy theories that have been debunked.

– Bart Jansen

Sanders: Biden has ‘failed’ the American people; calls for “new generation”

Sarah Huckabee Sanders of Arkansasat age 40, the youngest governor in the country, didn’t hesitate to point out that 80-year-old Joe Biden is the oldest president in history — adding that it’s time for a “new generation” of Republican leadership.

“Biden and the Democrats have failed you,” Sanders said in the formal GOP response to Biden’s State of the Union address. “It’s time for a change.”

Speaking from the governor’s mansion in Little Rock, Ark., Sanders cited domestic issues such as inflation, immigration and crime. Sanders also criticized the president’s foreign policy, saying Biden is “unfit” to be commander in chief.

Referring to the Republican majority in the House, Sanders said, “We will hold the Biden administration accountable.”

-David Jackson

More: In Republican response to Biden’s State of the Union, a pledge to block the president’s agenda

House Intel Chairman: China’s spy balloon went to other sensitive missile and nuclear weapons sites

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner, R-Ohio, said China’s surveillance balloon maneuvered over sensitive U.S. military sites in addition to those in Montana that it passed before being shot down off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday.

“If you take the path that this balloon did, and you put an X every place where you have a missile defense site, actual nuclear weapons infrastructure, you’re going to follow that path,” Turner said in a briefing with reporters. “So I think the natural conclusion is that it’s intelligence gathering in terms of trying to somehow influence the command and control of our missile defenses and nuclear weapons.”

Turner did not elaborate on that or share other details about the ongoing investigation into China’s balloon, in some cases citing the classified nature of the information. But he said the U.S. intelligence community is scheduled to brief him and other members of the congressional leadership, who make up the Gang of Eight, later this week about the balloon and efforts to gain intelligence from its recovery.

– Josh Meyer

More: The DOD did not consider the spy balloon to be a military threat when it was first discovered

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: GOP launches investigation as Biden pushes economic agenda: live updates

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