Who are the South Floridians invited to Biden's 'State of the Union' address?
A Miami Shores police chief whose son died from a drug overdose. A Hallandale Beach woman who had to leave the state to get a medical abortion. And a retired nurse from Delray Beach who relies on Social Security and Medicare.
All three have been invited by South Florida members of Congress to President Biden’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday night at 9 p.m. in Washington to highlight how public policies affect real people.
Republican Sen. Rick Scott is bringing Miami Shores Police Chief David Golt, who lost his son, Zachary, to a fentanyl overdose to call attention to the deadly drug ravaging the country.
“Fentanyl is a killer that does not discriminate by race, political party, age or background and the wide open southern border we have today is allowing it to pour into our communities like never before,” Scott said in a statement before Tuesday night’s speech.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz invited Anabely Lopes, a Hallandale Beach woman forced to leave Florida to have a medical abortion because of the state’s strict abortion laws.
Last July, she learned she needed the abortion procedure after genetic testing showed her pregnancy was not viable and would have resulted in a stillborn birth.
Lopes is “a victim of extreme MAGA Republican policies that focus on Florida culture war distractions and attacking women and minorities,” said Wasserman Schultz in a statement released after a news conference Monday in Sunrise that featured Lopes.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel said she invited Janet Zweiback, a retired nurse from Delray Beach, as her guest for the president’s speech. She said Zweiback represents the nearly 200,000 people in Palm Beach County who rely on Social Security and Medicare in their retirement years.
The congresswoman from Palm Beach County wants to highlight her “commitment to protecting these vital programs from ongoing Republican attacks.”
Dealing with a divided Congress
Biden will use his second State of the Union address to remind Americans of how their lives have been improved over his first two years in office, as he tries to confront pessimism in the country and navigate the tricky politics of a newly divided Washington.
Rather than laying out major new policy proposals, Biden is expected to devote much of his speech to highlighting his efforts over the past two years to create jobs, fight inflation and improve the nation’s infrastructure.
After the speech, Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and his Cabinet plan to hold over 30 events in two days to drive the message home to the American people in their communities. Biden will visit Wisconsin to discuss job creation on Wednesday and on Thursday will be in Tampa, Florida to talk about his efforts to lower prescription drug costs and protect Social Security and Medicare.
Biden’s address begins at 9 p.m. You can watch Biden and listen to NPR's special coverage via livestream link below. You can also listen to NPR's broadcast via WLRN−91.3 FM or your local NPR affiliate.
NPR is also offering a special bilingual broadcast of the address — presented in a mix of both Spanish and English. You can listen and watch here.
Following Biden's address, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will deliver the Republican response. Arizona Congressman Juan Ciscomani is also giving a Spanish-language response.