Biden to deliver first State of the Union speech: Live news | Joe Biden News

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President Joe Biden addressing US lawmakers as international concern grows over Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

  • Biden’s speech comes amid low approval ratings for the US president.
  • Address offers Biden an opportunity to showcase accomplishments, experts say.
  • Ukrainian ambassador to US joins First Lady Jill Biden in viewing box, among other guests.
  • Biden earlier affirms support for Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy amid Russian invasion.
  • Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds to deliver Republican response.

Here are all the latest updates:

Biden to focus on Ukraine, domestic achievements: Correspondent

Al Jazeera’s White House correspondent Kimberly Halkett, reporting from Congress, says Biden is expected to focus on the Russian assault on Ukraine during his speech, while also promoting his domestic policy achievements.

“We know that the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and Russian aggression that the United States has been so concerned about is expected to be one of the major features in this speech,” Halkett said.

On domestic issues, she said Biden would tout a massive infrastructure bill passed last year and how it “will create jobs for Americans, will lift up working families in the United States”.

Speech comes at ‘good time’ for Biden: Political scientist

Amid low approval ratings, the State of the Union will offer Biden a chance to highlight his accomplishments to a large audience, experts say.

“The [speech] comes at a good time, ”John Geer, a political scientist and an expert in public opinion at Vanderbilt University, told Reuters. “He needs to grab the national stage and set a course that offers a brighter future.”

Read more here.

Biden addressing nation amid low approval ratings

The President of the United States is delivering his first State of the Union address amid low approval ratings.

A CBS News poll conducted in late February and released on Tuesday showed only 44 percent of respondents approved of the job Biden is doing, with 56 percent disapproving. Approval for the president’s handling of the Ukraine crisis is even lower, at 41 percent.

What is the State of the Union?

The State of the Union is a constitutionally mandated annual statement that the US president must deliver to lawmakers, briefing them about the country’s state of affairs.

Early US presidents handed written speeches to legislators, but delivering the address to a joint session of Congress became a tradition over the past century.

President Harry Truman delivered the first televised State of the Union speech on January 6, 1947.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds to deliver Republican response

The opposition US political party traditionally outlines its own vision for the nation in response to the State of the Union. On Tuesday evening, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is set to deliver a Republican rebuttal after Biden concludes his speech.

Kim ReynoldsKim Reynolds has been the governor of Iowa since 2017 [File: Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo]

Biden affirms support for Ukrainian counterpart

Hours before taking the stage at the US Capitol, Biden spoke by phone to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

“President Biden underscored the United States’ sustained help for Ukraine, including ongoing deliveries of security assistance, economic support and humanitarian aid,” the White House said in a statement describing the talks.

“The leaders discussed how the United States, along with Allies and partners, is working to hold Russia accountable, including by imposing sanctions that are already having an impact on the Russian economy.”

Ukrainian ambassador joins US first lady for Biden’s address

Oksana Markarova, Ukraine’s ambassador to the US, will be attending Biden’s speech as one of First Lady Jill Biden’s special guests, the White House said.

Other guests include medical workers, community organizers and teachers.

Welcome to Al Jazeera’s live coverage of President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union address.

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