On Thursday, March 7, 2024, President Biden delivered his third State of the Union Address before members of Congress, Supreme Court Justices, and invited guests. He used the opportunity to highlight policy advancements that have happened during his administration, declared that “the State of the Union is strong and getting stronger.”

The President started with several weighty topics, such as the war in Ukraine, January 6th, and Roe v. Wade, topics that he and other Democrats will be highlighting in their campaigns leading up to the November election. He then spoke about the economy, citing jobs and small business growth, unemployment rates, and slowing inflation.

President Biden highlighted a number of key concerns for children and families in his speech.

He outlined his plans for reducing healthcare costs and the price of prescription drugs, noting the effectiveness of the Affordable Care Act in increasing the number of people with health insurance. He also spoke to the high cost of housing and his plan to enact tax benefits for homeowners, create better enforcement for landlords, and create more affordable housing.

Education was a key component of the speech; the President stated that, “to remain the strongest economy in the world, we need to maintain the best education in the world.” He specifically mentioned early education, noting that he wants to “give kids the best start,” by providing more access to preschool for young children. He also pointed to the need for tutoring and summer school, pathways to good jobs with or without college, better pay for public school teachers, and more affordable higher education. He noted his recent victories with targeted loan forgiveness, after a set back in this policy area last year.

President Biden specifically mentioned the success of the expansion of the Child Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan, which cut child poverty in half. He stated that no child should go hungry and that making the tax code fair by requiring corporations to pay more is a key priority. Other key policy issues that were mentioned were paid leave, voting rights, LBTQI+ rights, the climate crisis and raising the federal minimum wage.

One of the most contentious parts of the speech was about immigration, with some back and forth with Republican members of Congress. The President noted the need for a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, and called on Congress to pass immigration legislation. President Biden also called on Congress to strengthen gun laws by banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines and passing universal background checks.

The President wrapped up his speech with remarks about the conflict in Israel and the need for humanitarian assistance in Gaza.