March 2, 2022 by Alex Gault
WASHINGTON — Congresswoman Elise M. Stefanik was in the room for Tuesday’s State of the Union address from President Joseph R. Biden, and after the speech she said she was disappointed in what the president said.
“This was an opportunity for Joe Biden to completely shift his policies that have failed across America, and he did not do that,” she said in a phone interview shortly after the speech ended.
Rep. Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, said she was hoping to hear an end of the “tax-and-spend” policies of Democrats, and instead the president asked Congress to pass a bill with a trillion-dollar price tag.
She said President Biden neglected to address American energy independence, which she said should include liquified natural gas permits and a green light for the now-shuttered Keystone XL pipeline project.
She also said President Biden’s remarks on the war in Ukraine, which included an announcement that Russian planes would be barred from American skies, reflected ineffective sanctions.
“I believe his sanctions and actions today didn’t go far enough,” she said. “It didn’t include 100 percent of SWIFT banking sanctions, it didn’t address how we’re going to get munitions and weapons into the country faster, and it didn’t address how we’re going to completely mothball and completely red-light the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.”
In his remarks, the president seemed to flout the progressive wing of his party by calling for increasing police funding. Rep. Stefanik said that statement bore little meaning because the president has not demonstrated pro-police policies.
“When Joe Biden went to the state of New York, he said the rest of the country should be following New York’s strategy when it comes to law enforcement and criminal justice reform, which has been anti-police,” she said.
The congresswoman said President Biden did present points of agreement, in working on ending the opioid epidemic and on the Cancer Moonshot project that seeks to cure the disease.
“But one way you have to combat (the opioid epidemic) is securing the southern border,” she said.
After the speech, Rep. Stefanik said she had a moment to speak with the president by virtue of her rank as House Republican Conference Chair.
“I did raise the issue of opening the northern border and how important that is to our district,” she said. “We’re going to continue pushing on that.”
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