Republican Rebuttal Echoes Criticisms Of Biden’s Pandemic Measures
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, chosen by Republicans to deliver the traditional post-State of the Union response, focused on debates surrounding schools including covid protections. News outlets report on other scenes from around the House chamber.
Reynolds Says When It Comes To Masking And Schools, Republicans 'Actually Listened To The Science'
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds devoted a sharp paragraph or two in her speech to speak directly to the many parents in the United States who were clamoring months ago for an end to mask mandates in schools. Those parents, and the Republicans who supported them, "actually listened to the science," she said. Here Reynolds performed a deft sleight of hand — because, of course, up until last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the government's arbiter of what the science actually says, supported universal masking in schools. Given the CDC's position, anyone who supported mask-free schools before the availability of vaccines or, arguably, during omicron's alarming rise, may have been listening to the science, but it's hard to argue they were following it. (Turner, 3/2)
Republicans' State Of The Union Response Was A Message To Swing Voters
Tonight was probably the first time that many Americans had ever heard of Kim Reynolds. It almost certainly won’t be the last. The 62-year-old governor of Iowa delivered the official Republican response to Joe Biden’s State of the Union address from outside the capitol in Des Moines. Reynolds has been involved in Iowa politics for more than a decade. But she’s a new face on the national stage—a female Republican leader who has managed to avoid engaging in Donald Trump’s wild-eyed conspiracy theories, while being praised by her own party for her mostly hands-off response to the coronavirus pandemic. (Godfrey, 3/1)
In remarks from West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin —
Manchin Pours Water On Biden's Attempt To Revive Build Back Better
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) poured cold water on President Biden’s attempt to revive the core elements of his Build Back Better agenda, questioning the president’s claim that passing a $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion spending package would “lower costs” for most Americans. “They just can’t help themselves,” Manchin quipped when asked by reporters after Biden’s State of the Union speech whether he was surprised by the president’s effort to try to use the moment to try to revive his stalled climate and social spending plan. “I don’t know where that came from,” he joked. (Bolton, 3/1)
Manchin Sits With Republicans During State Of The Union
Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, opted to sit on the Republicans' side of the House chamber during President Biden's first State of the Union address. Manchin has been outspoken in recent days against what he has branded “hypocritical” policies on energy imports pursued by the Biden administration. Nonetheless, he stood repeatedly with his fellow Democrats to applaud policies outlined by the president. (Mucha, 3/1)
In other news from the State of the Union address —
Boebert Shocks Democrats With Biden State Of The Union Interruption
In addition, [Rep. Lauren] Boebert said that she had ignored COVID-19 health protocols in place for Biden's speech. All attendees at Biden's State of the Union address, including lawmakers, staff and journalists, were required to get tested for COVID-19 the day before. Boebert said she didn't get tested and yet wasn't denied entry. (Marcos, 3/1)
State Of The Union Attendees Needed A COVID Test. 6 Legislators Tested Positive
At least six legislators announced Tuesday that they had tested positive for the coronavirus ahead of the evening's State of the Union address. To attend Tuesday's speech, guests — even those who are fully vaccinated — are required to produce a negative test. Sen. Alex Padilla of California, Rep. Pete Aguilar of California, Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, Rep. Suzan DelBene of Washington, Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida and Rep. Dwight Evans of Pennsylvania — all Democrats — announced by statements or tweets on Tuesday that they had tested positive. (Sullivan, 3/1)