Why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Wasn't Into Biden's State Of The Union Address

On March 1, 2022, President Joe Biden addressed the nation in his first official State of the Union address since being elected. Normally a speech given in celebration of how well the U.S. is doing, this year's speech came at a time where the President's legislative agenda has stalled following another year battling Covid-19, as well as rising inflation (via The Washington Post).

Inflation and the economy have been issues President Biden has been criticized for not understanding. As CNN reports, Biden spent time addressing "Americans' economic anxieties" during the speech as a result of this criticism. "Too many families are struggling to keep up with their bills," President Biden said of the economic issue. At one point, he urged Congress to pass legislation that would make the United States more "economically competitive" with China — just one part of a multi-faceted plan.

President Biden also addressed the ongoing situation in Ukraine. So far, the United States has only issued sanctions against Russia, who invaded Ukraine last week in an unprovoked act of war. As CNN describes it, President Biden appears to have taken the stance that "democracies must self-defend against creeping global authoritarianism." 

In the State of the Union, the President promised to join "our European allies" in seizing the assets of Russian oligarchs who have private jets, luxury apartments, and yachts in NATO member countries. There were many topics President Biden didn't touch on, though, some of which Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was quick to point out could help ease the economic burden weighing so many American families down.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wanted more from Biden's State of the Union address

While the United States has issued sanctions on Russia, there has been no movement away from dependence on Russian oil and gas. According to The Hill, the U.S. and European Union have both shied away from doing anything that would increase gas and heat prices higher than they already are. According to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, though, one possible solution President Biden has is to "expand domestic oil supply from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve," (per The National Review).

Overall, the Congresswoman believed there were many missed opportunities in Biden's address. "I think there's some themes that are left a little bit to be desired for key constituencies in the Democratic base," she said during an interview on MSNBC. Alternative Energy was one of those issues — something that would help ease reliance on Russian oil and gas that goes beyond pushing consumers to switch to electric vehicles. "While they are great," she said of electric vehicles, "they are not the main form of transit ... we really need to hear more, I think, about mass transit, trains, high-speed rail, and renewable energy" (via The National Review).

Ocasio-Cortez also believes the President needs to do something about the $1.5 trillion in student loan debt, whose payments are currently on a moratorium due to the continued financial hardship many face because of the COVID-19 pandemic (per Daily Mail).