Biden to address Russia-Ukraine invasion

  • Biden’s first State of the Union address starts at 9 p.m. ET.

President Joe Biden fulfills a constitutional request when he delivers a State of the Union address – his first – to Congress on Tuesday. 

The president will likely speak about several initiatives stalled in the Senate, such as his $1.75 trillion Build Back Better bill and voting rights legislation. He will certainly address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion into Ukraine.

Once President Joe Biden leaves the podium after giving his first State of the Union Tuesday, at least two political leaders will deliver separate responses to the address: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds for the Republican Party and Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

Here’s what else you need to know, along with some history on the speech.

Live updates:Russia’s 40-mile convoy appears to have bogged down en route to Kyiv; shells pound Ukrainian city of Kharkiv

Members sporting Ukraine flags and colors

There are signs of support for Ukraine in the House chamber. 

Ukraine-born Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN 05) is wearing a yellow dress and blue blazer, the colors of Ukraine. 

Some other members on the floor are holding small Ukrainian flags, including Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., the House GOP conference chair. 

— Dylan Wells

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., left, and Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, right, talk with Ukrainian-American Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., before President Joe Biden delivers his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

Biden leaves White House for Capitol

Biden pulled out of the White House in the presidential motorcade at 8:32 p.m. EST to make the short drive to the Capitol.

The president is expected to arrive in just a few minutes.

Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and Capitol is lined with American and Ukrainian flags in a show of support for Ukrainians amid Russia’s brutal attack on Ukraine.

— Joey Garrison

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy wears a Ukranian flag before US President Joe Biden delivers his first State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on March 1, 2022.

Tonight’s Designated Survivor: Gina Raimondo

And the lucky Cabinet member is … Gina Raimondo

The Commerce Secretary is being held back from the State of the Union in case disaster strikes the U.S. Capitol and she has to assume the presidency.

The concept of the “designated survivor” has fascinated entertainers for years.

Thriller writer Tom Clancy used an attack on the U.S. Capitol as a plot device in one of his Jack Ryan novels (Ryan became the president).

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