President Biden noticeably didn’t mention some major topics in his first State of the Union address on Tuesday, leaving out five key hot button issues.
Student loan debt, the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, former President Trump, the Jan. 6 insurrection, and the upcoming midterm elections were left out of the just-over-one-hour speech.
Here are five things Biden didn’t include in his address.
The president made no mention of canceling student loan debt, an issue that Democrats have been calling on him to address throughout his time in office.
Lawmakers have urged the president to provide any transparency on the issue as broad-based student loan forgiveness has gained support among Democratic leaders like Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).
Biden campaigned in 2020 on forgiving at least $10,000 in federal student loans per person and progressives have called on him to step that number up to $50,00 per borrower.
In April, Biden requested a memo from the Department of Education to determine his authority to cancel student debt. Since then, the administration has not publicly announced if the memo is complete.
When asked about the topic, the White House has recently pointed to the federal student loan payments freeze, which Biden extended in January through the start of May. The freeze began through a moratorium enacted under then-President Trump in March 2020 and has been extended several times.
Biden received instant backlash during his address for not mentioning the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in August, which was a low point during the first year of his administration.
Rep. Mike Waltz (R-Fla.), who is the first Green Beret to be elected to Congress and served multiple tours in Afghanistan, called the lack of a mention of the withdrawal a disgrace.
“What a disgraceful whitewash. 13 American Gold Star moms and thousands of Afghan allies deserve answers,” he said, noting the 13 American service members killed in a suicide bombing at the Kabul airport in August.
During the address, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) yelled out at Biden, accusing him of putting American troops in coffins. The extraordinary and shocking breach of decorum came as Biden was discussing how many American troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan developed cancer from exposure to toxic smoke from massive burn pits, including his late son who may have been affected by toxic burn pits.
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