President Biden speaks to members of the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, March 1, 2024, to travel to Camp David, Md., for the weekend. Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Biden will advocate plans to increase taxes on the wealthy and corporations as well as to lower prescription drug prices in his State of the Union address next week, in what aides describe as an effort to lay out second term proposals for protecting and implementing his economic agenda.

Biden, who will speak before both houses of Congress on Thursday night, is seeking to convince voters that his administration’s achievements merit another four years in office, and the televised speech will give him a high-profile forum to reiterate his arguments.

He also plans to highlight the 2022 CHIPS and Science Act, which set aside subsidies worth $100 billion to convince semiconductor makers to build in the U.S., and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2021 as well as government efforts to stamp out so-called junk fees, a White House official said.

Some of the president’s speech, according to the official, will be devoted to support for abortion rights, an issue that has been successful for Democrats since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade decision that had guaranteed those rights for nearly half a century.

While it’s unclear if Biden will mention it in the speech, Republicans have been on the defensive over a recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling that frozen human embryos can be considered people under state law. Even so, GOP senators this week blocked a Democrat-led effort to federally protect in-vitro fertilization.

Along with pledges to lower prices for prescription drugs, Biden, will call for lowering Americans’ health insurance premiums. His vow to raise taxes on the rich faces formidable obstacles in Congress. Republicans, who abhor any tax increase, narrowly control the House and Democrats have a slender hold over the Senate.


The White House didn’t offer additional details, but on the campaign trail lately, Biden has been advancing the idea of raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% as well as a tax hitting capital gains for billionaires.

In November, Biden will likely face his predecessor, Donald Trump, who is about to secure his third Republican presidential nomination. Several surveys have shown that voters put more trust in Trump than Biden on the economy.

And a Bloomberg News/Morning Consult poll found that swing-state voters across every major demographic group describe Biden, who is 81, as too old, showing that concerns about his age have permeated even the most reliable constituencies of the Democratic Party.

In contrast, less than half of respondents said the 77-year-old Trump, was too old. Still, Trump faces his own vulnerabilities with swing-state voters, with a majority saying the former president is dangerous.

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