Local reactions ahead of State of the Union address

Local reactions ahead of State of the Union address

The Thirsty Pagan held a watch party for the State of the Union address while Senator Klobuchar and Representative Stauber were among those that attended in D.C.

On Thursday evening, supporters of President Biden gathered at the Thirsty Pagan in Superior to watch President Biden’s State of the Union address. 

“We’re very, very excited to reelect Joe Biden for the 2024 election, and so we are having a State of the Union Party to get everyone galvanized and ready to go vote blue up and down the ballot,” said Douglas County Democratic Party Treasurer Dianne Yoder. “Biden has been very, very good for our country and very good for Wisconsin. The biggest thing, though, that Biden’s done for us is to sign the Infrastructure Act, which has given us the money to rebuild the Palatinate Bridge so we wouldn’t be getting a new bridge if it were not for Joe Biden.”

Among those watching the address in Washington, D.C. was Iron Ranger Ann Bussey, who was there as U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar’s guest. 

“I wanted to have someone that maybe wasn’t a head of some big company, but instead someone everyday person that knows what it’s like to have to deal with high prescription drug costs,” said Senator Klobuchar. 

Bussey is from Side Lake and advocates for lower prescription drug prices.

“You know, as we age, women outlive men. When our husbands die, for many women, that’s half their income because now they’re living on only their Social Security,” said Bussey. “So then they’re making choices about medications and food and housing. That’s not how you envision living the rest of your life.”

Prescription drug costs were among the issues Senator Klobuchar hoped to see addressed by President Biden. 

“I want to see a future-oriented speech tonight that talks about, Yes, what got done on infrastructure. I’m sure I’ll mention the Blatnick Bridge. But also what is going to be done in the future and what we need to do on child care costs, on housing, so important in Duluth,” said Senator Klobuchar. 

Minnesota Representative Pete Stauber was also in attendance, alongside Hibbing Mayor Pete Hyduke. Representative Stauber said he hoped to see President Biden talk about security on the southern border.

“You know, America is in decline in many areas geopolitically across the world are standing remains very low under his leadership. Our open southern border. The violent crime. Domestic mining. My hope is that the president takes responsibility for his decisions and then tells the American people, you know, how he’s going to secure our border,” said Representative Stauber. 

Both Stauber and Klobuchar were interested in seeing what President Biden had to say about the crisis in Gaza. 

“You know, our allies have to trust us and depend on us. And that’s not happening right now,” said Stauber. “The adversarial nations don’t necessarily fear us, and it’s not a good position to be in. I think that the world is looking to the United States to lead. And I think President Biden in that respect has failed.”

“We need to see a reduction of violence, an end to the civilian deaths, and we need to get the aid getting in there right away,” said Klobuchar. “So really two things. One is to get the hostages out of there that the terrorists took from Israel and a cease-fire together. I think that’s going to be a major focus. Get the aid into Gaza. I think you’ll be hearing from him on that and then move toward a two-state solution so that we have a long-term plan for the people of Gaza.”

As for the upcoming year, Klobuchar and Stauber are working together on improving aviation in Duluth. They also each look forward to continuing legislative work that they feel would help the Northland. 

“The first is getting the budget done right in front of us right now so we’re not in a shutdown. Making sure we deal with some of these technology issues, artificial intelligence, things that could be exciting but are scary in some ways as well,” said Klobuchar. “Ticketmaster’s under the magnifying glass in an investigation. I think that would be helpful to get that launched out of the Justice Department. Lastly, continuing the work we’re doing on housing and child care and prescription drugs because that continues just to be a big part of a lot of household bills and they don’t want to have to choose between filling their refrigerator and filling their prescription.”

“We look at supporting our economy, our small businesses, our small businesses, allowing mining to happen and move forward in our communities and for certain strategic national security and making sure that the men and women are supported and including our local law enforcement, our local EMS, police, and fire. And, of course, rural America, rural health care is extremely important,” said Stauber.