Rep. Mike Johnson speaks on economy, divided government ahead of State of the Union address

Washington, D.C. (KPLC) – Tuesday evening, President Joe Biden is scheduled to deliver his second State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress.

Ahead of the speech, members of Congress are speaking out and telling us what they say their constituents need to hear from the president.

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Ahead of the speech, members of Congress are speaking out and telling us what they say their constituents need to hear from the president.

Over recent weeks, President Biden has highlighted bipartisan investments in infrastructure, and what he says is an improving economy. According to polling averages from Real Clear Politics, he faces the strongest disapproval from those polled with his handling of the economy, inflation and immigration.


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Polling numbers show overall, his approval rating is slightly up from last year’s State of the Union address. The president’s address is scheduled for 8 p.m. CST Tuesday with the Republican response from Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders to follow.

Ahead of the speech, members of Congress are speaking out and telling us what they say their constituents need to hear from the president.

We spoke with U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson (R-Shreveport) Monday to get his take on various issues:


“The state of our economy is in decline. I mean, if you look by any objective measure, you can see that prices are rising, that the cost of living is becoming almost unbearable for people. We’ve seen reports over the last couple of days about an alarming number of Americans pulling from their 401K plans just to make ends meet.

“I think there’s about 160 million Americans who have told pollsters that they’re living paycheck to paycheck. It’s a pretty disastrous situation in my state of Louisiana. People are really feeling the pinch of that.”


“This week we saw how much of a threat This is a very serious threat. We live in a very dangerous time. China is almost a peer to peer adversary with us, and we’ve not had one of those since World War II.

“You’ve got Iran and North Korea and troublemakers around the globe. But this very provocative action of the balloon floating over the continental U.S., I think, has drawn a lot of the American people’s attention to that. They recognize that this is not a game. And we feel that we’ve been made a mockery of in the eyes of China and our other adversaries around the world, so it’s a very, very serious issue to us.”


“They would like to hear some some truth and not spin, but we’re not expecting that. Typically, what this administration has done is they either try to claim that these mini crises are not actually occurring or if they have to acknowledge that, they blame it on someone else. Typically, the previous administration, or they’ve actually tried to spin it and say that some of these crises are actually positive developments for the country.

“The American people know that that’s not true. I can tell you my constituents know that. And so they’re really frustrated. And I think a lot of them will probably not be tuning in to the State of the Union because that’s exactly what they’re going to expect.”


“I think that there are enough really burning issues that demand our attention that demand really some bipartisan work together. There are things that we can do together and we should. This is a very toxic environment on Capitol Hill right now. It’s getting progressively worse just in the seven years since I’ve been here. We’ve got to work through that because there are very serious challenges facing the country. The Republican majority in the House is delivering on our commitment to America. We’re going to continue to do that. But we need partners in the in the Democratic-controlled Senate and, of course, in the White House as well. So we hope the president would be willing to work with us to solve some of these crises.”

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