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  • Writer's pictureMfon Edet

What is SOTU & Why is it important?

Updated: Apr 26



What is it and Why is It Important? 

The State of the Union (SOTU) is an annual address/speech made by the sitting U.S. President that provides a country-wide update about the progress as well as area of concerns within the U.S. From discussing domestic issues to highlighting foreign relationships and overall activities abroad, the SOTU is truly an important and informative event that all U.S. citizens and residents should be tuned in for because it directly impacts all of us as well anyone engaging in business with the U.S. 


Along with providing country-wide announcements about new initiatives, program developments, and legislative bills that have been passed or being reviewed in the both congressional houses, the SOTU is also reminder for not only the President of the United States but also the constituents of this country, that the relationship between voters (and even those that contribute to the welfare of the economy) and elected officials is a symbiotic relationship; we depend upon one another for a greater chance of progress, peace, and overall survival. Therefore, the SOTU is not an event in which the President is speaking to the public out of common courtesy but in actuality is a mandatory speech that the sitting President gives to members of Congress (and by proxy to U.S. citizens and residents) as stated in Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution. In a nutshell, its imperative for us to stay tuned whenever the SOTU address occurs because it allows us, the represented public, to know more about the work our elected representatives are doing on Capitol Hill (‘aka’ The Hill).


Thoughts about the recent SOTU address?

As previously mentioned, the SOTU is an annual event that occurs in the first quarter (between January - March) of the new calendar year. The most recent SOTU occurred on Thursday, March 7th with the Biden-Harris administration. Although, the address discussed various issues and even seemed like an opportunity for President Biden to campaign for a 2nd term based on the comments he made about Donald Trump, there were some important legislative bills that were mentioned during the speech that we as citizens and contributors to the U.S. economy should be aware of and they are listed below:

  • CHIPS and Science Act (H.R.4346) - legislation that focuses on investing funds to support the domestic production of semiconductors and authorizes various programs and activities that relates to semiconductors being produced in the U.S.  (Congress.gov); CHIPS = Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors

  • Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (H.R.5376) - legislation that focuses on reducing inflation in the U.S. economy by (1) increasing the tax on billion dollar corporations, (2) reducing the price on prescription drugs, (3) extending the tax credits associated with the affordable care act, (4) extending the tax credit for reducing carbon emissions, (5) funding to the USDA for conservation and renewable energy programs, (6) funding to the EPA to reduce air pollution through the establishment of greenhouse gas reduction programs (Congress.gov)

  • Freedom to Vote Act (H.R. 11/S. 1/S. 2344) - legislation that focuses on “voter registration and voting access, election integrity and security, redistributing protocol, and campaign finance.” (Congress.gov)

  • Equality Act (H.R. 15/ S.5) - legislation that “expands Title II and Title VI of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 to prohibit public accommodations and federally funded programs from discriminating based on sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.” (Congress.gov)

  • Protecting the Right to Organize ‘aka’ PRO Act (H.R. 842) - legislation that focuses on workers’ rights specifically “employees’ rights to organize and collectively bargain in the workplace”; this act protects union activities (Congress.gov

  • Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021 (H.R. 1620) - legislation that focuses on “reauthoriz[ing], until FY2026, programs, activities under the Violence Against Women Act (of the 90s) that seek to prevent and respond to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.” (Congress.gov)

  • Honoring our PACT Act of 2022 (H.R. 3967) - legislation that focusing on “improving health care and benefits for veterans especially those exposed to toxic substances” while on active duty. (Congress.gov

  • National Security Act (H.R. 815) - legislation that focuses on U.S. national security abroad and domestically. The bill also includes $118.28 billion bipartisan spending package (Congress.gov); for more information about the spending click here.


To watch the full 2024 SOTU address on YouTube, click here or visit whitehouse.gov

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