Biden’s State of the Union, Chinese spy balloon shot down: Live updates
President Joe Biden is preparing for his second State of the Union address where he is expected to lay out his administration’s priorities for the remainder of his term and give America some answers about what its political future holds.
Here’s what else is happening in politics:
- Sunday shows: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Democratic New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker will headline several network television shows on Sunday mornings.
- Chinese spy balloon shot down: The United States shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the Carolina coast on Saturday after passing through sensitive military sites across North America and became the latest flashpoint in tensions between Washington and Beijing.
- Goodbye Iowa: Democrats on Saturday approved a plan to revamp their 2024 presidential primary schedule, moving the caucus from Iowa, which has traditionally served as the starting point for the presidential election, and flipping four other states.
- Four more years?: Biden’s appearance before party leaders at a DNC meeting in Pennsylvania set the stage for a re-election the president is expected to build on next week in his State of the Union address.
Buttigieg: US waited to shoot down Chinese balloon until it drifted over ocean
Responding to Republican criticism, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Sunday that the Biden administration waited several days to shoot down the Chinese surveillance balloon because it was over US land and airspace.
Shooting the huge, heavily outfitted balloon over land would have been risky for planes and people on the ground, Buttigieg said on NBC’s Meet The Press.
The United States therefore waited for it to drift over the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday.
The Federal Aviation Administration “has worked closely with the Pentagon,” Buttigieg said. “This thing was safely shot down and flying is back to normal in the United States”
Ahead of State of the Union, Democratic voters dislike Biden: poll
Democratic voters do not want President Joe Biden to run for re-election in 2024, with 58% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents saying they would prefer another candidate over Biden, according to a poll published Sunday by the Washington Post. and ABC News. .
The poll comes ahead of Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, where he is also expected to make the case for his 2024 campaign, which he has yet to officially announce.
On the Republican side, 49% of GOP voters and GOP-leaning independents would prefer a candidate other than former President Donald Trump compared to the 44% who support Trump. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
Biden to answer America’s questions about the State of the Union
The State of the Union address President Joe Biden is due to deliver on Tuesday night will likely draw his biggest audience of the year and provide a blueprint for the rest of his presidency — from his stance on Republicans who have taken the control of the Chamber to the political question which hangs over its future.
Is he a candidate for re-election?
He’s unlikely to answer that question directly, of course. An official announcement of his intentions is not expected until the end of the month or next. But the balance he strikes between finding common ground with the GOP and promoting Democratic causes that have limited prospects of passage will be a clue.
– Suzanne Page
Buttigieg and Rubio will air on Sunday newscasts
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Democratic New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker make the rounds on several news networks’ Sunday broadcasts, according to a list published by Politico.
Buttigieg will appear on CNN’s “State of the Union,” NBC’s “Meet the Press” and ABC’s “This Week.”
Rubio, who spoke about a Chinese spy balloon that entered US airspace this week, is set to appear on “State of the Union” and “This Week.”
And Booker will appear on CBS’s “Meet the Press” and “Face the Nation.”
– Ella Lee
Chinese spy balloon shot down
The United States shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the Carolina coast on Saturday after passing through sensitive military sites across North America and became the latest flashpoint in tensions between Washington and Beijing.
An operation was underway in US territorial waters to recover wreckage from the balloon, which was flying at about 60,000 feet and estimated to be the size of about three school buses.
Television footage showed a small explosion, followed by the balloon descending into the water.
– Associated press
On the Chinese spy balloon, the question of “why”
Among the many lingering questions about the Chinese spy balloon drifting over the United States is why the balloon was in American airspace — and why now.
“What are they reporting? And what are they hoping to achieve?” said Kari Bingen, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence and security. “Because it’s something you can’t miss. They were going to get caught. That’s what’s so cheeky about it.”
In his opening remarks about the balloon, which the Chinese say is a “civilian airship” used primarily for weather research that was deflected, Biden expressed confidence: “We will deal with it,” he said. he told reporters on Saturday.
– Josh Meyer, Maureen Groppe, Tom Vanden Brook, Ella Lee
Democrats approve 2024 primary schedule
Democrats on Saturday approved a plan to revamp their 2024 presidential primary schedule, moving the caucus to Iowa, which has traditionally served as the starting point for the presidential election.
The national party has greened a schedule that makes South Carolina the initial contest, elevates Nevada to second place alongside New Hampshire and welcomes Georgia and Michigan to the first primary window for the first time.
Democrats are looking to amplify diverse voices earlier in their presidential selection process. The timetable Democrats approved on Saturday will only apply to 2024. They have pledged to review it before the 2028 election.
Contributor: Associated Press