DC-area Congress members, leaders react to Biden’s State of the Union

Members of Congress and local politicians in the D.C. area voiced their approval of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.

That support was shown on a variety of topics — from lowering prescription drug costs being touted by Virginia politicians, to Biden’s firm stance opposing the war in Ukraine and the District’s leaders wanting to become the nation’s 51st state.


Mayor Muriel Bowser praised Biden’s speech in a statement, saying he “presented the nation with a united, fortified and clear path forward.”

Bowser, a Democrat, also highlighted how Biden’s speech mentioned that the best is yet to come.

She made a reference to the District’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic when she said: “Over the past two years, we’ve witnessed the resilience of our city and the strength of our people. And as mayor of my hometown, I couldn’t be prouder of how we’ve come back stronger than ever.”

Bowser ended her statement by saying that she’ll continue to work with the Biden-Harris administration to give D.C. residents “a fair shot, including becoming the 51st state.”

The push for D.C.’s statehood is a cause championed by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District’s lone, nonvoting Congressional representative, in the lead up to the State of the Union.

Norton’s guest list for the address included residents, activists and academics who all support D.C. statehood. While Norton didn’t release a post-speech statement about the State of the Union, she did actively retweet multiple posts with the hashtag #DCStatehood.


Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, expressed gratitude for Biden’s remarks made in support of police funding.

He retweeted a clip from the speech where Biden spoke about police funding and said, “I’m glad to see that even President Biden is now supporting our common sense efforts to crack down on violent crime and re-fund our police.”

Sen. Chris Van Hollen touched on the progress Biden made during his first year in office, despite the difficult circumstances he faced.

“Just over one year ago, President Biden was sworn into office as a nation in disarray looked on — left shocked by the attacks on our democracy and battered by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic harm,” Van Hollen, a Democrat, said in a statement. “Tonight, President Biden reported that America is coming back strong.”

He cited the fortitude of Marylanders for helping defeat the pandemic and help the economy achieve record job growth, while also advising constituents to stay vigilant about inflation and the climate crisis.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer hailed Biden’s speech for its bipartisan tone, and for coming out strongly against Russia’s ongoing war with Ukraine.

“Over the past week, Ukrainians have demonstrated unparalleled bravery. Tonight, President Biden made clear that, under his leadership, America will always stand with those who fight to defend their freedom and their democracy,” Hoyer said in a statement.

Fellow Rep. Jamie Raskin celebrated Biden’s nomination of Kentanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, while applauding the role Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner is playing in revitalizing the nation’s infrastructure.


If you hadn’t heard of Joshua Davis before the State of the Union, you were well acclimated with him by the end of the night thanks to Virginia’s politicians.

The Midlothian-area middle school student has advocated for Virginia’s General Assembly to make schools safer for kids with Type 1 diabetes, such as himself. He was mentioned by Biden when talking about the need to lower the price of prescription drugs, and was heralded by both of the state’s Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner.

Warner also praised Biden for speaking “not just to Congress or the American people, but to the world,” and for rallying NATO allies to support the citizens of Ukraine.

Resilience was the theme of the night, and Rep. Jennifer Wexton applauded Biden’s positive tone.

Wexton, a Democrat who represents Loudoun and Frederick counties, mentioned how the American Rescue Plan has helped the nation rebound from the pandemic, while also saying that tackling inflation is a major concern going forward.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, did not make a statement about the State of the Union, but instead retweeted a quote from Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ response speech that touched on the importance of parents.

Matthew Delaney

Matt Delaney is a digital web writer/editor who joined WTOP in 2020.

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