WASHINGTON – Against the backdrop of Russia’s violent siege on Ukraine, President Joe Biden is expected to tackle the threat and many other issues head-on during his first State of the Union address Tuesday.
COVID-19, inflation, soaring gas prices and violence abroad are all topics expected to be addressed.
Virginia representatives on different sides of the aisle find themselves unified in how the President needs to address the topic – aggressively.
“We don’t have effective sanctions in place by the United States whereas Europe is being aggressive,” stated Rep. Ben Cline. He represents Virginia’s sixth district.
He suggests America end its purchase of oil from Russia and beef up its production domestically. Cline says we should also issue a no-fly zone over the United States by Russian aircraft.
Sen. Mark Warner is the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. He says the domestic threat from Russia is mounting day by day.
He worries about potential cyber-attacks from Russia. Sen. Warner predicts Russia has the manpower and infrastructure to cripple Ukraine’s internet and communication networks and is surprised the move hasn’t already been made.
“We need to join other industrial nations in the world and have a mandatory requirement that if you are attacked in a cyber-attack, you have to tell the government,” said Warner. “Not so the government can do anything against you but so we can warn other people in the private sector.”
Warner says only 30% of cyber-attacks are relayed to national agencies.
Domestic attacks can be minor and harder to detect nationally. Examples include ransomware attacks on businesses or other institutions.
If Russia cripples a NATO country, then we may have to get involved. Ukraine is not part of NATO.
White House officials tell NBC News the President will tout administration successes from infrastructure to jobs to the fight against COVID-19.
“More than 210 million people have been vaccinated. That’s because of what this President has done. What he took on the again, multiple crises,” said White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre to NBC News.
Inflation, soaring gas prices, crime and more have cast a negative shadow over the administration and need to be addressed, says Cline.
“This president came in saying he was going to unite the country, saying he was going to bring people together. He has failed to do that,” said Cline.
Cline says Biden needs to present solutions. Republicans, he says, have done so by listening to Americans by eliminating mask mandates at every level, listening to parents and giving them their “rights back,” doing things to save the economy and more.
“The more Democrats listen to working men and women across this country they are going to move in the direction where Republicans are right now,” said Cline. “We are the ones listening to the public.”
“With the potential crisis with Ukraine, the exhaustion we all feel with COVID, and very real challenges surrounding inflation, he needs to bring us together as Americans first,” said Warner.