Zick Miller and KOLIN LONG

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden has promised to force Vladimir Putin to “pay the price” for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in his first address on the state of the Union, uniting allies abroad and outlining plans inside the country to fight inflation and extinction. but still a dangerous coronavirus.

In addition to listing US and allied economic sanctions against Russia, Biden planned to announce that the United States was following Canada and the European Union in banning Russian planes from entering its airspace in retaliation for invading Ukraine, according to two people familiar with his remarks. . Before the performance, they spoke only on condition of anonymity.

In a speech Tuesday night, Biden planned to underscore the courage of Ukrainian defenders and the determination of the re-activated Western Alliance, which has worked to rearm the Ukrainian military and cripple Russia’s economy through sanctions. He had to make an ominous warning that Russian President Putin’s aggression against Ukraine would not be restrained without consequences.

“Throughout our history, we have learned this lesson – if dictators do not pay the price for their aggression, they cause even more chaos,” Biden said, according to previous excerpts published by the White House. “They keep moving. And the cost and threats to America and the world continue to rise. ”

Even before the Russian invasion led to a sharp rise in energy prices, prices for American families rose, and the COVID-19 pandemic continued to harm families and the economy.

Biden planned to outline plans to combat inflation by reinvesting in U.S. manufacturing facilities, speeding up supply chains and reducing the burden of caring for children and the elderly.

“We have a choice,” Biden said. “One way to fight inflation is to cut wages and make Americans poorer. I have a better plan to fight inflation. Reduce your expenses, not your salaries. ”

Against domestic unrest and danger abroad, the White House conceived Tuesday night’s speech as an opportunity to highlight improving the coronavirus outlook, change Biden’s domestic policy priorities and show a way to reduce costs for families struggling with high inflation. But it has taken on new significance with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last week and Putin’s rattling of a nuclear sword.

In an interview with CNN and Reuters, Zelensky said he called on Biden to convey a strong and “useful” message about Russia’s invasion. On the eve of the speech, the White House announced that Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova will join First Lady Jill Biden in the galleries to watch Biden’s address.

Biden will address the crowd without a mask in the House of Representatives, which is one of the signs of easing the threat of coronavirus. But he will also speak from inside the newly fenced Capitol over renewed security concerns after last year’s uprising.

Rising energy prices as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine risks exacerbating inflation in the United States, which is already at its highest level in 40 years, eating away at people’s incomes and threatening economic recovery after the pandemic. And while the geopolitical crisis in Eastern Europe may have helped ease guerrilla tensions in Washington, it cannot eradicate the political and cultural discord that calls into question Biden’s ability to fulfill his promise to promote national unity.

Biden speaks to the American public, disappointed by his speech. A February AP-NORC poll found that more people disapprove than approve of how Biden handles his work, with 55% to 44%. That’s less than 60% of the favorable rating last July.

White House officials acknowledge that sentiment in the country is “sour”, citing a protracted pandemic and inflation. Biden in his speech highlighted the progress made a year ago – most of the U.S. population is now vaccinated and millions more are working – but also acknowledges that work has not yet been done, acknowledging American discontent.

Biden aides say they believe the national psyche is a “lingering indicator” that will improve over time. But the president does not have enough time to save his first-term program to revive his party’s political situation ahead of the November by-elections.

Republicans in the House of Representatives say the word “crisis” describes the state of the union with Biden and the Democrats – from energy policies that allow Russia to sell oil abroad, to domestic problems related to labor and immigration.

“We are going to push the president to do the right thing,” said Kevin McCarthy, a minority leader in the House of Representatives.

At least half a dozen lawmakers, including representatives of Jamie Ruskin and Pete Aguilar, both members of the committee investigating last year’s riots in the Capitol, and Senator Alex Padilla, California, tested positive for COVID-19 and were not expected to speak at the Capitol.

When a major social spending package was unveiled in Congress last year, Biden plans to repackage past proposals this year in search of achievable measures that he hopes will garner the support of the two parties in a heavily divided Congress ahead of the election.

The president had to allocate investments in everything from broadband Internet access to the construction of bridges from the November law on bipartisan infrastructure for 1.2 trillion.

He also planned to urge lawmakers to compromise on competitive competitiveness bills passed by the House and Senate to revive high-tech U.S. manufacturing and supply chains in the face of growing geopolitical threats from China.

The speech came at a time when progress on Biden’s many other legislative priorities was still stalled on Capitol Hill after Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin rejected a broad bill on “Back Better” spending that Biden advocated last fall.

As part of his speech to voters, Biden had to revive components of the legislation, but with a new focus on how proposals such as expanding the tax credit for children and reducing childcare costs could bring relief to families as prices rise. He also had to outline how his climate change proposals would cut costs for low- and middle-income families and create new jobs.

Psaki said Biden would “absolutely use the word” inflation “in his speech, but stressed that he focused on” how people feel about it “and did not view it as a statistic.

As part of this push, Biden was expected to call for lower health care costs by presenting his plan to allow Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs, as well as to expand more generous health insurance subsidies, which are now temporarily available. through the Affordable Care Act markets, where 14.5 million people are covered.

He planned to propose new mental health initiatives that coincide with growing bipartisan interest in Congress amid evidence that the pandemic has damaged the national psyche, and discuss new ways to improve access to health care for veterans affected by waste incineration during their service. officials said.

Biden also had to call for action on voting rights, gun control and police reform that failed to gain significant Republican support.

The president also had to push the Senate to make Federal Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson the first black woman in the Supreme Court. He singled her out last week.

A congressional doctor recently overturned a House of Representatives request to close his face after the government softened its recommendations on wearing masks. Wearing masks is now optional in the House of Representatives, which will be open to all members of Congress but not to their guests. Before the performance, participants must pass tests for COVID-19.

The number of seats for Biden’s speech at the joint session of Congress in April last year was limited to about 200, which is about 20% of the usual opportunity for a presidential speech. White House aides were worried that a repeat Tuesday would ruin the message the president was trying to convey.

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Associated Press writers Darlene Superville, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Lisa Mascara of Washington and Jason Dyren of New York contributed to this report.

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