Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) gave a response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night — despite the president being a member of her own party. Tlaib’s speech was addressed specifically to the Working Families Party in what appeared to be an attempt to shore up any doubt amongst the progressive base that Biden is indeed a lefty. Tlaib claimed that he would have been more progressive, but that moderate Democrats in conjunction with the Republican Party blocked far-left goals like abolishing the filibuster, passing a Green New Deal, and enshrining abortion as a fundamental right.
Tlaib told the 300 or so viewers on the Working Families Party Facebook page that she was proud to have been raised in the “most beautiful and blackest cities” in America, and that while she is a proud Democrat, she is also a member of the Working Families Party. It is unclear how many other sites and pages streamed her speech.
“The Working Families Party is a voice for the multiracial working class, fighting for a nation that cares for all of us,” she said. “I’m a lifelong Democrat and I’m also part of the WFP, because I believe that our government must put the needs of working families first.”
During her speech, Tlaib did not rebuke Biden but rather praised him for his efforts while claiming that “no one fought harder for Biden’s agenda than progressives.”
However, “two forces stood in the way: a Republican Party that serves the rich and powerful,” Tlaib alleged, “And just enough corporate-backed Democratic obstructionists to help them succeed.”
As a result, legislation like the Build Back Better plan was blocked during Biden’s first year in office, she claimed. Instead, Tlaib implored her audience to “Imagine a government where corporate donors don’t drive healthcare, climate, education and poverty policies. Where the working families call the shots. It’s time we had a majority in Congress to fight for us – A Working Families majority.”
Tlaib also stressed the importance of unions for the working class, stating, “This smile is because of the United Autoworkers. They ensured our family had dental care.”
“Imagine turning the Rust Belt into a Green Belt that is a center of American jobs and innovation for the next century,” Tlaib also said, referencing the hollowed out region of the country where many manufacturing jobs used to be. “And we’d ensure clean air and water. Because I know we can’t build back better if our children can’t live healthy lives.”
Tlaib also encouraged Congress to focus on providing counseling resources — not police — to solve rising crime and poverty.
“We can’t police away homelessness, poverty or the mental health crisis in our country,” Tlaib said. “Care, not MORE criminalization, is how we ensure lasting safety for all.”
In closing, Tlaib implored the far-left to get out and vote in the 2022 midterms, claiming the elections are just as important as stopping President Donald Trump was in 2020.
“I know it’s possible when we all come together,” Tlaib claimed while arguing that Democrats should continue to pursue the Build Back Better bill.