(WASHINGTON) — The day after any State of the Union address there’s always buzz over the notable moments — and this year’s affair had plenty to spare.
Political divisiveness was the order of the day as millions of Americans saw enthusiastic Democrats quick to give President Joe Biden standing ovations, while Republicans seemed to shake their heads, heckle and jeer just as much.
But there were also displays of unity.
Here are some moments you might have missed:
Biden extends olive branch to Speaker McCarthy
As he began his remarks, Biden acknowledged the big changes that came with the 118th Congress, reaching out to shake the hand of new House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
“Mr. Speaker, I don’t want to ruin your reputation, but I look forward to working with you,” Biden said.
That olive branch may help temper their expected tough negotiations over raising the debt ceiling and cutting federal spending.
“To my Republican friends, if we could work together in the last Congress, there is no reason we can’t work together and find consensus in this Congress as well,” Biden said.
Harsh words but then a show of unity on Social Security
The most talked-about tense moment in the House chamber came when the president insisted “some” in the GOP wanted to cut Medicare and Social Security, although he noted he wasn’t saying the “majority” of Republicans wanted to do so.
“Some Republicans — some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security to sunset. I’m not saying it’s the majority. If Congress doesn’t keep the programs where they are they go well, the Republicans say I’m not saying there’s a majority of you. I don’t even think it’s even significant.”
Republicans jumped to their feet — several shouting “NO NO NO!” and Georgia firebrand Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene among those shouting, “Liar!”
McCarthy has insisted Social Security is not “on the table” in the debt ceiling standoff. But others, like GOP Sens. Rick Scott and Mike Lee — shown shaking his head during Biden’s comment — have openly suggested changing Medicare and Social Security, including privatizing it or raising the retirement age.
The angry mood changed quickly when the president used it as a political opportunity to put Republicans on the record. Most of the chamber stood when he said Medicare and Social Security should be off the table.
“Let’s all agree – and we apparently are – let’s stand up for seniors…apparently, it’s not going to be a problem.”
“Next month when I offer my fiscal plan, I ask my Republican friends to lay down their plan as well. I really mean it. Let’s sit down together and discuss our mutual plans together. Let’s do that.”
GOP jeering at the mention of border security and fentanyl
In another rancorous moment, Biden mentioned a guest in the first lady’s box: a man whose 20 year-old daughter died of a fentanyl overdose, before noting that fentanyl is killing more than 70,000 Americans a year and calling for a campaign to stop the sale and trafficking of the drug.
The mention prompted backlash from Republicans, who shouted “It’s your fault!”
Later, Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., was see shaking her head when Biden renewed his call for a ban on assault weapons.
‘See you at the groundbreaking’
Biden took a subtle swipe at the Republicans who voted against the November passage of a sweeping bipartisan infrastructure package, noting that they could also be beneficiaries of the funding of more than 20,000 projects that have already begun across the nation.
“I still get asked to fund the projects in those districts, but don’t worry,” he said. “I promised I’d be a president for all Americans. We’ll fund these projects. And I’ll see you at the groundbreaking.”
Newly independent Sinema sits with Romney and Manchin
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema — the Arizona lawmaker freshly registered as an independent after leaving the Democratic Party — listened to Biden’s speech while seated among Republican colleagues, including Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; Todd Young, R-Ind.; and Steve Daines, R-Mont.
Also in the group — Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin.
Biden got on Facetime with member’s children
As President Biden made his way out of the chamber, Rep. Jimmy Gomez, a California Democrat, went up to Biden to have him video call with his infant son, Hodge.
Gomez later shared a screenshot from the Facetime on Twitter, writing: “FaceTimed with @POTUS. Goodnight! #HeyHodge #SOTU”
Biden also seemed to jump on a FaceTime with the family of New York Democratic Rep. Grace Meng, who posted the interaction to Twitter.
“Me: “Boys, pls pick up phone I’m gonna try to FaceTime you with the President. And please dress appropriately.”
Boys: “Do I have to change out of my pajamas?”
–ABC News’ Ben Gittleson, John Parkinson, Senior Congressional Correspondent Rachel Scott, Molly Nagle and Oren Oppenheim contributed to this report.
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