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President Biden will try to appeal to Republicans in his State of the Union address, calling on them to work with him over the next two years of a divided Congress.

“To my Republican friends, if we could work together in the last Congress, there is no reason we can’t work together in this new Congress. The people sent us a clear message,” Biden will say, according to excerpts released by the White House. 

This State of the Union address will be Biden’s first in a divided Congress, with Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) sitting behind him next to Vice President Harris.

The president will refer to the midterm elections, during which Democrats had a better-than-expected result, gaining a seat in the Senate while Republicans narrowly. took the House.

“Fighting for the sake of fighting, power for the sake of power, conflict for the sake of conflict, gets us nowhere,” Biden will say, arguing that Democrats and Republicans should work together.

He will add that his vision of the country is to “restore the soul of the nation,” echoing his campaign slogan from his 2020 presidential race. He will add that he wants “to rebuild the backbone of America: the middle class, to unite the country.” 

Biden is expected to call on the divided Congress to act on issues that he thinks are likely to garner bipartisan action. Those requests would build on his “unity agenda,” which has four pillars: ending cancer as we know it, delivering on the sacred obligation to veterans, tackling the mental health crisis and beating the opioid and overdose epidemic.

Other brief excerpts released by the White House ahead of Biden’s speech showed he will argue the country was in a demonstrably better position than it was when he took office, pointing to the economic gains since the coronavirus pandemic and the diminishing concerns about the virus itself.

He will also talk about how the country’s democracy is still intact two years after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the Capitol.

“We are the only country that has emerged from every crisis stronger than when we entered it. That is what we are doing again,” Biden will say, according to excerpts. 

And the president is expected to tout his economic agenda, following a January jobs report released last week that showed unemployment dropped to 3.4 percent.

“That’s why we’re building an economy where no one is left behind. Jobs are coming back, pride is coming back because of the choices we made in the last two years. This is a blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America and make a real difference in your lives,” he will say.