While the party out of power typically gives a rebuttal to the president’s State of the Union address, it is unusual for members of the president’s own party to offer an official response.


In the speech, given on behalf of the left-wing group Working Families Party, Rashida Tlaib is expected to hammer moderate Democrats who have stymied Biden’s social spending and climate change package.


Tlaib will praise Biden’s stimulus bill and make the case that liberals have pushed aggressively for his agenda, according to a summary of her remarks shared exclusively with POLITICO. She is also planning to argue that Republicans and a handful of intransigent Democrats have blocked progress on lowering the cost of housing, health care and prescription drugs.


The speech will put on display the deep rifts within the Democrat Party that have marked Biden’s presidency. Months ahead of the daunting midterm election, many Democrats are looking to put aside those differences in order to present a united front against Republicans. But the left sees an opportunity in this year’s primaries to elect a more liberal Democratic majority to Congress.


“No one fought harder for Build Back Better and a pro-democracy agenda than progressives,” Tlaib told POLITICO. “The work is unfinished and we’re not giving up on what our communities deserve. We need to get as much done for the people as we can this year, and elect a majority that can deliver for working families in 2023.”


During her talk, Tlaib is expected to criticize some Democrats by name, and that likely means Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, who opposed parts of Biden’s Build Back Better legislation. Another featured boogeyman might be Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), who led a small group of centrist Democrats who threatened to kill the budget unless the bipartisan infrastructure legislation first passed.

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