WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will lay the groundwork for his 2024 re-election campaign Tuesday, urging unity with congressional Republicans in his first State of the Union address since declaring an end to the coronavirus pandemic emergency. coronavirus.

With Republicans now in control of the House, Biden has little hope of advancing major legislation.

But the president, who predicted during his campaign that Republicans would have an «epiphany» after former President Donald Trump leaves office, will tell Republicans in his first speech to a joint meeting of the new Congress that the two parties can still find places to work together to get things done, White House officials said.

Biden will highlight areas where cooperation may be possible, such as countering China, though many Republicans are not happy with the way he handled the Chinese spy balloon, and regulating powerful tech companies.

“People sent us a clear message. Fighting for fighting, power for power, conflict for conflict’s sake, gets us nowhere,” Biden will say, according to excerpts released before the speech. «And that’s always been my vision for the country: to restore the soul of the nation, to rebuild the backbone of America: the middle class, to unite the country. We’ve been sent here to finish the job.»

It will also promote the federal money that Washington is pumping into constituencies across the country to support new infrastructure projects. He will draw particular attention to how major spending packages he enacted, like the Cut Inflation Act, are helping economically-strapped and rural communities, arguing that Democrats are doing the most to help blue-collar workers. .

“In the midst of the economic turmoil of the last four decades, too many people have been left behind or treated as if they were invisible. Maybe it’s you who watches from home. You remember the jobs that disappeared,” Biden will say, according to the excerpts. «Jobs are coming back, pride is coming back because of the decisions we’ve made in the last two years. This is a blue-collar plan to rebuild America and make a real difference in their lives.»

While Biden’s aides said he will emphasize bipartisanship and public service, the State of the Union address is likely to be one of his highest-profile addresses of the year and will be a key opportunity for him to speak directly to American voters before formally announce your re. -electoral campaign, which is expected to arrive this spring.

Building on themes that helped Biden win the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination and then the general election, the White House said the president will say America is emerging stronger than ever from the twin crises that marked his inauguration two years ago: the pandemic and January. .6 insurrection.

Biden will seek to remind Americans of the pains of the pandemic, which has faded from many minds. Americans ranked «dealing with coronavirus» last out of more than 20 topics asked about in a recent Pew surveywho found that financial worries were much more frequent.

“We are the only country that has emerged from each crisis stronger than when we entered. That’s what we’re doing again,” Biden will say, according to prepared remarks from him. “Two years ago, COVID closed our businesses, closed our schools, and robbed us a lot. Today, COVID no longer controls our lives. And two years ago, our democracy faced its biggest threat since the Civil War. Today, though bruised, our democracy remains unshakable and intact.»

The speech is likely to draw smaller audiences than Biden’s previous speeches to Congress or those of his predecessors, but the president and his team have spent days preparing, including over the weekend at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland.