New York Senator Chuck Schumer had a pretty awkward moment during the State of the Union on Tuesday March 1. The Democratic politician was excited to praise President Joe Biden for his American Rescue Plan, but he didn’t expect for a series of boos to follow. The camera hilariously cut to Schumer standing up and getting ready to applaud, before he heard the booing and sat back down.
Chuck Schumer getting up to a chorus of boo's is the night's first fantastic moment. pic.twitter.com/4SswT5sjBa
— ForAmerica (@ForAmerica) March 2, 2022
It’s not clear what exactly was receiving the jeers from the crowd, but Biden was speaking about the American Rescue Plan that started in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As Biden highlighted it, he made a point to differ his response to that of his predecessor, former President Donald Trump. “Unlike the $2 trillion tax cut passed in the previous administration that benefitted the top one percent of Americans, the American Rescue Plan—,” he said, before being cut off by boos. Despite the negative response, after Biden mentioned how successful the plan was, it received a roaring round of applause. “The American Rescue Plan helped working people and left no one behind,” he said.
The clip of the New York Senator standing and then timidly sitting back down was an instant hit online, with a number of people sharing the clip finding the awkwardness of it funny. One viewer even created her own parody of the moment by re-enacting it herself. After Biden’s speech concluded, Schumer shared a gif of himself, joyously clapping and celebrating and thanking Biden.
lol Chuck Schumer pic.twitter.com/NfwmofE36R
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) March 2, 2022
chuck schumer at the state of the union pic.twitter.com/sJdZNfHEVm
— Alex Friedman (@kosherhotdogz) March 2, 2022
— The Recount (@therecount) March 2, 2022
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) March 2, 2022
This was Biden’s first State of the Union address since he was sworn in as president in January 2021. His speech came on the heels of an eventful first year in office. After being elected in November 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden was immediately challenged by former President Donald Trump, who continually spread the false accusations that the election had been stolen from him. Trump’s Big Lie eventually led to the January 6 Insurrection, where his supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to overturn the election. Biden spoke out against the rioters and Trump during a speech on the one-year-anniversary of the riot. “For the first time in our history, the president had not just lost an election, he tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power as a violent mob stormed the capitol but they failed,” he’s said in the January 6 address.
Leading up to the State of the Union, Biden had also addressed the nation the week prior, after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an attack on Ukraine. During his speech, Biden announced further sanctions against Russia and called out Putin for the invasion. He also showed solidarity with Ukraine. “The Ukrainian people have known 30 years of independence, and they’ve repeatedly shown that they will not tolerate anyone who tries to take their country backwards,” he said.
There have been positive moments during Biden’s first year in office along with the difficult ones. The president also announced his nomination for a new Supreme Court justice to fill the seat that will be vacated by Justice Stephen Breyer once he retires. The president revealed that he’d nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman to be chosen for the position ever, on Friday. “I have admired these traits: pragmatism, historical perspective, wisdom, and character in jurists nominated by Republican presidents as well as Democratic presidents,” he said in a tweet. “I am pleased to nominate Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson — a candidate who continues in this tradition.”