“In my administration, the watchdogs are back,” United States President Joe Biden said on Tuesday as he announced a Justice Department chief prosecutor for trying COVID-19 pandemic-related frauds. 

Addressing a joint session of the Congress in his first State of the Union address, Biden said, “We’re going after the criminals who stole billions in relief money meant for small businesses and millions of Americans.”

“And tonight, I’m announcing that the Justice Department will name a chief prosecutor for pandemic fraud,” the President added. 

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Biden also citicised his predecessor Donald Trump’s administration for undermining financial watchdogs and for inflating the country’s deficit by introducing tax cuts for the wealthy. 

“The previous Administration not only ballooned the deficit with tax cuts for the very wealthy and corporations, it undermined the watchdogs whose job was to keep pandemic relief funds from being wasted.”

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Biden also highlighted the work his administration has done to reduce the deficit, saying that by the end of the year it will be reduced to less than half of what it was before he took office. 

“The only president ever to cut the deficit by more than one trillion dollars in a single year. Lowering your costs also means demanding more competition. I’m a capitalist, but capitalism without competition is not capitalism. Capitalism without competition is exploitation, and it drives up profits.”

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In his maiden State of the Union speech, Biden addressed the Russian aggression in Ukraine while also touching upon growing domestic concerns like a soaring inflation and the looming COVID-19 pandemic. 

Biden joined US allies in announcing a ban of Russian aircraft in American airspace, while also saying that the Justice Department will launch a taskforce to go after Russian oligarchs, whom he called “corrupt leaders who have bilked billions of dollars off this violent regime”.