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Biden democracy speech in Arizona to focus on ‘loyalty to the U.S. Constitution’ with shutdown pending

President Biden will give a speech on democracy, the fourth major speech on the topic since taking office, in the critical swing state of Arizona on Thursday.

This speech will focus “on the importance of America’s institutions in preserving our democracy and the need for constant loyalty to the U.S. Constitution,” a White House official said. It will also honor the late Sen. John McCain, a Republican who represented Arizona for decades in the U.S. senate and who was a longtime friend to Biden.

“The backdrop of the speech will be Arizona, a state where a proud Republican like Senator McCain can hail from and with Democratic leadership today – demonstrating that the preservation of our democracy is not a partisan issue, but an American issue,” an official said.

“President Biden will talk about his conviction that we must not walk away from the sacrifices generations of Americans have made to defend our democracy.”

The nod to McCain and bipartisanship comes as the government appears headed for a weekend shutdown the White House is seeking to blame on House Republicans, who have been unable to agree to a plan to fund the government despite a deal this summer that set ceilings on spending for the next fiscal year.

Biden will also announce on Thursday that funding from the American Rescue Plan, which he signed in law in 2021, will go to construct the McCain Library in partnership with the McCain Institute and Arizona State University. 

The president is on the West Coast for three days of campaign receptions and arrived in Arizona on Wednesday evening. Biden won Arizona by roughly 10,000 votes in 2020.

McCain’s wife, Cindy McCain, as well as other members of the family and Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D-Ariz.) will attend the speech. McCain, who was an outspoken critic of former President Trump, died in 2018 after battling glioblastoma. 

The president’s other speeches on democracy took place in January 2022, on the one-year anniversary of the riots at the U.S. Capitol, in September 2022 at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, and in November 2022 in Washington, D.C., days before the midterm elections.

Source: The Hill

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