US President Joe Biden called on Republicans to help “finish the job” of delivering for hardworking families, in his annual State of the Union address.
The Democrat stressed the importance of bipartisanship to a divided Congress where the lower chamber now has a Republican majority.
He also vowed to defend US sovereignty in the wake of an incursion by an alleged Chinese spy balloon.
The speech was seen as a roadmap for a widely expected 2024 re-election bid.
Mr Biden’s 73-minute address came as his public approval rating hovers near the lowest level of his presidency.
The opposition party delivers a response to the president’s State of the Union every year. On Tuesday night, the Republican rebuttal was given by Arkansas’ Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who accused Mr Biden’s government of being more preoccupied by “woke fantasies” than “the hard reality Americans face every day”.
Mr Biden delivered the address to a packed chamber and high-profile guests – including U2’s Bono – as well as Supreme Court justices.
Over the president’s shoulder at the rostrum in the House of Representatives was one of his most vocal critics, the Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
Mr Biden extended an olive branch to the opposition party, which took over the lower chamber of Congress last month with vows to investigate the president’s family and Cabinet.
“To my Republican friends, if we could work together in the last Congress, there is no reason we can’t work together in this new Congress,” said the president, who has previously been accused by his opponents of divisive rhetoric.
“We’ve been sent here to finish the job!” he added (BBC)