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Image: Jim Himes
Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., speaks with The Associated Press about his new role on the House Intelligence Committee, in his office on Capitol Hill on Feb. 1, 2023.J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Biden has 'remarkably good' record to tout in State of the Union address

Ahead of the big speech, Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., says economy is more important to Americans than balloons "flying overhead."


Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., told Meet the Press NOW that he hopes President Biden will tout his administration's record on job growth, inflation and drug prices ahead of Tuesday's State of the Union address. Himes, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said the economy is more important to Americans than the furor over China's balloon trek over the U.S., even as the president faces criticism for his handling of the incident.

“What people really care about is jobs. They care about inflation, Himes said. "That’s what I’m hoping the president will talk about,” he added. “Because there’s a remarkably good story to be told around all of these things that I think are more important to most Americans than balloons that are flying overhead.” 

Himes said the committee is expecting another briefing on the balloon this week as well as an update on the ongoing investigations into classified documents found on Trump, Biden, and Pence properties.

"This is not the kind of thing you can easily keep secret since you can sort of see this thing with a good pair of binoculars," Himes said of the balloon.

"Suffice it to say that this is not technology that is that is new to us," Himes said. But, he added, "all of us have questions" and "they need to be answered this week."

Himes said the balloon's path was "probably inadvertent" after U.S. officials said it "purposely traversed" the U.S. over the weekend.

"I wouldn't want to be the mission commander in China that was responsible for flying the balloon," Himes said.

When asked whether he’d support Biden for another term in the White House, Himes again touted Biden's record but did not say whether or not he would support a re-election bid. 

“I would tell you that if he does choose to run, he will have a strong record to run on,” Himes said.