WASHINGTON — President Biden was expected to deliver a wide-ranging speech on everything from immigration and the Southern Border, to assistance Israel and Ukraine, to the state of the economy during his annual State of the Union Address Thursday.

Florida's members of Congress weighed in ahead of the address, and their thoughts were very different depending on their party. 

What You Need To Know

  •  President Joe Biden was set to deliver his third State of the Union speech Thursday night

  •  Florida's Republicans and Democrats have differing views on what to expect from the president

  •  Some lawmakers are bringing guests to the address to highlight different policy issues

"I think he's going to tell people the state of the union is strong," said Democratic Rep. Jared Moskowitz. "And, I think he's going to go through, obviously, his three years of accomplishments, especially the first two years when we had a Congress, that functioned. But he'll also go over, I think, the challenges that we're facing, and try to bring Democrats and Republicans together to solve them."

Republican Rep. Scott Franklin, on the other hand, said the country needed to ask just one thing when listening to Biden speak. 

"The age-old question is: Are you doing better now than you were three years ago, four years ago?" he said. "And, I think, you know, unequivocally, that answer would be no."

Florida Republican Rep. Cory Mills said he expected Biden to say his policies were benefitting the county, something the congressman did not agree was the case.

"Unfortunately, it's going to be a lot of spin on how ‘Bidenomics’ has actually been a success," he said. "Knowing that the cost of living has increased by 18% while wages have gone down by 2%, you have people who can't afford the American dream anymore to own their own homes." 

Republican Sen. Rick Scott squarely blamed the country's rate of inflation on Biden.

"I grew up in a very poor family," he said. "I watched my mom struggle with inflation. And, that’s what’s happening all across my state now with poor families that can’t afford their groceries, or their rent, or their car payment because of the Biden inflation."

Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, made a different argument, saying the president's policies have greatly benefitted the working class and not the wealthy elite. 

"I think the President will rightly focus on the tremendous progress that we've made since he took office in lifting our economy, building it out from the middle up and not the top down," she said.

Some lawmakers, including Wasserman Schultz, brought guests to the speech to call attention to their priorities. She brought in vitro fertilization supporter Stacey Lieberman, who used IVF to have a daughter. This, after an Alabama Supreme Court ruling that declared embryos, including those created via IVF, to be children, which caused some clinics to close over legal fears.  

"I thought it was a very scary ruling, you know, for what could lie ahead in the South, in Florida where I live," Lieberman said. 

Democratic Rep. Darren Soto's guest, Stephanie Palacios, who is the director of Advocacy and Government Relations for Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, highlighted nutrition assistance programs.

"It's important to pass a Farm Bill with a strong Emergency Food Assistance Program funding so that we can adequately feed our families," she said. 

Democratic Rep. Maxwell Frost invited immigration advocate and executive director of Hope CommUnity Center, Felipe Sousa-Lazaballet.

"I really want to hear the president saying that this is truly a country that is fully inclusive to immigrants, and also that he will protect asylum seekers, not push them away," Sousa-Lazaballet said. 

Republican Rep. Greg Steube, is also bringing a guest: Gillian Kaye, the stepmother of Hamas hostage Sagui Dekel-Chen.

"I just called on President Biden to send in our troops, our Special Operations troops, to go in and get our hostages out," Steube said Wednesday. "I'm not saying that we need to put boots on the ground. I'm saying we need to go get our people back, because that's what the American people expect and deserve."