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3 things Elizabeth Warren wants to hear tonight from Biden's State of the Union

Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks to a crowd gathered at the Massachusetts State House to protest the US Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. (Robin Lubbock, WBUR)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks to a crowd gathered at the Massachusetts State House to protest the US Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. (Robin Lubbock, WBUR)

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President Joe Biden will deliver his second State of the Union address tonight. And with a newly-divided Congress clouding the outlook of his agenda for the next two years, Sen. Elizabeth Warren says there’s some unfinished business that Biden needs to address.

Warren talked to WBUR’s Fausto Menard about what she’ll be watching — and listening — for tonight. Here are three highlights:

Child care in crisis: Warren says she’s “furious” that universal pre-K was ultimately stripped out of the massive social spending bill Biden signed into law — and she says the president should show it’s still a priority for him. “I want President Biden to talk about child care, and I want Congress to start moving on child care,” Warren said, adding that the U.S. — which ranks 35 out of the 37 OECD countries in child care spending — needs to “make a bigger investment” to take the weight off individual families. “We don’t ask parents to pay the full cost of what it takes to educate a second grader” she said. “We should take the same approach on 2-year-olds.”

  • Zoom in: Warren said her State of the Union guest Eugénie Ouedraogo, a local nursing student and mother of three, is “a perfect example” of why the government needs to invest more in child care. Read more about the Taunton resident’s story here.
  • Meanwhile in Massachusetts: Child care in Warren’s home state is among the most expensive in the country. In her inaugural address, Gov. Maura Healey called for state-level legislation to subsidize the industry so that no family pays more than 7% of their income for child care and workers get paid “what they deserve.”

Debt ceiling drama: Warren also urged Biden to use his speech to call out Republicans for using the debt ceiling as a negotiating tactic for spending cuts. “They raised the debt ceiling three times while Donald Trump was president. No muss, no fuss,” she said.

  • NPR has more here on the history of the debt ceiling, why the battle this year might be different and what it means for you.

Don’t stop there: Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, there’s now a $35 cap on most monthly insulin prescriptions for seniors this year. Warren wants “that $35 cap in place for everybody.” And though she noted the GOP has opposed such efforts, Warren wants Biden to use his platform tonight to “push back” and “take another run at that.”

Now to some local news:

The concourse at Alewife MBTA station, with the floor covered in broken glass, after a driver crashed into a garage wall causing it to fall onto the station atrium. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

The MBTA is foreshadowing a long and expensive cleanup from what officials say was an “intentional” car crash that sent debris crashing from the Alewife parking garage roof into the station below. Jeff Gonneville, the T’s interim general manager, said the Saturday afternoon crash could have been “absolutely horrific” if more people were in the station. About 5,000 people use Alewife on a typical weekday, and it could be sometime before normal operations resume.

  • If you park there: The hope is to reopen the garage by Wednesday or Thursday. In the meantime, Gonneville suggested using the T’s trip planner to find alternative parking sites.
  • If you take the T: Shuttle buses will continue to run to Davis “at least” this through this week. Gonneville say they’re hoping to reopen the subway station through Alewife’s east headhouse near Cambridge’s Russell Field. But he says there’s “a lot of work” left before they can reopen the main mezzanine — including a structural assessment and installation of temporary roof supports. (Remember, it got hit with a 10,000-pound piece of concrete.) For now, there’s no timeline on how long any of that will take.

The Beanpot college hockey tournament got off to a wild start last night. (Seriously, you have to watch Harvard’s almost-buzzer beater goal with 1.5 seconds left in overtime.)

  • What’s next? For the first time in the 70-year history of the tournament, Northeastern and Harvard will play in the men’s title game next week. (The women’s semifinals begin tonight.)

P.S.— There’s exactly one week left until Valentine’s Day. Have you bought the special people in your life roses yet? If you order now through WBUR, you can get 10% off Winston Flowers and support local independent journalism. Click here to save on all four choices — including a dozen long-stemmed red roses — delivered almost anywhere in New England.


Nik DeCosta-Klipa Twitter Newsletter Editor
Nik DeCosta-Klipa is the newsletter editor for WBUR.



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