President Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union speech to a joint session of Congress, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)

President Joe Biden checked those boxes, and a few more, during his speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night. In part, he seemed to be laying the foundation to run for a second term. “We’ve been sent here to finish the job,” he said.

President Joe Biden delivers his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol, March 1, 2022, in Washington. (Jim Lo Scalzo / Pool via AP, File)

His speech before a politically divided Congress comes as the nation struggles to make sense of confounding cross-currents at home and abroad — economic uncertainty, a wearying war in Ukraine, growing tensions with China among them — and warily sizes up Biden’s fitness for a likely reelection bid.

The Treasury Department is seen near sunset in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023. (AP Photo / Jon Elswick)

The Treasury Department said in a letter to congressional leaders it has started taking “extraordinary measures” as the government has run up against its legal borrowing capacity of $31.381 trillion. An artificially imposed cap, the debt ceiling has been increased roughly 80 times since the 1960s.

(benscripps / Pixabay)

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen formally put Congress on notice last week that the agency will have to start taking "extraordinary measures" after the US reaches its $31.4 trillion debt limit on Thursday.

Newly elected Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., walks to his office from the chamber after a contentious battle to lead the GOP majority in the 118th Congress, at the Capitol in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023. (AP Photo / Matt Rourke)

Lawmakers no longer have to walk through metal detectors before gaining access to the House floor. And any time they do vote, they will have to do so in person — no more voting by proxy from home. Those are just some of the changes.

Dean of the House Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., swears in Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., as House Speaker on the House floor at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, early Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023. (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik)

Eager to confront President Joe Biden and the Democrats, Kevin McCarthy promised subpoenas and investigations. “Now the hard work begins," the California Republican declared.

Violent insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump try to break through a police barrier on Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo / Julio Cortez, File)

More than 930 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the siege on Jan. 6, 2021, and the tally increases by the week. Hundreds more people remain at large on the second anniversary of the unprecedented assault that was fueled by lies that the 2020 election was stolen.

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., and members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, from left, Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., talk to reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Dec. 13, 2022. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Pressure was building as GOP party leader Kevin McCarthy lost a seventh, eighth and historic ninth round of voting, tying the number it took the last time this happened, 100 years ago, in a prolonged fight to choose a speaker in a disputed election.

Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., left, and Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., right, speaks with Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., in the House chamber as the House meets for a second day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023. (AP Photo / Alex Brandon)

For a fourth, fifth and sixth time, Republicans tried to vote McCarthy into the top job as the House plunged deeper into disarray.

Delia Ramirez, left, with her husband, Boris Hernandez, center, and Ramirez's mother. (Credit: Raul Juarez / Congresswoman-Elect Dlia Ramirez)

As constant and controversial as conversations around immigration in Washington have become, many lawmakers weighing in don’t have direct personal connections to the issues they’re debating. Delia Ramirez, 39, has lived them her entire life.

Former President Donald Trump arrives to speak at an event at Mar-a-Lago, Friday, Nov. 18, 2022, in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo / Rebecca Blackwell, File)

Democrats in Congress released six years of former President Donald Trump’s tax returns on Friday, the culmination of a yearslong effort to learn about the finances of a onetime business mogul who broke decades of political precedent when he refused to voluntarily release the information as he sought the White House.

(CNN)

U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Chicago, is co-chair of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus and was appointed to the escort committee for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s joint address to Congress.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks as he meets with President Joe Biden in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo / Patrick Semansky)

In a brief remarks before reporters, President Joe Biden told Zelenskyy that “it’s an honor to be by your side” and he pledged continued financial, military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine. Biden also warned that Russia is “trying to use winter as a weapon” in the war.

In this undated photo 14-year-old Emmett L.Till from Chicago is shown. Till, whose battered body, a bullet in his head, and a weight around his neck was pulled from the Tallahatchie River in 1955. (AP Photo, File)

The bill, which passed the Senate in January, is meant to honor Till and his mother — who had insisted on an open casket funeral to demonstrate the brutality of his killing — with the highest civilian honor that Congress awards. 

A video of former President Donald Trump is shown on a screen, as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its final meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Dec. 19, 2022. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)

As they cap one of the most exhaustive and aggressive congressional probes in memory, the panel’s seven Democrats and two Republicans recommended criminal charges against Trump and potentially against associates and staff who helped him launch a multifaceted pressure campaign to try to overturn his 2020 election loss.

In this image from House Television, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., announces final passage of the bill with protections for same-sex marriages, on the House Floor on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, in Washington. The bipartisan legislation, which passed 258-169, would also protect interracial unions by requiring states to recognize legal marriages regardless of “sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin.” (Senate Television via AP)

President Joe Biden is expected to promptly sign the measure, which requires all states to recognize same-sex marriages, a relief for hundreds of thousands of couples who have married since the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision that legalized those marriages nationwide.