Obama Delivers State of the Union

By Tessa Roy 1-30-14

An energetic President Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union Address Tuesday, speaking optimistically to the crowd of members of Congress and honored guests before him.

As anticipated, the President announced he would be issuing an executive order to raise the wages of federally funded employees to $10.10 an hour. He implored Congress to support him, arguing higher wages would benefit families and provide businesses with more paying customers.

“It doesn’t involve any new bureaucratic program,” Obama stated, addressing Congress. “Say yes. Give America a raise.”

Obama promised to issue even more executive orders if he feels too little Congressional action is taking place. He expressed his disappointment in the constant gridlock that plagued Congress in 2013, and promoted bipartisan behavior.

The President listed what he believed were positive advancements, claiming the nation’s unemployment rate is at its lowest in five years, the housing market is rebounding, and jobs in manufacturing are being added for the first time in two decades. He also asserted the US’s dependence on foreign oil is shrinking.

“More oil is produced at home than we buy from the rest of the world – that’s the first time that’s happened in 20 years,” he said, garnering a round of applause.

Obama did not spend much time discussing the Affordable Care Act and did not acknowledge the rough beginnings of healthcare.gov. However, he poked fun at the 40 attempts made at repealing the Act, and insisted it helped to ensure all Americans, especially those with preexisting conditions, receive healthcare coverage.

One of the guests honored by the President was Army Ranger Cory Remsburg, who was seated next to the First Lady. Remsburg was seriously injured while in Afghanistan, and was acknowledged for his bravery and persistence at the end of the speech.“Cory is here tonight. And like the Army he loves, like the America he loves, Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg never gives up, and he does not quit,” the President declared. Remsburg smiled humbly as he was given the biggest standing ovation of the night.