The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

Obama presses for change

WASHINGTON D.C.- President Barack Obama addressed a joint session of Congress Feb. 12 with his State of the Union bnSpeech.
“After a decade of grinding war, our brave men and women in uniform are coming home,” Obama said Tuesday.
“After years of grueling recession, our businesses have created over six million new jobs.”
Obama went on to remind Congress that the American people do not expect agreement on every issue, but they do expect the nation’s interest before party.
The president took this opportunity to address, “the sequester,” the cuts necessary in expiration of the Budget Control Act of 2011.
Instead of cutting into education, Medicare and Social Security benefits, the president plans to rid the tax code of loopholes and tax breaks for the wealthiest and most powerful.
By instating a tax reform, Obama hopes to lower incentives for manufacturing companies to move jobs overseas. The president acknowledged American companies like Ford and Apple, who are bringing manufacturing jobs back from Mexico and China.
“The greatest nation on Earth cannot keep conducting its business by drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next,” Obama said.
As he moved on to American energy, the president noted the nation’s progress over the past few years has double the distance a car can go on a gallon of gas, as well as doubled the amount of renewable energy from sources like wind and solar.
Obama proposed a “Fix it First” program, to begin repairs on dilapidated infrastructures across the nation to bring more jobs from companies like Siemens America. The president chaffed Congress members adding he knows they want job-creating projects in their districts– he has seen them at their ribbon cuttings.
The president described the education systems of foreign countries like Germany, where a high school diploma means the equivalent of a technical degree from an American community college. These students are prepared for the workforce upon graduating from high school.
Obama related this new movement to his “Race to the Top” program from four years ago, which pushed states to reach for smarter curricula and higher standards.
Through immigration reform, the president hopes to also capture the talents of ingenuity of young immigrants to the U.S.
“Real reform means establishing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship,” Obama said.
“A path that includes passing a background check, paying taxes and a meaningful penalty, learning English, and going to the back of the line behind the folks trying to come here legally.”
Obama then pressed the House of Representatives to pass Vice President Joe Biden’s Violence Against Women Act, which passed Senate Tuesday after being written nearly 20 years prior.
The president also hopes to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act this year for equal pay, as well as raise the minimum wage to meet the cost of living.
“Tonight, we stand united in saluting the troops and civilians who sacrifice every day to protect us,” Mr. President said.
“Because of them, we can say with confidence that America will complete its mission in Afghanistan, and achieve our objective of defeating the core of al Qaeda.”
Obama plans to bring home another 34,000 American troops over the next year, ending the war in Afghanistan by the end of next year.
After seeing the long lines and hours of waiting citizens endured on election day Nov. 6 2012, the president announced a non-partisan commission to improve the American voting experience.
Ending his address speaking of the victims of the Newtown, Connecticut shooting, as well as shootings in Aurora, Colorado, Casas Adobes, AZ and thousands of others across the nation, the president presented a plea to Congress.
“Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote,” Obama said.
“The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence– they deserve a simple vote.”

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Obama presses for change