Obama urged both sides rise above and find common ground

Obama urged both sides rise above and find common ground

State of the Union:  In Recovery

State of the Union

When President Obama made the “State of the Union” speech last evening, he boldly looked at the future, and urged both sides of the aisle to rise above their deep divisions and find common ground to move the country forward.

He touted his administration’s efforts for successfully strengthening the economy.  He challenged Republicans to end their single focus on debt reduction and co-sponsor programs to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, modernize our educational facilities, and expand early education.  But, as usual, Marco Rubio’s response focused on a single issue, debt reduction.  He also suggested, as did Romney in his 2012 campaign, that the minimum wage be tied to inflation, which would bring it to around 9 dollars an hour at present.

The President announced the return of 34,000 troops from Afghanistan at this time next year.

With Gabby Giffords, the parents of Hadiya Pendleton, and some parents of children slaughtered in Newtown present, Mr. Obama called for a vote on changing the gun laws of the country.

He challenged Congress to place on his desk a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

“Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress,” he said. “If you want to vote no, that’s your choice.”

Among the other initiatives Obama is proposing:

A $1 billion plan to create 15 “manufacturing institutes” that would bring together businesses, universities and the government. If Congress opposes the initiative, Obama plans to use his presidential powers to create three institutes on his own.

Creation of an “energy security trust” that would use revenue from federal oil and gas leases to support development of clean energy technologies such as biofuels and natural gas

Doubling of renewable energy in the U.S. from wind, solar and geothermal sources by 2020.

Although members of the Supreme Court are not supposed to have a political affiliation, notably missing from the gallery were Justices Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito, who are the most conservative on the bench.

Rubio’s response offered no constructive ideas, only the same tired Republican rhetoric.  This is a Senator who voted against the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell”, voted against the “Violence Against Women Act”, and rejects the idea of raising the minimum wage.

Who will be a candidate that may have a chance to challenge the Democrats in 2016?  It certainly won’t be men like Rubio who have no new ideas, and whose only goal is to block constructive measures put forth by the President.

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express

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