The partisan division in Congress was one of the main points of President Obama’s State of the Union, and during the address Tuesday (Feb. 12) night, he urged both sides to come together.
As he did during his run for re-election, the POTUS promised to continue to work on restoring the economy, but also addressed gun violence, and withdrawing troops from overseas, while never moving far away from the Congressional issue.
There was also lots of emphasis on building the middle class, and increasing taxes on the rich. “It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country — the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, no matter what you look like, or who you love,” he said.
In going forward with his plan to help millions of Americans, the commander in chief proposed a hike on national minimum wage adjusting it from $7.25 to $9.00 an hour within the next three years. “Tonight, let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty,” he said.
The Republican response to the president’s ideas, were far from supportive, as told by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).”The idea that more taxes and more government spending is the best way to help hardworking middle class taxpayers — that’s an old idea that’s failed every time it’s been tried. More government isn’t going to help you get ahead. It’s going to hold you back. More government isn’t going to create more opportunities. It’s going to limit them.
“I don’t oppose your plans because I want to protect the rich. I oppose your plans because I want to protect my neighbors.” Rubio pointed that he maintains a connection with his roots, still living in the Miami neighborhood where he grew up.
As expected, President Obama made mention of Hadiya Pendelton, the 15-year-old teen who was gunned down weeks after performing at his inauguration. “In the two months since Newtown [Connecticut shooting massacre at Sandy Hook], more than a thousand birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun.
“One of those we lost was a young girl named Hadiya Pendleton. She was 15 years old. She loved Fig Newtons and lip gloss. She was a majorette. She was so good to her friends, they all thought they were her best friend. Just three weeks ago, she was here, in Washington, with her classmates, performing for her country at my inauguration. And a week later, she was shot and killed in a Chicago park after school, just a mile away from my house,” he explained, using Pendelton as an example to drive the need for stricter gun laws.
Pendelton’s parents were seated in the audience next to First Lady Michelle Obama. Two men have been charged with the teen’s murder.
See the entire speech below.