United States President Barack Obama delivered his annual State of the Union Address last night (January 28) in Washington, D.C. and touched on major topics ranging from minimum wage to education.
While President Obama addressed a flurry of nationwide issues, one key point he made centered on raising the minimum wage for all federal workers.
President Barack Obama urged Congress to help restore opportunity for Americans but pledged to take action himself Tuesday in his fifth State of the Union address before Congress. Some highlights from Obama’s economic and other proposals: –MINIMUM WAGE: An executive order to raise minimum wage paid by federal contractors to $10.10. He called on Congress to increase the federal minimum wage for all workers to $10.10. Last year, Obama asked Congress to raise the rate to $9 by the end of 2015, but Congress has not taken that step. (Boston)
The president placed a heavy emphasis on Americans signing up for healthcare.
–HEALTHCARE: Encourage Americans without insurance to sign up through new exchanges by March 31 deadline. Urge Republicans to give up attempts to repeal Obama’s health care law. –JOBS: Launch more high-tech manufacturing hubs, in addition to two that were launched this year. Direct Vice President Joe Biden to lead review of federal job-training programs. Partner with leading U.S. companies to help long-term unemployed. (Boston)
The head of state also raised eyebrows by vowing to take action himself when legislation fails.
“I’m eager to work with all of you,” a confident Mr. Obama told lawmakers of both parties in the 65-minute nationally televised speech in the House chamber. “But America does not stand still — and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do.” (New York Times)
Some political analysts noted a lack of attention President Obama spent on immigration reform.
With hope building at the White House and among immigration reform activists that House Republicans can produce some passable legislation, Obama devoted just a paragraph of his State of the Union address to what he once called the most important domestic policy agenda of his second term. Obama’s cautious tone comes at a sensitive time for immigration reform negotiations. House Republicans are due to discuss their immigration principles at a retreat this weekend. The White House is likely reluctant to do or say anything to jeopardize whatever GOP cooperation they can get. (Politico)
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