February 2015

President Obama Delivers State of the Union Address

President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union addressPresident Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address

President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address
President Obama delivered his State of the Union address with Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House John Boehner seated behind him.

On the evening of January 20, President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union address. This annual speech is delivered to members of Congress and broadcast across the country. In the address, the President talked about where he thinks the nation presently stands. He also went over his ideas for overcoming the challenges that face the country.

In his speech, President Obama made clear his plans for his last two years in office. One of his goals is to help America’s middle class do better economically. He wants to ease the tax burden on the middle class by raising taxes on the wealthy. The President also wants to raise the national minimum wage, the least amount of money that businesses can legally pay their workers per hour. The national minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour.

President Obama also outlined his goals to help people attend community college for free, reform immigration laws, and combat climate change. In addition, he wants to work on building friendlier relations between the United States and Cuba. For more than 50 years, relations between the two countries have been tense and confrontational.

The President also highlighted the important accomplishments he has made during his six years in office. He pointed out that combat missions in both Iraq and Afghanistan have ended during his presidency. In addition, the economy has grown and unemployment has declined. President Obama said, “At this moment—with a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, and booming energy production—we have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth.”

As a Democrat, it will be difficult for President Obama to achieve his remaining goals. This is because Republicans now control both houses of Congress, and many of them disagree with the President’s ideas about how to run the country. However, the President called on both parties to work together to take on the nation’s challenges. After the State of the Union, several Republican members of Congress agreed that the two parties need to cooperate for the good of the country. However, both sides also stated that they would not give up on issues that are important to them.

Image credit: ©Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Question 1
What is the State of the Union address?

Question 2
With which country did President Obama say he wanted to build friendlier relations?

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