What We Know About the 2015 State of the Union

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

8 who wrote Obama letters to attend State of Union.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Anyone who has closely followed President Barack Obama since 2015 opened might wonder what he has left to say Tuesday night when he delivers the annual State of the Union address.

In a bid to generate excitement for the agenda-setting speech, Obama broke with tradition this month and began unveiling proposals from the address before he formally announces them to a joint session of Congress and a nationally televised audience. But now some are questioning whether to use the congressional budget process to derail the 2010 law or save the special step for more traditional purposes like cutting spending or overhauling the tax code. The newly-elected president made his first outing before Congress intent on reassuring a nation wracked by economic crisis but also to harness the optimism that had swept him to the White House.

Viewers may already have heard about his proposals to boost homeownership, pay for two years of community college and increase taxes on the wealthiest Americans. The group this year includes Alan Gross, the Maryland man who returned home last month after spending five years imprisoned in Cuba, astronaut Scott Kelly and CVS Health top executive Larry Merlo. He made no effort to talk down the scale of the challenge – “the impact of this recession is real, and it is everywhere,” he warned – but insisted that the US could fight its way back. House of Representatives (with Democrat Nancy Pelosi first sitting behind him, then Republican John Boehner). 2009: “[W]hile our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken; though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I want every American to know this: We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before” – Obama speaking in the midst of the country’s economic free fall and right after passage of the American Recovery Act, a.k.a., the stimulus. 2010: “Don’t walk away from [health-care] reform.

It’s the only filibuster-proof option available to Republicans, who control the Senate with 54 seats but must still muster 60 votes to pass other legislation. Thomas Jefferson changed the custom with his first annual message on Dec. 8, 1801, by sending written copies to both houses of Congress to be read by clerks of each chamber.

Senate precedents limit the number of reconciliation bills — one for taxes, one for spending and one to raise the government’s borrowing cap — and so a major debate has begun among Republicans over what to put in it. Jefferson wanted to simplify what he believed to be an aristocratic imitation of the British monarch’s speech from the throne, which he thought was unsuitable to a republic. They exist in our laboratories and universities; in our fields and our factories; in the imaginations of our entrepreneurs and the pride of the hardest-working people on Earth. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told a Heritage Foundation gathering of conservatives last week that Republicans should “use every procedural tool available, including reconciliation, to repeal Obamacare with 51 votes in the Senate.” That’s a view shared by conservative groups like the Senate Conservatives Fund and Heritage Action, and prominent voices on the right like Erick Erickson, publisher of the Redstate.com conservative blog. “It’s time to stop pussy-footing around with excuses and half-assed attempts at partial repeal, and get serious,” Erickson wrote last week. “Make Obama veto the repeal of his signature legislation.” Pragmatic voices in the GOP, however, say the certainty of an Obama veto effectively means that Republicans would be wasting the opportunity given them under special budget rules that limit debate and can guarantee delivery of legislation to Obama. “I’d like to get tax reform done.

Let’s get it done” – Obama exhorting Congress (especially Democrats) after Scott Brown’s Senate victory in Massachusetts looked to imperil health-care reform. 2011:”Tonight I want to begin by congratulating the men and women of the 112th Congress, as well as your new Speaker, John Boehner. Wilson also is widely credited with transforming the speech from a report on the activities of the executive branch into a blueprint for the president’s legislative program for the coming congressional session and year. From healthcare, to the deficit, to climate change, Mr Obama said “short-term gains were prized over long-term prosperity” and that his administration would take the hard choices put off for too long. And as we mark this occasion, we’re also mindful of the empty chair in this chamber, and we pray for the health of our colleague – and our friend — Gabby Giffords” – with the new GOP-controlled House and after then-Rep. John Thune, R-S.D., chairman of the Senate Commerce committee. “I mean we’re going to have a lot of Obamacare votes one way or the other.” A reconciliation measure can only advance after the House and Senate have agreed upon a measure called a budget resolution, which sets broad parameters for spending, revenues and curbs to benefit programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz., was shot. 2012:”For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country… We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well while a growing number of Americans barely get by, or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules” – as Obama’s re-election message was coming into focus, especially with Mitt Romney as his likely Republican opponent. 2013: “The families of Newtown deserve a vote. One year into his presidency, Mr Obama returned to Congress with his sky-high approval ratings ground into the dirt and a bitter fight over healthcare on his hands. Speaking weeks after his party lost a special senate election in Massachusetts, the President acknowledged that “change has not come fast enough” but touted the effect of his $787 billion stimulus package in slowing the rate of job loss.

CVS Health pulled cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products from its store shelves last year, a move that was applauded by Obama, a former smoker. In one of the speech’s most intriguing moments he railed against the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which cleared individuals and corporations to donate unlimited amounts of election money through superPACs. They deserve a simple vote” – after the Newtown, Conn., shootings. 2014: “For decades, few things exposed hard-working families to economic hardship more than a broken health care system.

With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests –- including foreign corporations –- to spend without limit in our elections. The view of some pragmatists is that reconciliation should be used to get a result that might get signed into law or as leverage to make Obama more uncomfortable than he would be in vetoing an Obamacare repeal measure.

And some lawmakers think that an upcoming Supreme Court ruling could unravel much of the law, making them wary of wasting reconciliation on the health care law. “It should be things like that that actually improve the long-term fiscal stability of the country and maybe provide us some revenues for things where we can agree, like infrastructure,” said Rep. But I also know that nearly a century after Teddy Roosevelt first called for reform, the cost of our health care has weighed down our economy and the conscience of our nation long enough. So let there be no doubt: health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait, and it will not wait another year.” – 2009 Financial reform: “I ask Congress to move quickly on legislation that will finally reform our outdated regulatory system. In his speech, Mr Obama called for a muscular vision of government that invested in education and infrastructure in an effort to keep America’s economy from slipping behind more agile international competitors.

People can also watch an “enhanced” broadcast of the speech on the website, complete with data, graphs and charts explaining the policies Obama will talk about. And in Syria, I have no doubt that the Assad regime will soon discover that the forces of change cannot be reversed, and that human dignity cannot be denied.” – 2012 Passing immigration reform: “Finally, if we are serious about economic growth, it is time to heed the call of business leaders, labor leaders, faith leaders, and law enforcement – and fix our broken immigration system…

So let’s get immigration reform done this year.” – 2014 2011: “And tonight, more than two centuries later, it’s because of our people that our future is hopeful, our journey goes forward, and the state of our union is strong.” As Eisenhower recovered from a heart attack in 1956, he prepared a seven-minute, filmed summary of the message from his retreat in Key West, Florida, that was broadcast nationwide.

The election year speech had little chance of ever becoming reality and a combative Mr Obama laid out the argument that would eventually become his campaign stump speech: that the American economy was marching back from the brink and an era of war was being successfully brought to a close. 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. She obtained coverage under the law last year and had surgery to remove a potentially fatal brain tumor that was diagnosed in May 2013, when she had no health insurance.

After a year marked by legislative gridlock and partisan bickering, an increasingly unpopular Mr Obama abandoned the spirit of bonhomie from his 2013 address and instead emphasised the actions he could take without having to go through Congress. In the week leading up to the address he said he’d be using a “phone and pen” strategy in 2014- the pen for issuing executive actions, and the phone for garnering support for his agenda. Mr Obama’s new-found independent streak was evident in his 2014 address, which his political opponents decried as “arrogant” and even “threatening.” Let’s make this a year of action. Zamora wrote Obama about her experience and says her parents will also be eligible for protection under Obama’s recent executive actions on immigration. While Mr Obama did ultimately act on his own to implement changes to environmental standards and immigration policy, it was not enough to prevent a landslide victory for Republicans in the midterm elections.

The University of Hartford freshman once had to rise at 4:30 a.m. to get to school after his family was evicted and forced to live in a homeless shelter two hours away. Pham is a government computer scientist who works to improve health information technology, expand access to benefits for veterans and improve how government provides services to families like hers. A husband and father of six, the veteran Los Angeles police officer heads the Community Safety Partnership program in the neighborhood of Watts, once scarred by race riots and subsequent gang violence. Shetty is the global emergency health coordinator for International Medical Corps, a partner in the U.S.-backed effort to control the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

After prison, Walker became a construction engineer and has worked to improve relations among law enforcement, community activists, parents and the children of local housing projects. Woodward started a second job working on Chrysler’s assembly line in 2010 to help support herself and three children, including one with special needs.

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