President Barack Obama addressed the United States for the fifth time in the State of the Union address on the evening Tuesday, January 28 following a difficult and what is being called "the worst year" of his presidency, according to ABC News. President Obama addressed numerous of topics but ultimately underlined the theme of "action" for 2014.
Coming off a difficult 2013 for President Obama and low approval ratings, the President attempted to convince the everyone in attendance of the hope and change America can offer everyone. The topics, including from equality for women, immigration reform, increase of minimum wage, to commitment to American energy and proper education, were all addressed.
The President began his address to the nation with the progress that has been achieved under his presidency and brought his topics as a chance to "reset" in the beginning of the year. President Obama pointed out the unemployment level is at its lowest in 5 years, more oil is purchased within the States than overseas for the first time in 20 years, the deficit is cut in half, and China is no longer the first country best to invest in. "Thats why I believe this can be a breakout year for us," said President Obama after listing the achievements.
Addressing the nation, the President then asked, "The question is whether we are going to help or hinder this progress?" Then the propositions and changes the President hoped to change this year were brought forth. "In the coming months, lets make this a year of action for all of us to focus on."
Beginning with the topic of the working force, President Obama pointed at the four years of economic growth, but still underlined the importance of raising the national minimum wage for better financial opportunities for business leaders and employees.
"The economy must honor the dignity of workforce," said the President, who also called for equality for women in the workforce. "Women deserve equal pay for equal work. Mothers deserves a day off without hardships." He expressed to Congress that the wages for women must be equal since most low wage jobs are held by women and "when women succeed, America succeeds."
The issue with minimum wage, which was addressed before by the President, was directed to Congress to take action. "Americans who overwhelmingly work full-time should not raise a family in poverty," shot the President. He addressed that boosting the minimum wage-at least to $10.10 hourly would improve the morale of the business and its leaders. "Do what you can to raise employees wages," urged the President to Congress. "It's good for the economy and good for America."
The conflicts and battles with the Republicans was addressed and noted that "millions of Americans are tired of stale political arguments." The pressure of cooperation was a vitally important one addressed. Republican strategist Bill Kristol emphasized the importance for the president to announce this due to last year's government shutdown. The President reinforced his stance with healthcare and how it has become affordable for anyone with preexisting conditions, and called for the reforming of immigration which "fulfills dreams for everyone and contributes to our culture."
Many propositions were presented to Congress last year but President Obama noted that none of those things came in accordance with Congress. President Obama urged that there may be cooperation this year to continue to propel action to make the country better and that the nation is "stronger when America feels like a full team."
The full text can be read here.