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Politics & Power

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President Obama Addresses Congress and the Nation

For the first time since Inauguration Day, the 44th President of the United States addressed Congress and the Nation. While not a State of the Union address, the speech took on the tones of the required address to Congress annually by the Commander in Chief. During the speech President Obama acknowledged the challenges facing America and offered his vision for a path to renewed prosperity for our nation.

As the speech began President Obama spoke directly to the American people noting that he was sensitive to the concerns held by many about the economy and what Washington is doing to improve conditions for Americans across the nation. He offered a voice of understanding and of hope saying; "…while 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."

Noting as the three key factors of economic health in our nation, the President pledged to address healthcare, education and energy as his administration’s top priorities. He committed his administration to working with Congress to bring about comprehensive healthcare reform not in the future but now. Recognizing the failures of government to act in the past as well as the recent passage of the SCHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program) expansion to cover more American children the President offered a balance between learning from our mistakes and expanding on our successes when it comes to healthcare reform. He also noted the costs to business and individuals associated with healthcare and that these costs could no longer continue unchecked f there is to be economic recovery in America.

On the subject of energy he remarked that while Americans invented solar cell technology, we have fallen behind Europe and Asia in developing it. He noted that while clean energy should be a priority for American industry, China has made more investment in energy efficiency. To address the issue the President called on Congress to send him legislation "…that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America." Additionally the President committed to "…invest $15 billion a year to develop technologies like wind power and solar power, advanced biofuels, clean coal, and more efficient cars and trucks built right here in America."

While speaking about education Mr. Obama called on the American people to take an active role in the improvement of educational standards in America. Asking for “…every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be a community college or a four-year school, vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma.” He also called upon Congress to "…send me the bipartisan legislation that bears the name of Sen. Orrin Hatch, as well as an American who has never stopped asking what he can do for his country, Sen. Edward Kennedy." in order to expand educational opportunity while increasing national service.

Addressing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq the President committed to working with generals and his cabinet to find a way to return control of Iraq to her people responsibly and to work with our allies and the international community to root out Al Qaeda from Afghanistan and Pakistan leaving the world a more stable and peaceful place than it has been in recent years.

As he closed his speech the President spoke of examples of hope and inspiration from across the nation. From the banker in Miami who took his $60 million buyout and gave it to his employees because he didn’t feel right taking it all for himself to the student from South Carolina asking Congress for help for her school because she and her fellow students weren’t quitters but simply needed the tools to succeed he showed how the American spirit is alive and well. In parting he offered a message to Congress fitting of the examples of hope he had just spoken about by saying "…if we come together and lift this nation from the depths of this crisis, if we put our people back to work and restart the engine of our prosperity, if we confront without fear the challenges of our time and summon that enduring spirit of an America that does not quit, then some day, years from now, our children can tell their children that this was the time when we performed, in the words that are carved into this very chamber, "something worthy to be remembered." With that he said goodnight and began his exit of the chamber.

CNN Transcript of Full Speech

Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | Give your feedback on this article. | Click icon to Digg this article



Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to: stories@reform-america.net



Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to stories@reform-america.net





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