Each year the prez talks about what’s up and what’s to come with the State of the Union address, and last night President Barack Obama gave his first SOTU since his reelection (fifth overall). If you missed it, or you’d like a little recap, here’s what you need to know about (#WYNTKA) Obama’s address.
+ Gun Violence
Many politicians attending SOTU wore green ribbons on their lapels for Sandy Hook, and President Obama did bring up the subject of gun violence. Echoing his gun control proposal last month, Obama called for reforms like background checks and keeping assault weapons (those designed as “weapons of war”) out of civilian hands. He spoke about Hadiya Pendleton, who took part in his inauguration and then was shot down one mile from his house in Chicago. Speaking of her, Gabby Giffords, Sandy Hook, and other people affected by gun violence, he asked that a vote be put forth on preventing gun violence.
+ Jobs & Economy
Of course jobs and the economy were discussed. While acknowledging there is still much to be done, POTUS said that 2.5 trillion dollars have been reduced from the deficit, which means we’re more than halfway to our goal. He spoke out against the sequester cuts — the strict across-the-board spending cuts the government avoided after the January 1, 2013, fiscal cliff deadline — saying the cuts would hurt things like schools and jobs, and do the opposite of what they’d be meant to do.
+ Climate Change
Like last year, talk about clean energy was brought up. Noting how the hottest 12 years on record have all happened recently, POTUS called for action against climate change before it’s too late. Besides helping the environment, his commitment to clean energy can open up more job slots and help with unemployment. He asked Congress to help him, but if they don’t, he said, “I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.”
+ High School & College
President Obama wants high schools to better equip their graduates, looking to German schools as a model. “We’ll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math — the skills today’s employers are looking for to fill jobs right now and in the future,” he said. He also asked Congress to alter the Higher Education Act to help people be able to afford college, and is releasing a new “College Scorecard” to help people find the right school for them that also accounts for affordability.
Like gun control, immigration was a highly anticipated topic for the night. Essentially, the president covered ground he’d covered before, calling for stronger border security, establishing a responsible pathway to citizenship, and fixing the legal immigration system. He asked for a bill on immigration reform to get to his desk in the next few months and said he would sign it right away.
What did you think of the speech and the topics covered? Get the speech in under 3 minutes via Now This News below, and head over to MTV News for more including Obama’s remarks on the war in Afghanistan.
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