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State of the Union Address Highlight

Hannah Feakes, Editor

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President Barack Obama addressed the nation during the 2015 State of the Union Address, January 20th, airing on every major news channel. He touched upon topics such as education, health care, economics and terrorists and more specifically, he issued several proposals that would be nearly impossible to pass under the new Republican led Congress.

What is the State of the Union Address and why does it exist? Article 2, Section 3 of the Constitution says, the president “shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient” (The Washington Post).

From new taxation on the wealthy elite, free community college and paid sick leave, President Obama certainly gave everyone something to think about and while there were supporters of the various proposals, there were also criticisms of the speech.

According to recent article published by the New York Times, Speaker of the House, John A. Boehner was not impressed with the speech and advised viewers of Mr. Obama’s speech to instead turn their attention to the Republican response. In a statement after the speech, Mr. Boehner criticized President Obama for pushing “more taxes, more government, and more of the same approach that has failed middle-class families. These aren’t just the wrong policies,” Mr. Boehner said, “they’re the wrong priorities: growing Washington’s bureaucracy instead of America’s economy.”

Tuesday night, post SOTU Address, Iowa Senator, Joni Ernst addressed the nation with her delivery of the Republican response. Ernst did weigh in on policy matters too, “arguing that the Keystone XL pipeline needed to move forward, that the Affordable Care Act must be repealed and that Mr. Obama needs to do more to work with Republicans” (New York Times).

Many figure heads and politicians were quick to respond to President Obama’s “off-handed remark in his speech that he has “no more campaigns to run,” (New York Times) including Mitt Romney. According to the New York Times, Romney says, “I should know, because I won both of them.” In a response posted to Mr. Romney’s Facebook page, he called the speech “disappointing.” He adds, “True to form, the President in his State of the Union speech is more interested in politics than in leadership,” Mr. Romney said. “More intent on winning elections than on winning progress, he ignores the fact that the country has elected a Congress that favors smaller government and lower taxes.”

Overall, the nation was divided in response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address. Although the annual speech is not always received kindly, it is a necessary part of the presidency to propose new ideas and legislation.

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