President Barack Obama spoke to Congress in the first State of the Union address of his second presidential term Tuesday night.
With Congress in a continuous deadlock, Obama focused his speech on the necessity to cross bipartisan lines.
“The American people don’t expect government to solve every problem,” Obama said. “They don’t expect those of us in this chamber to agree on every issue. But they do expect us to put the nation’s interests before party.”
Obama talked through several policy changes he wishes to implement this during his term, especially in relation to the economy. No full-time citizen should live in poverty, Obama said, proposing a raise in minimum wage.
In college education, Obama said public universities must do whatever they can to keep education at a reasonable cost for students. He said postsecondary education is the future for the U.S.
Obama continued to discuss new proposals, such as a transatlantic partnership with the European Union. He extended the discussion to the current nuclear progress in North Korea and America’s alliance with Israel.
After discussing foreign affairs, Obama struck a mine of emotions in the room when he discussed gun control.
“More than a thousand birthdays, graduations and anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun,” Obama said.
Obama told Congress he will submit 23 proposals through the House and Senate, and he wants them all to pass. He said the changes are a part of commonsense reform, even for those who are strong advocates for the second amendment.
He ended the address by highlighting Americans such as Desiline Victor, a 102-year-old woman from Florida who stood in line for hours, just to vote.
“We may do different jobs, and wear different uniforms, and hold different views than the person beside us. But as Americans, we all share the same proud title,” Obama said. “We are citizens.”