President Barack Obama spoke in front of House members and civilians to discuss the future of America for the next four years of his presidency last Tuesday Feb. 12.
The President opened his State of the Union address with a quote from President John F. Kennedy: “The Constitution makes us not rivals for power but partners for progress.”
Immigration reform, investments in energy, investments in education, gun control, higher minimum wage, health benefits, job creation and home manufactured goods were just a few of his topics discussed in his speech.
Obama also thanked troops and civilians who sacrificed their lives for the safety of Americans.
“Because of them we can say with confidence that America will complete its mission in Afghanistan and achieve our objective of defeating the core of Al-Qaeda,” said Obama. “Today the organization that attacked us on 9/11 is a shadow of its former self.”
Around 33,000 soldiers have returned home from Afghanistan and a scheduled 30,000 more will be back home by the end of this year he said.
This can potentially lead to the end of the war in Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
Student Kelli Cuevas has a husband serving in Afghanistan for the next nine months, which made her unsure about Obama’s statement.
“They’re taking everybody out but only the people that are not really needed,” said Cuevas.
“My husband is a [military police officer] so even though people are getting out early he has to stay the entire time.”
The way America will help Afghanistan after 2014 is by training and equipping Afghanistan forces so the country wont slip into chaos, Obama said.
Obama also proposed benefits, education and earned job opportunities for veterans.
The investment in mental health care for wounded soldiers was proposed by the president as well.
“As long as I’m commander in chief, we will do whatever we must to protect those who’s served their country abroad and we will maintain the best military the world has ever known,” said Obama.
Obama attacked the subject of investing in research for clean energy and new ideas to create new jobs in America.
Student Monica Chavez, is hopeful about the new jobs since a family member has been unemployed.
“That’s a part that affects my family so I’m hoping that’s something that he can come through on,” said Chavez.
The new jobs will help not only help the issue of clean energy but it will also help our economy growth.
“A growing economy that creates good middle class jobs. That must be the North Star that guides our efforts,” said Obama.
Obama also mentioned raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour.
“Let’s tie the minimum wage to the cost of living so it can become a wage you can live on,” said Obama.
Student Davina Walls said she benefits from this since she works 40 hours a week at Panera with minimum wage pay.
The president said that changing the pay will mean less help from the government as well.