News / USA

Full Text of Republican Address to the Nation

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., rehearses the Republican response to the State of the Union Address on Capitol Hill, Jan. 28, 2014.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., rehearses the Republican response to the State of the Union Address on Capitol Hill, Jan. 28, 2014.
Following is the full text of the Republican Address to the Nation by House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), as prepared for delivery:
 
What an honor it is for me to be with you after the President’s State of the Union.

Tonight we honor America – a nation that has witnessed the greatest rise of freedom and opportunity our world has ever seen. 

A nation where we are not defined by our limits, but by our potential.

And a nation where a girl who worked at the McDonald’s Drive-Thru to help pay for college can be with you from the United States Capitol.

But the most important moments right now aren’t happening here. 

They’re not in the Oval Office or in the House Chamber. They’re in your homes. 
Kissing your kids goodnight…Figuring out how to pay the bills…Getting ready for tomorrow’s doctor’s visit…Waiting to hear from those you love serving in Afghanistan, or searching for that big job interview.

After all, ‘We the People’ have been the foundation of America since her earliest days – people from all walks of life, and from all corners of the world – people who come to America because here, no challenge is too great and no dream too big.

That’s the genius of America.

Tonight the President made more promises that sound good, but won’t solve the problems actually facing Americans. 

We want you to have a better life.  The President wants that too. 

But we part ways when it comes to how to make that happen.  

So tonight I’d like to share a more hopeful, Republican vision…One that empowers you, not the government… It’s one that champions free markets – and trusts people to make their own decisions, not a government that decides for you.

It helps working families rise above the limits of poverty and protects our most vulnerable. 

And it’s one where Washington plays by the same rules that you do.

It’s a vision that is fair and offers the promise of a better future for every American. 

If you had told me as a little girl that one-day I would put my hand on the Bible and be sworn in as the 200th woman to serve in the House of Representatives, I never would’ve thought it possible.

I grew up working at my family’s orchard and fruit stand in Kettle Falls, a small town in Eastern Washington - getting up before dawn with my brother to pick apples. 

My dad drove a school bus and my mom worked as a part-time bookkeeper. 

They taught me to work hard, help others, and always, always dream for more. 
So, when I showed my 4H animals at the county fair, my parents used to say to me, “Cathy, you need to save this money so you can go to college one day!” 

So I did – I saved, I worked hard, and I became the first in my family to graduate from college. 

The chance to go from my Washington to this one was unexpected.

I came to Congress to help empower people, not politicians; To grow the working middle class, not the government; And to ensure that everyone in this country can find a job. Because a job is so much more than just a paycheck – It gives us purpose, dignity, and the foundation to build a future.

I was single when I was elected – but it wasn’t long before I met Brian, a retired Navy commander, and now we have three beautiful children, one who was born just eight weeks ago. 

Like all parents, we have high hopes and dreams for our children, but we also know what it’s like to face challenges.

Three days after we gave birth to our son, Cole, we got news no parent expects. 
Cole was diagnosed with Down syndrome. 

The doctors told us he could have endless complications, heart defects, even early Alzheimer’s. 

They told us all the problems.

But when we looked at our son, we saw only possibilities. 

We saw a gift from God. 

Today we see a 6-year old boy who dances to Bruce Springsteen; who reads above grade level; and who is the best big brother in the world.

We see all the things he can do, not those he can’t. 

Cole, and his sisters, Grace and Brynn, have only made me more determined to see the potential in every human life – that whether we are born with an extra twenty-first chromosome or without a dollar to our name – we are not defined by our limits, but by our potential.  

Because our mission – not only as Republicans, but as Americans, is to once again to ensure that we are not bound by where we come from, but empowered by what we can become.

That is the gap Republicans are working to close. 

It’s the gap we all face: between where you are and where you want to be. 

The President talks a lot about income inequality. But the real gap we face today is one of opportunity inequality…

And with this Administration’s policies, that gap has become far too wide.

We see this gap growing every single day. 

We see it in our neighbors who are struggling to find jobs…A husband who’s now working just part-time… A child who drops out of college because she can’t afford tuition…Or parents who are outliving their life’s savings.

Last month, more Americans stopped looking for a job than found one.  Too many people are falling further and further behind because, right now, the President’s policies are making people’s lives harder.

Republicans have plans to close the gap…Plans that focus on jobs first without more spending, government bailouts, and red tape…

Every day, we’re working to expand our economy, one manufacturing job, nursing degree and small business at a time.  

We have plans to improve our education and training systems so you have the choice to determine where your kids go to school…so college is affordable…and skills training is modernized. 

And yes, it’s time to honor our history of legal immigration.  We’re working on a step-by-step solution to immigration reform by first securing our borders and making sure America will always attract the best, brightest, and hardest working from around the world. 

And with too many Americans living paycheck to paycheck, we have solutions to help you take home more of your pay – through lower taxes, cheaper energy costs, and affordable health care.

Not long ago I got a letter from Bette in Spokane, who hoped the President’s health care law would save her money – but found out instead that her premiums were going up nearly $700 a month. 

No, we shouldn’t go back to the way things were, but this law is not working.  Republicans believe health care choices should be yours, not the government’s.
And that whether you’re a boy with Down syndrome or a woman with breast cancer … you can find coverage and a doctor who will treat you. 

So we hope the President will join us in a year of real action – by empowering people – not making their lives harder with unprecedented spending, higher taxes, and fewer jobs.  

As Republicans, we advance these plans every day because we believe in a government that trusts people and doesn’t limit where you finish because of where you started. 

That is what we stand for – for an America that is every bit as compassionate as it is exceptional. 

If we’re successful…Years from now our children will say that we rebuilt the American Dream.

We built a working middle class that could take in anyone, and a workforce that could take on the world.

Whether you’re a girl in Kettle Falls or a boy from Brooklyn, our children should be able to say that we closed the gap. 

Our plan is one that dreams big for everyone and turns its back on no one.
The President said many things tonight. 

But now, we ask him to listen – to you – for the true state of the union lies in your heart and in your home.

Tomorrow, I’ll watch my son Cole get on the school bus; others will wait in the doctor’s office or interview for that first job. 

Some of us will celebrate new beginnings…Others will face great challenges…
But all of us will wake up and do what is uniquely American… We will look forward to the boundless potential that lies ahead.

We will give thanks to the brave men and women who have answered America’s call to freedom, like Sgt. Jacob Hess from Spokane, who recently gave his life to protect all of ours.

So, tonight, I simply offer a prayer…A prayer for Sgt. Hess’s family, your family, and for our larger American family.

That, with the guidance of God, we may prove worthy of His blessings of life … liberty … and the pursuit of happiness.

For when we embrace these gifts, we are each doing our part to form a more perfect union.

May God guide you and our President, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.

You May Like

Analysis: China Raises Hong Kong Rhetoric to Tiananmen Level

A front-page commentary in The People’s Daily called the current demonstrations 'chaos,' the same word Party officials used 25 years ago to describe the Tiananmen Square protests More

US Airstrikes Anger Syrian Civilians Fleeing Their Homes

Pentagon officials say they have seen no credible evidence of civilian deaths caused by US airstrikes against Islamic State militants More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid