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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

There are Western concerns Islamic State militants soon may unleash offensive in kingdom that could create upheaval - though nation has solid intel, grip on banking system More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid