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

Elusive Deal With Iran Could Yield Foreign Policy Legacy for Obama

A new Iranian leader -- and a strategic shift by the United States -- opens narrow window for nuclear agreement with Tehran More

Column: Saudi-Iran Meeting Could Boost Fight Against Islamic State

The fact that Iranians and Saudis are talking again does not guarantee a breakthrough, but it could make it easier to build a broad coalition against IS More

Thai Ruler Gives Top Cabinet Posts to Junta Inner Circle

Thailand's army chief has kept an iron grip on power as he extends the government, hand-picking an interim parliament that subsequently nominated him prime minister More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid