News / USA

Obama Hits the Road With 'State of the Union' Goals'

Obama Takes His Message to Working Americansi
January 30, 2014 1:55 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama continues his domestic travel Thursday to drum up support for his plan to extend economic opportunity to more Americans and strengthen the country's middle class. The president is addressing working people in Wisconsin and Tennessee, a day after delivering his message to those in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Zlatica Hoke reports
Related video report by Zlatica Hoke
U.S. President Barack Obama has begun a four-state trip to amplify economic themes from his State of the Union address.

The traditional road trip after a State of the Union address first took the president to a Washington suburb in Maryland, where he spoke at a Costco store.

Standing in front of about three dozen workers and the backdrop of an American flag Wednesday, he renewed his call on Congress to "give America a raise" by increasing the minimum wage.

"Americans overwhelmingly agree, nobody who works full-time should ever have to raise a family in poverty.  And that is why I firmly believe it is time to give America a raise," said the president.

Obama noted that entry-level employees at Costco make $11.50 an hour, while the average hourly wage exceeds $20.  Currently, the official federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. 

Obama wants the federal level raised to $10.10.  In his State of the Union address Tuesday, he announced his intention to sign an executive order, one of many expected in coming months, to raise the minimum wage for workers operating under future federal government contracts.

The president also renewed his pledge not to stand still in the absence of congressional action to help American families who are still struggling to get by.

Noting improvements in the economy, including lower unemployment, increasing manufacturing jobs, he said 2014 could be a breakthrough year, provided Congress does not fuel more uncertainty.  He was referring to last year's government shutdown driven by Republican protests against his health care reform law, commonly referred to as Obamacare.

Obama said, "The question for folks in Washington is whether they are going to help that progress or hinder that progress, whether they are going to waste time creating new crises for people and new uncertainty like the shutdown, or are we going to spend time creating new jobs and new opportunities?"

President Obama's Previous State of the Union Addresses

2009:  Not technically a State of the Union, Obama said years of irresponsibility and short-term thinking had brought a "day of reckoning."  
2010:  Obama urged Americans to work together to solve the damaged economy and pledged to remove U.S. combat troops from Iraq.
2011:  Obama proposed a partial government spending freeze and said the U.S. stands with the people of Tunisia, whose protests drove their president out of the country at the start of the Arab Spring.
2012:  Obama outlined a new economic blueprint and highlighted progress in Afghanistan and the killing of Osama bin Laden.
2013:  Obama detailed the drawdown of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
On Capitol Hill, Republicans continued their attacks on Obama's overall approach on the economy and his State of the Union pledge to take unilateral executive action where he can.

"The president wants to keep doing the same old thing, just without as much input from the people's elected representatives in Congress.  Basically, all the same policies, less of that pesky democratic accountability," Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell.

Senator Patty Murray is a Democrat from the state of Washington. "President Obama talked about ways he is going to make this year a year of action and I know that is what the American people are expecting," said Murray.

Vice President Joe Biden was also on the road, speaking at Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York about Obama's initiatives to expand education and training. 

President Obama's second stop Wednesday was a U.S. Steel Corporation plant near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  There, he discussed his proposal to create a new savings program for workers at companies that do not offer retirement plans.

After a stop back in Washington, Obama continues his post-State of the Union tour Thursday with speeches at a General Electric facility near Milwaukee, Wisconsin and a high school in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Comment Sorting
by: Haron from: Afghanistan
January 29, 2014 12:11 PM
it was a good statement in the show. it cleared and stated that we support the stabilized Afghanistan with its people toward a powerful nation. it was an strong signal for Mullah Karzai; therefore, it is hopeful for next president to work hard and friendly with all region countries.

But, I afraid from ban of security agreement statement between Afghanistan and United State.
it really give a positive stimulant for both countries; not only, for both countries but for all civilized countries it could be a positive reaction to support Afghan troops [Armies, Securities, and Polices].

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