Advance information from various news organizations indicates President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday will be different to his inaugural address last month.
According to ABC News, it is expected to focus primarily on jobs and the economy and will outline new initiatives. He is, however, expected to touch on immigration, gun violence and climate change.
ABC News reports new initiatives will call for more spending to get the economy moving, but the spending is expected to be modest and will likely be offset by spending cuts elsewhere.
What's your reaction to the president’s speech?
Some reaction to the speech:
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand issued the following statement tonight after President Obama delivered his State of the Union address:
“In his second inaugural address from the Capitol steps last month, President Obama gave an inspiring speech laying out his vision for moving our nation forward based on our founding principles of equality, fairness and opportunity for every single American. Tonight, the President presented a clear plan to lead us there that Congress must take action on, starting with focusing on middle class families who are finding it harder and harder to get by.
“For too long, Congress has let the smallness of its politics keep us from solving our greatest challenges – all at the expense of middle class families and small businesses. I am hopeful that with a fresh start, we can leave the partisan gridlock and gamesmanship behind us, build consensus around the common, core values that unite us, and do our part to help create new jobs.
“America is home to the brightest minds and hardest workers, everything it takes to grow our economy and compete in the global marketplace. It’s time now to produce the will to harness our full potential. When we do, nothing can stop us from equipping our children with the education to lead us in the new economy, sparking new innovation and stamping more products with the words ‘Made in America,’ all while ending the scourge of gun violence and finishing the journey to full equality, justice and fairness for everyone pursuing the American Dream.
“Tonight, the President called on Congress to act on bipartisan common sense ideas and for the American people to hold us accountable. It is clear the American people are demanding action on a balanced approach to the economy and putting the middle class first. They are demanding action on finally moving forward with common sense legislation to reduce gun violence, create a new accountable immigration system with an earned path to citizenship and a commitment to clean energy. These should not be Democratic or Republican ideas, they are simply the right ideas, and I look forward to working with my colleagues across the aisle in the weeks and months ahead.”
U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY-16) applauded President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address and called for a bicameral, bipartisan effort to reach consensus on the various issues raised in the speech. Rep. Engel is the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
“I have been serving the people of New York in the House of Representatives since 1989, and the toxic atmosphere of partisanship we just went through for the last two years is the worst I can remember. Our country has too many issues which need solutions to be bogged down in the hyper-partisanship which grinded the wheels of government to a halt. This is not what the American people want, and I call on my Republican colleagues in the House to work with Democrats this year rather than serve as obstructionists. I also call on the Senate Minority to stop using the filibuster as a weapon, which stalls action on nearly all legislation. It is ok to oppose and amend, but it is not helpful to stop progress on everything.
“The President correctly stressed that our financial issues cannot be accomplished in a partisan manner. To successfully address the debt, we must have increased revenues and some difficult cuts. Republicans have fought tooth and nail against asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share. I don’t believe it is asking too much to return to previous tax levels as we pay down the debt accrued during the previous administration. Also, if we finally reach a deal to address the debt, industry will likely be more amenable to adding more jobs. Together, Congress could also put together legislation to create jobs and boost our crumbling infrastructure at the same time.
“The President made it clear that we cannot have another tragedy like the murder of 20 children and their teachers in an elementary school classroom. Gun violence has been an ongoing scourge on our nation for far too long. Massacre after massacre have happened all over the nation – in shopping malls, mosques, movie theaters and far too many schools. Enough is enough. The NRA and its allies need to come to the table and allow universal background checks, the closing of the gun show loophole and a ban on the weapons of mass destruction being shrouded in a distorted view of the Second Amendment. No one is calling for the dismantling of the right to bear arms. We are just calling for some attention to the other part of the clause – the well-regulated part.
“As a New York Congressman, I witnessed the devastation Super Storm Sandy wrought upon our state and our region. To question the concept of climate change at this point is akin to questioning if the world is round and revolves around the sun. It is time for the fringe of the Republican Party and Big Oil to stop impeding progress on halting climate change. There are few areas in our country which have not faced extreme weather in recent years, and people have suffered immense losses and are facing more in the future. The financial burden has already been felt and it will only get worse. If seeing sea water pouring through the New York subways was not enough to get the message of climate change’s impact, I don’t know what skeptics need. It is time for America to once again lead the world on this vital issue.
“We must come together and pass comprehensive immigration reform. This is a human rights issue at its heart. We have to reform the way we permit legal immigration – too many hard working people from around the world wait for years to come here. Families get separated. It is unsustainable. Meanwhile, those millions who are here illegally now have to be addressed. Their children attend our schools and are as American as anyone whose parents were born here. A path to citizenship needs to be presented to them, and must be done so at a price. It is the only fair way. We must also increase border security and provide a system which will not have us back here in 25 years just like we are today after the 1986 amnesty agreement.
“Finally, I was pleased to see the President talk about the war in Afghanistan. We have been in Afghanistan for over a decade and it's time we take significant steps to bring our soldiers home and end the war in a responsible way. While we withdraw, we need to continue to strengthen the Afghan government's capabilities and the country's stability so that terrorists will not be able to use Afghanistan as a base to plot or plan attacks against the United States and our allies."
“The President said the state of the union is strong, and I agree. It could be stronger – and together we can achieve that goal.”