tv State of the Union 2014 FOX January 28, 2014 6:00pm-7:31pm PST
>> we are minutes away from president obama making the traditional walk and saying hi for his annual state of the union address. >> that's minutes away. we want to join fox's live coverage of the president's up fweeng and welcome to the russell rotunda inside the united states capitol. i'm shepherd smith. we're minutes away from the state of the union address to congress and millions of viewers across the country and around the world. we'll have live coverage of the address and the republican response that follows. first a live look at the floor at the house of representatives
where the sergeant at arms will soon introduce the president and i say soon as one of those sort of variable words because we already know from our producers who are monitoring the timeline sent to us earlier in the day they are by our producer's calculations some eight to nine minutes behind schedule. on hand tonight both houses of congress, several supreme court justices, the joint chiefs and president's cabinet. one cabinet member will not be present in case of catastrophe and tonight the secretary of energy will not be here, so we've seen an advanced copy of the speech and president obama plans to call for 2014 to be a year of action as he puts it. he plans to ask congress to work with him to create opportunities for folks who are still struggling after the great recession but the president will also make clear, we are told, that he is willing to go around congress when he must. we expect him to outline a dozen or so executive actions, one of those in order to raise the minimum wage for new government
contract workers to above $10 an hour, already some republicans are warning they'll be watching closely tonight to make sure the president does not overstep his powers. anchor chris wallace is with us and will have some thoughts in a moment. wendell is live inside the hall with an idea what the president will say and more importantly won't say. >> good evening, it is a scaled back wish list this year for the president, call for bipartisan action from congress but his chief of staff says the president is not going to wait for congress which is another way of saying he doesn't really think he's going to be able to reach agreement with republicans especially those in the house so as you say he will call for an increase in the minimum wage for workers at federal contractors who get new contracts from the government to go up from $.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour. house speaker john boehner says this will amount to an increase
in wages for virtually no one. he says hiking the minimum wage generally would cost jobs because whenever you make something more expensive you get less of it. the president will also announce the new retirement savings plan called my ra aimed at people whose companies don't offer 401(k) plans, they can buy government treasury bonds and convert them to i.r.a.s upon retirement. he'll talk about the basic fairness of the economy or as he sees it the lack of it with middle class wages stagnant for decad decades. even if he doesn't have proposals that republicans can go along with to change the situation the president wants the vogtle public to believe that he and democrats under the dynamic and that the president believes will pay dividends in the fall, november of this year when democrats very much hope to hang onto the senate and make some gains, if possible, in the
house of representatives. so the president will call for an extension of unemployment benefits, extended unemployment benefits which republicans have made clear they will not give him. he will call for expanded access to college and a general minimum wam hike also which republicans have refused, one of the lines from the president's speech, shepard, too many americans are working just to get by, let alone to get ahead and too many are not working at all. >> wendell goler is live with us there, good to see you. chris wallace, host of "fox news sunday" with us now. i had lunch with the president this afternoon, invited the anchors of tonight's coverage in, seemed upbeat on one hand and concerned on another about this inequality and the fact that so many people don't seem to have much of a chance anymore and he seemed determined to either with executive action or cooperation change that. >> there's a policy aspect to
that and a political aspect to that as well. policy aspect certainly something the president's been concerned about, one of the plain planks of his platform when he ran for re-election in 012. interestingly enough they've done. testing and found inequality does not poll test well because it sounds like you're talking about class welfare, rich versus poor. i think you'll hear less talk about inequality and more talk about opportunity because who could be against opportunity. there's another point and this is the political point. the president's poll numbers are terrible. there was a poll over the weekend showed only 37% of americans believe that the president is, would make the right decision. that's bad. democrats in congress in the 20s. republicans in congress in the teens. so the position, the standing of everybody here in washington is very low and one of the reasons for that clearly is obamaobamac. to a certain degree i think the president will focus on income
inequality or opportunity as he puts it because he wants to change the subject from obamacare and the problems well documented with the roll-out to this question of helping the middle class and trying to show that he is sensitive to people's concerns on issues like extending unemployment benefits, raising the minimum wage and that republicans are insensitive to that. it's a good issue for him. >> and one of the other things it seems we can be certain on his agenda tonight is immigration reform. and it appears there is some movement on the republican side in the house to where there may be some compromise coming, not 100% of what the president wants but compromise which would be unique in recent years. >> absolutely, that is one of the few areas tonight you'll hear the president and as you've said call on congress to do a bunch of things. they most certainly will do almost none of them, announce he'll take executive action. the one area where they are talking about possible progress is immigration reform, the senate passed a comprehensive package last year, it seemed to stall in the house, but in the
last few days house republican leaders indicated on a piecemeal basis they want to take up a number of measures, including not the path to citizenship for the 11 million illegals who are here but a path to legalization for the 11 million who are here, and i think the president is going to tread lightly on that because he realizes there is some movement in the republican party. he'll speak about it but i don't think he'll berate republicans because he wants to give john boehner, the speaker of the house and the other republican leaders some space to get something done. >> and without being specific about an off the record launch that certainly was his tone today. there was no great pushback, there was a lot of discussion about this. when you look at the polls it's very clear this is an issue that republicans need, the polls indicate america's for this. >> but it's interesting. it cuts both ways and there are a lot of, you know, very smart republicans who think it's a mistake because it is going to cause a fight in the republican party, on the one hand they
desperately need republicans to reach out to hispanics. mr mr lost mitt romney lost to barack obama. others will view a path of legalization as amnesty. it will cause a fight. lot say tend to your knitting, don't get into a fight within the republican party on this subject. >> i'm led to believe the president will be entering shortly, he's exited the holding room. >> this is going to be a battle in 2014 is teams to me between two competing narratives. the president will do what he tried to do in 2012, he's the champion of the middle class and opportunity and present a program a lot of which republicans have already rejected to try to achieve that. on the other hand, republicans are going to talk about big
government and obamacare as han example of what happens when you go too far. >> the. the has reached the chamber and we're about to hear introductions. well, so let's listen. while we wait for that you may also blue ribbons on many members wearing the blue ribbons to demonstrate support for extending unemployment insurance. this has been a political football tossed around for a while. many guests in the gallery wearing the ribbons as more than a dozen unemployed americans are attending the state of the union tonight who were cut off when the federal program expired december 28th. that's an issue the president i'm guessing will spend some time on. >> absolutely, when the long term up employment benefits were cut off at the end of december,
more than 1 million americans lost it and as unemployment state benefits run out, more and more, i think it's going to end up being multiple millions of americans. it's an issue, the republicans -- >> the house speaker and the vice president, here we go. >> mr. speaker, the president of the united states! [ cheers and applause ]
>> thank you. >> how are you? >> i see a lot of people who get these front row seats next to the president as he walks down, this is the tenth year i've been doing this and you see some of the same faces over and over. >> absolutely, elliott engel, a democrat, chris van holland, and they decided in their interests they can't have a staff member do it, they will wait there themselves for a couple of hours, you wonder if that's what their constituents want them to do to get this moment of face time with the president. >> thank you. [ applause ]
>> i have to say it really is a grand scene. you've got all of the members of house and senate, diplomatic floor, the joint chiefs of staff, the cabinet. i've opinion fortunate enough to be in the chamber a few times and it really is the american government, with the except of the poor secretary of energy who is watching on tv, they're all there. it's quite a grand moment. >> the supreme court justices, ruth bader ginsburg, she will be staying around front and center tonight. so we'll have another quick sbroe duction that wiintroducti come from the lecturn.
lot of people participated in this speech in all areas of government. your hope is once you make it into the draft you don't get cut out of this part, the president saying something like "don't fall asleep tonight." rrj aides surprises tonight so we'll wait for those. >> thank you. >> thank you. thank you. >> members of congress, i have the high privilege and his dichin distichdi distinct honor of presenting to you the president of the united states. >> thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you.
thank you so much. thank you. thank you. thank you so much. mr. speaker, mr. vice president, members of congress, my fellow americans, today in america a teacher spent extra time with a student who needed it and did her part to lift america's graduation rate to its highest levels in more than three decades. an entrepreneur flipped on the lights in her tech startup and did her part to add to the more than 8 million new jobs our businesses have created over the past four years. [ applause ]
an autoworker fine tunes some of the best most fuel-efficient cars in the world and did his part to help america wean itself off foreign oil. farmer prepared for the spring after the strongest five-year stretch of farm exports in our history, a rural doctor gave a young child the first prescription to treat asthma that his mother could afford. a man took the bus home from the graveyard shift, bone tired, but dreaming big dreams for his son, and in tight-knit communities all across america, fathers and mothers, will tuck in their kids, put an arm around their spouse, remember fallen comrades, and give thanks for being home from a war that, after 12 long years, is finally coming to an end.
tonight this chamber speaks with one voice to the people we represent. it is you, our citizens who make the state of our union strong. and here are the results of your efforts. the lowest unemployment rate in over five years. rebounding housing market -- a manufacturing sector that's adding jobs for the first time since'x the 1990s, more oil produced -- more oil produced at home than we buy from the rest of the world, the first time
that's happened in nearly 20 years. our deficits cut by more than half. and for the first time, for the first time in over a decade business leaders around the world have declared that china is no longer the world's number one place to invest. america is. that's why i believe this can be a break-through year for america. after five years of grit and determined effort, the united states is better positioned for the 21st century than any other nation on earth. the question for everyone in
this chamber, running through every decision we make this year is whether we are going to help or hinder this progress. for several years now this town has been consumed by a rancorous argument over the size of the federal government. it's an important debate, one that dates back to our very founding. but when that debate prevents us from carrying out even the most basic functions of our democracy, when our differences shut down government or threaten the full faith and credit of the united states, whthen we are no doing right by the american people. now as president, i'm committed to making washington work better and rebuilding the trust of the
people who sent us here. and i believe most of you are, too. last month, thanks to the work of democrats and republicans, congress finally produced a budget that undoes some of the last year's severe cuts to priorities like education. nobody got everything they wanted, and we can still do more to invest in this country's future while bringing down our deficit in a balanced way, but the budget compromise should leave us for you to focus on creating new jobs, not creating new crises, and in the coming months -- in the coming months, let's see where else we can make progress together. let's make this a year of action. that's what most americans want, for all of us in this chamber to focus on their lives, their hopes, their aspirations, and what i believe unites the people of this nation, regardless of race or region or party, young
or old, rich or poor, is the si simple, profound belief in opportunity for all. the notion that if you work hard and take responsibility, you can get ahead in america. let's face it, that belief has suffered some serious blows. over more than three decades, even before the great recession hit, massive shifts in technology and global competition had eliminated a lot of good middle class jobs, and weakened the economic foundations that families depend on. today, after four years of economic growth, corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher and those at the top have never done better, but average wages have barely budged. inequality has deepened.
upward mobility has stalled. the cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many americans are working more than ever just to get by, let alone to get ahead, and too many still aren't working at all. so our job is to reverse these trends. it won't happen right away and we won't agree on everything, but what i offer tonight is a set of concrete, practical proposals to speed up growth, strengthen the middle class and build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class. some require congressional action, and i am eager to work with all of you, but america does not stand still and neither will i, so wherever and whenever, i can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more american families, that's what i'm going to do.
as usual, our first lady sets a good example. michelle's -- [ applause ] michelle's let's move partnership with schools, businesses, local leaders, has helped bring down childhood obesity rates for the first time in 30 years, and that's an achievement that will improve lives and reduce health care costs for decades to come. the joining forces alips, the michelle and jill biden launched encouraged employers to hire or
train nearly 400,000 veterans and military spouses. taking a page from that playbook the white house organized a college opportunity summit, 150 business, universities and non-profits made concrete commitments to reduce inequality and access to higher education and to help every hard-working kid go to college and succeed when they get to campus, and across the country, we're partnering with mayors, governors and state legislatures on issues from homelessness to marriage equality. the point is there are millions of americans outside of washington who are tired of stale political arguments and moving this country forward. they believe and i believe that here in america our success should depend not on accident of birth but the strength of our
work ethic and the scope of our dreams. that's what drew our forebearers here. that's how the daughter of a factory worker and ceo of america's largest automaker -- [ applause ] how the son of a barkeep and speak is speaker of the house. [ cheers and applause ] how the son of a single mom can be president of the greatest nation on earth. [ cheers and applause ]
opportunity is who we are and the defining project of our generation must be to restore that promise. we know where to start. the best measure of opportunity is access to a good job. with the economy pibing up speed, companies say they intend to hire more people this year and over half of big manufacturers say they're thinking of insourcing jobs from abroad. so let's make that decision easier for companies. democrats and republicans argued our tax code is riddled with wasteful complicated loopholes that punish businesses investing here and reward companies that keep operating abroad. let's work together to close the loopholes and incentives to ship jobs overseas and lower taxes for businesses that create jobs
right here at home. moreover, we can take the money we save from this transition to tax reform to create jobs rebuilding our roads, upgrading our ports, unclogging our commutes because in today's global economy first class jobs gravitate to first class infrastructure. we'll need congress to protect more than 3 million jobs by finishing transportation and waterways bills this summer. that can happen. but i'll act on my own to slash bureaucracy and streamline the permitting process for key projects so we can get more construction workers on the job as fast as possible.
we also have a chance right now to beat other countries in the race for the next wave of high-tech manufacturing jobs. my administration's launched two hubs for high-tech manufacturing in raleigh, north carolina, answering youngstown, ohio, where we've connected businesses to research communities who can help lead america in world technologies. tonight i'm announcing six more this year. bipartisan bills in the houses could double the number of these hubs and the jobs they create so get those bills to my desk. put more americans back to work. let's do more to help the entrepreneurs and small business openers who create more jobs in
america. over the past five years my administration has made more loans to small business owners than any other and when 98% of our exporters are small businesses, new trade partnerships with europe and the asia-pacific will help them create even more jobs. we need to work together on tools like bipartisan trade promotion authority to protect our workers, protect our environment and open new markets to new goods stamped made in the usa. listen, china and europe aren't standing on the sidelines and neither should we. we know that the nation that goes all in on innovation today will own the global economy tomorrow. this is an edge america cannot surrender.
federally funded research helped lead to the ideas and inventions behind google and smrt phone s and that's why congress should undo the last cuts on reseven from last year so we can unleash the next great american discovery. there are entire industries to be built based on vaccines that stay ahead of drug resistant bacteria for paper thin material that's stronger than steel, and let's pass a patent reform bill that allows our businesses to stay focused on innovation, not costly and needless litigation. now one of the biggest factors in bringing more jobs back is our commitment to american
energy. the all the above energy strategy i announced a few years ago is working and today america is closer to energy independence than we have been in decades. one of the reasons why is natural gas. if extracted safely, it's the bridge fuel that can power our economy with less of the carbon pollution that causes climate change. businesses plan to invest almost $100 billion in new factories that use natural gas. i'll cut red tape to get the factories built and put folks to work and this congress can help by putting people to work building fueling stations that shift more cars and trucks from foreign oil to america's natural gas. meanwhile my administration will keep working with the industry that sustained production and jobs growth while strengthening
protection of our air, our water action our communities, and while we're at it i'll use my authority to protect more of my federal lands pristinely for future generations. it's not just oil and natural gas production that's booming. we're becoming a global leader in solar, too. every four minutes another american home or business goes solar. every panel pounded into place by a worker whose job cannot be outsourced. let's continue that progress with a smarter tax policy that stops giving $4. a year to fossil industries who don't need it so we can invest more into the futures that do.
even as we've increased energy production, we partnered with businesses, builders, and local communities to reduce the energy we consume. when we rescued our automachers, for example, we worked with them to set higher fuel efficiency standards for our cars and in the coming months i'll build on that success by setting new standards for our trucks so we can keep driving down oil imports and what we pay at the pump. and taken together our energy policy is creating jobs and leading to a cleaner, safer planet. over the past eight years the united states has reduced our total carbon pollution more than any other nation on earth. but we have to act with more urgency, because a change in
climate is already harming wesrn communities struggling with drought and coastal cities dealing with floods. that's why i directed my administration to work with states, utilities and others to set new standards on the amount of carbon pollution our power plants are allowed to dump into the air. the shift to a cleaner energy economy won't happen overnight, and it will require some tough choices along the3jyoz way. but the debate is settled. climate change is a fact, and when our children's children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world with new sources of energy, i want us to be able to say yes, we did. finally, if we're serious about economic growth, it is time to
heed the call of business leaders, labor leaders, faith leaders, law enforcement, and fix our broken immigration system. republicans and democrats in the senate have acted, and i know that members of both parties in the house want to do the same. independent economists say immigration reform will grow our economy and shrink our deficits by almost $1 trillion in the next two decades and for good reason. when people come here to fulfill their dreams to study, invent, contribute to our culture, they make our country a more attractive place for businesses to locate and create jobs for everybody. so let's get immigration reform done this year. let's get it done.
it's time. the ideas i've outlined so far can speed up growth and create more jobs but in this rapidly changing economy we have to make sure that every american has the skills to fill those jobs. the good news is, we know how to do it. two years ago as the auto industry came roaring back, andre rush opened up a manufacturing firm in te trodet. she knew how to make parts, and needed the workforce. so she dialed up what we call an american jobs center, places where folks can walk in to get the help or training they need to find a new job or a better job. she was flooded with new workers and today,c÷dl detroit manufactg systems has more than 700
employees, and what andra and her employees experienced is how it should be for every employer and every job seeker. so tonight you've asked vice president biden to lead an across-the-board reform of america's training programs to make sure they have one mission -- train americans with the skills employers need and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now. that means more on the job training and more apprentices p apprenticeships that sent a worker on a trajectory for life, connecting companies to community colleges that can design training to fill their specific needs and if congress wants to help, you can
concentrate funding on proven programs that connect more rod-to-work americans with ready-to-be filled jobs. i'm also convinced we can help americans return to the workforce faster by reforming unemployment insurance so that it's more effective in today's economy, but first this congress needs to restore the unemployment insurance you just let expire for 1.6 million people. let me tell you why. missy demars is the mother of two young boys. she'd been steadily employed since she was a teenager, put herself through college. she'd never collected unemployment benefits but she'd been paying taxes.
in may, she and her husband used their life savings to buy their first home. week later, budget cuts claimed the job she loved. last month when their unemployment insurance was cut off, she sat down and wrote me a letter, the kind i get every day. we are the face of the unemployment crisis, she wrote. "i'm not dependent on the government. our country depends on people like us, who build careers, contribute to society, care about our neighbors. i'm confident that in time, i will find a job. i will pay my taxes, and we will raise our children in their own home in the community we love. please give us this chance." congress, give these hard-working, responsible americans that chance. give them that chance.
give them the chance. they need our help right now, but more important, this country needs them in the game. that's why i've been asking ceos to give more long-term unemployed workers a fair shot at new jobs, a new chance to support their families and in fact, this week, many will come to the white house to make that commitment real. tonight i ask every business leader in america to join us and do the same, because we are stronger when america fields a full team. of course, it's not enough to train today's workforce. we also have to prepare tomorrow's workforce by guaranteeing every child access to a world class education.
if steven rodriguez couldn't speak a word of english when he moved to new york city at age 9, the last month, thanks to the support of great teachers and an innovative tutoring program, he led a march of his classmates through a crowd of cheering parents and neighbors from their high school to the post office, where they mailed off their college applications, and this son of a factory worker just found out he's going to college this fall. five years ago we set out to change the odds for all our kids. we worked with lenders to reform student loans and today more young people are earning college degrees than ever before. race to the top with the help of governors from both parties has helped states raise expectations
and performance. teachers and principals and schools from tennessee to washington, d.c., are making big strides in preparing students with the skills for the new economy, problem-solving, critical thinking, science, technology, engineering, math. some of this change is hard. it requires everything from more challenging krk colucurriculumse demanding parents to better support for teachers and new ways to measure how well our kids think, not how well they can fill in a bubble on a test, but it is worth it. and it is working. the problem is, we're still not reaching enough kids and we're not reaching them in time, and that has to change. research shows that one of the best investments we can make in a child's life is high quality early education.
last year i asked this congress to help states make high quality pre-k available to every 4-year-old and as a parent as well as a president, i repeat that request tonight, but in the meantime 30 states have raised pre-k funding on their own. they know we can't wait, so just as we worked with states to reform our schools, this year we'll invest in new partnerships with states and communities across the country in a race to the top for our youngest children and as congress decides what it's going to do, i'm going to pull together a coalition of elected officials, business leaders and philanthropists willing to help more kids access cess the high quality pre-k they need. it is right for america. we need to get this done.
last year i also pledged to connect 99% of our students to high speed broadband over the next four years. tonight i can announce that with the support of the fcc and companies like apple, microsoft, sprint and verizon we've got a downpayment to start connecting more than 15,000 schools and 20 million students over the next two years, without adding a dime to the deficit. we're working to redesign high schools and partner them with colleges and employers that offer them the real word education and hands on training that can lead directly to a job and career. we're shabing up our system of higher education to give parents more information and colleges more incentive to offer better value so no middle class kid is
priced out of a clollege education. we're offering millions the opportunity to cap monthly payments to 10% of their income and i want to work with congress to see how we can help more americans who feel trapped pi student loan debt. and i'm reaching out to some of america's leading foundations and corporations on a new initiative to help men of color facing especially tough odds to stay on track and reach their full potential. the bottom line is michelle and i want every child to have the same chance this country gave us but we know our opportunitiy agenda won't be complete and too many young people entering the workforce today will see the american dream as an empty promise unless we do more to make sure our economy honors the dignity of work and hard work
pays off for every single american. yet today women make up about half our workforce but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. that is wrong, and in 2014 it's an embarrassment. women deserve equal pay for equal work. she deserves to have a baby without sacrificing her job. a mother deserves a day off to care for a sick child or a sick parent without running into hardship and you know what? a father does, too. it is time to do away with
workplace policies that belong in a "madmen" episode. this year, let's all come together, congress, the white house, businesses from wall street to main street, to give every woman the opportunity she deserves, because i believe when women succeed, america succeeds. now, women hold a majority of lower wage jobs, but they're not the only ones stifled by stagnant wages. americans understand that some people will earn more money than others, and we don't resent those, who by virtue of their efforts achieve incredible success. that's what america is all about. but americans overwhelmingly
agree that no one who works full time should ever have to raise a family in poverty. in the years since i asked this congress to raise the minimum wage, five states have passed laws to raise theirs. many businesses have done it on their own. make shute is here with his bost, john cerrano, john is an owner of punch pizza in minneapolis and nick helps make the dough, only now, he makes more of it. john just gave his employees a raise to ten bucks an hour and that's a decision that has eased their financial stress and boosted their morale.
tonight i ask more of america's business leaders to follow john's lead. do what you can to raise your employees' wages. it's good for the economy. it's good for america. to every mayor, governor, state legislator in america, i say you don't have to wait for congress to act. americans will support you if you take this on and as a chief executive i intend to lead by example, profitable corporations like costco see higher wages as the smart way to boost productivity and reduce turnover. we should, too. in the coming weeks i will issue an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay their federally funded employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour, because if you cook our
troops' meals or wash their dishes, you should not have to live in poverty. of course, to reach millions more, congress does need to get on board. today the federal minimum wage is worth about 20% less than it was when ronald reagan first stood here. tom harken and george miller have a bill to fix that lifting the minimum wage to $10.10. it's easy to remember, 10.10. this will help families. it will give businesses customers with more money to spend. it does not involve any new bureaucratic program. so join the rest of the country. say yes. give america a raise. give them a raise.
there are other steps we can take to help families make ends meet and few are more effective as reducing inequality and helping families pull themselves through hard work than the earned income tax credit. right now it helps about half of all parents at some point. think about that. it helps about half of all parents in america at some point in their lives. but i agree with republicans like senator rubio that it doesn't do enough for single workers who don't have kids. so let's work together to strengthen the credit, reward work, help more americans get ahead. let's do more to help americans save for retirement. today most workers don't have a pension. social security check often isn't enough on its own, and
while the stock market doubled over the last five years, that doesn't help folks who duon't have 401(k)s. tomorrow i will direct the treasury to create a new way for working americans to start their own retirement savings. my ra, it's a new savings bond that encourages folks to build a nest egg m.y.r.a. guaranties a risk of return without losing what you put in and if this congress wants to help, work with me to fix an upsite down tax code that gives tax breaks to help the wealthy save but does little or nothing for middle class americans. offer every american access to an automatic i.r.a. on the job so they can save at work just like everybody in this chamber can, and since the most important investment many families make is their home, send me legislation that protects taxpayers from footing
the bill for a housing crisis ever again and keeps the dream of home ownership alive for future generations. one last point on financial security. for decades, few things exposed hard-working families to economic hardship more than a broken health care system. and in case you haven't heard, we're in the process of fixing tha that. pre-existing condition used to mean that someone like amanda shelley, a physician's assistant and single mom from arizona, couldn't get health insurance, but on january 1st, she got covered.
on january 3rd she felt a sharp pain. on january th she had emergency surgery, just one week earlier, amanda said that surgery would have meant bankruptcy. that's what health insurance reform is all about. the peace of mind that if misfortune strikes, you don't have to lose everything. already because of the affordable care act more than 3 million americans under age 26 have gained coverage under their parents' plan. more than 9 million americans have signed up for private health insurance or medicaid coverage. 9 million. and here is another number. zero. because of this law, no american, none, zero can ever again be dropped or denied coverage for a preexisting
condition like asthma or back pain or cancer. no woman can ever be charged more just because she's a woman. and we did all this while adding years to medicare's finances, keeping medicare premiums flat and lowering prescription costs for millions of seniors. now, i do not expect to convince my republican friends on the merits of this law. but i know that the american people are not interested in refighting old battles, so
again, if you have specific plans to cut costs, cover more people, increase choice, tell america what you'd do differently. let's see if the numbers add up. but let's not have another 40-something votes to repeal a law that's already helping millions of americans like amanda. [ cheers and applause ] the first 40 were plenty. we all owe it to the american people to say what we're for,
not just what we're against. and if you want to know the real impact this law is having, just talk to governor steve beshear of kentucky who is here tonight. kentucky is not the most liberal part of the country. that's not where i got my highest vote totals. but he's like a man possessed when it comes to covering his commonwealth's families. our neighbors and our friends, he says. they're people we shop and go to church with, farmers out on the tractor, grocery clerks. they're people who go to work every morning praying they don't get sick. no one deserves to live that way. steve's right. that's why tonight i ask every american who knows someone without health insurance to help them get covered by march 31st. help them get covered. moms get on your kids to sign
up. kids, call your mom and walk her through the application. it will give her peace of mind and plus she'll appreciate hearing from you. after all, that's the spirit that has always moved this nation forward. it's the spirit of citizenship, the recognition that through hard work and responsibility we can pursue our individual dreams but still come together as one american family to make sure the next generation can pursue its dreams as well. citizenship means standing up for everyone's right to vote.
last year, part of the voting rights act was weakened but conservative republicans and liberal democrats are working together to strengthen it and the bipartisan commission i appointed chaired pi my campaign lawyer and governor romney's campaign lawyer came together and have offered reforms so that no one has to wait more than a half hour to vote. let's support these efforts. it should be the power of our vote, not the size of our bank account that drives our democracy. citizenship means standing up for the lives that gun violence steals from us each day. i've seen the courage of parents, students, pastors, police officers, all over this country who say we are not
afraid, and i intend to keep trying with or without congress, to help stop more tragedies from visiting innocent americans in our movie theaters and our shopping malls or schools like sandy hook. citizenship demands a sense of common purpose. participation in the hard work of self-government, an obligation to serve our communities, and i know this chamber agrees that few americans give more to their country than our diplomats and the men and women of the united states armed forces. thank you.
tonight, because of the extraordinary troops and civil yaps who risk and lay down their lives to keep us free, the united states is more secure. when i took office nearly 180,000 americans were serving in iraq and afghanistan. today, all our troops are out of iraq. more than 60,000 of our troops have already come home from afghanistan. with afghan forces now in the lead for their own security, our troops have moved to a support role. together with our allies, we
will complete our mission there by the end of this year, and america's longest war will finally be over. after 014 we will support a unified afghanistan as it takes responsibility for its own future. if the afghan government signs a security agreement that we have negotiated, a small force of americans could remain in afghanistan, with nato allies, to carry out two narrow missions -- training and assisting afghan forces and counterterrorism operations to pursue any remnants of al qaeda. while our relationship with afghanistan will change, one thing will not, our resolve that terrorists do not launch attacks against our country.
the fact is, that danger remains. while we put al qaeda's core leadership on the path to default the threat is affiliates and others take root in different parts of the world. in yemen, somalia, iraq, we have to keep working with partners to disrupt and disable those networks. in syria, we'll support the opposition that rejects the agenda of terrorist networks. here at home we'll keep strengthening our defenses and combat new threats like cyber attacks and as we reform our
defense budget we will have to keep faith with our men and women in uniform and invest in the capabilities they need to succeed in future missions. we have to remain vigilant, but i strongly believe our leadership and our security cannot depend on our outstanding military alone. as commander in chief, i have used force when needed to protect the american people and i will never hesitate to do so as long as i hold this office. but i will not send our troops into harm's way unless it is truly necessary, nor will i allow our sons and daughters to be mired in open-ended conflicts. we must fight the battles that
need to be fought, not those that terrorists prefer from us, large scale deployments that drain our strength and may ultimately feed extreme is. so even as we actively and aggressively pursue terrorist networks through more targeted efforts and building the capacity of our foreign partners, america must move off a permanent war footing. that's why i've imposed prudent limits on the use of drones, for we will not be safer if people abroad believe we strike within their countries without regard for the consequence. that's why working with this congress, i will reform our surveillance programs, because the vital work of our intelligence community depends on public confidence here and abroad, the privacy of ordinary people is not being violated.
and with the afghan war ending, this needs to be the year congress lifts the remaining restrictions on detainee transfers and we close the prison at guantanamo bay. because we counter terrorism not just through intelligence and military action, but by bñf%q$eue to ou constitutional ideals and setting an example for the rest of the world. you see, in a world of complex threats, our security, our leadership depends on all elements of our power, including stock and principled diplomacy. american diplomacy has rallied more than 50 countries to prevent nuclear materials from falling into the wrong hands and allowed us to reduce our own reliance on cold war stockpiles.
american diplomacy backed by the threat of force is why syria's chemical weapons are being eliminated. and we will continue to work with the international community to usher in the future the syrian people deserve, free of dictatorship, terror and fear. as we speak american diplomacy is supported, israelis and palestini palestinians, as they engage in the difficult but necessary talks to end the conflict there, to achieve dignity and an independent state for palestinians and lasting peace and security for the state of israel, a jewish state that knows america will always be at their side.
and it is american diplomacy pack backed by pressure that has halted the progress of iran's nuclear program and rolled back parts of that program for the very first time in a decade. as we gather here tonight iran has begun to eliminate its stockpile of higher levels of enriched uranium. it's not installing advanced centrifuges. unprecedented inspections help the world verify every day that iran is not building a bomb. and with our allies and partners, we're engaged in negotiations to see if we can peacefully achieve a goal we all share, preventing iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.+6uç
these negotiations will be difficult. they may not succeed. we are clear-eyed about iran's support for terrorist organizations like hezbollah, which threatens our allies, and we're clear about the mistrust between our nations, mistrust that cannot be wished away, but these negotiations don't rely on trust. any long-term deal we agree to must be based on verifiable action that convinces us and the international community that iran is not building a nuclear bomb. if john f. kennedy and ronald reagan could negotiate with the soviet union, then surely a strong and confident america can negotiate with less powerful adversaries today.
the sanctions that we put in place help make this opportunity possible. but let me be clear. if this congress sends me a new sanctions bill now that threatens to derail these talks, i will veto it. for the sake of our national security, we must give diplomacy a chance to succeed. if iran's leaders do not seize this opportunity then i will be the if, to call for more sanctions and stand ready to exercise all options to make sure iran does not build a nuclear weapon. but if iran's leaders do seize the chance and we'll know soon enough, then iran could take an important step to rejoin the community of nations and we will have resolved one of the leading security challenges of our time without the risks of war.
finally, let's remember that our leadership is defined not just by our defense against threats but by the enormous opportunities to do good and promote understanding around the globe, to forge greater cooperation, to expand new markets, to free people from fear and want, and no one is better positioned to take advantage of those opportunities than america. our alliance with europe we manz the strongest the world has ever known, from tunisia to burma, we're supporting those doing the hard work of building democracy. in the ukraine, we stand for the principle that all people have the right to express themselves freely and peacefully and to have a say in their country's future. across africa, we're bringing
together businesses and governments to double access to electricity and help end extreme poverty. in the americas, we're building new tides of commerce but we're expanding cultural and educational exchanges among young people and we will continue to focus on the asia-pacific, where we support our allies, shape a future of greater security and prosperity, and extend a hand to those devastated by disaster, as we did in the philippines when our marines and civil yians rushed aid those battered by the typhoon and greeted with words like "we will never forget your kindness" and "god bless america." we do these things because they help promote our long-term security and we do them because we believe in the inherent dignity and equality of every human being, regardless of race or religion, creed or sexual
orientation, and next week, the world will see one expression of that commitment when team usa marches the red, white and blue into the olympic stadium and brings home the gold. [ chants "usa!" ]. >> my fellow americans, no other country in the world does what we do. on every issue, the world turns to us not suchl simply because size of our economy or military might but because of the ideas we stand for and the burdens we bear to advance them. no one knows this better than those who serve in uniform. as this time of war draws to a
close, a new generation of heroes returns to civilian life. we'll keep slashing that backlog so our veterans receive the benefits they earned and our wounded warriors receive the health care, including the mental health care that they need. we'll keep working to help all our veterans translate their skills in leadership into jobs here at home, and we will all continue to join forces to honor and support our remarkable mull te mull tear families. let me tell you about one of those families you've come to know. i first met corey remsberg, a
proud army ranger, at omaha beach on the 65th anniversary of d-day. he walked pi throume through th ceremony, had an easy manner, sharp as a tack, we joked around and took pictures and i told him to stay in touch. few months later on his tenth deployment cory was nearly killed by a massive roadside bomb in afghanistan. his comrades found him in a canal face down, underwater, shrapnel in his brain. for months he lay in a coma and next time i met him in the hospital he couldn't speak, could barely move. over the years he's endured dozens of surgeries and
procedures, hours of gruelling retab every day. even now cory is still blind in one eye, still struggles on his left side, but slowly, steadily, with the support of caregivers like his dad, craig, and the community around him, cory has grown stronger. day by day he's learned to speak again and stand again and walk again and he's working toward the day when he can serve his country again. my recovery has not been easy, he says. nothing in life that's worth anything is easy. cory is here tonight and like the army he loves, like the america he serves, sergeant first class cory ramsburg never
sometimes we stumble. we make mistakes. we get frustrated. we're discouraged. but for more than 200 years we have put those things aside and placed our collective shoulder to the wheel of progress, to create and build and expand the possibilities of individual achievement, to free other nations from tyranny and fear, to promote justice and fairness and equality under the law, so that the words set to paper by our founders are made real for every citizen. the america we want for our kids, a rising america where work is plentiful and communities is strong where prosperity is widely shared and opportunity for all lets us go as far as our dreams and toil will take us, none of it is
>> the president delivering his state of the union address before a joint session of congress and a world watching and tonight one of the highlights probably he said "wherever and whenever i can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more american families that's what i'm going to do." 12 different instances in which the president plans to use his pen instead of his phone to use white house parlance over recent weeks he will do it and says he will do it for theberrerme bettf middle class and society. the republicans on the sidelines says we will be watching and should you overstep we will be loud. some of the loudest applause for sergeant first class cory rimsburg, the longest of the
night was i believe when he asked that they stop having vote after vote in 40-some votes to repeal the affordable health care law. the president standing firmly on the affordable health care tonight. chris wallace, the host of "fox news sunday" is here with me. that was the applause line of the night and got hoops and hollers. >> i thought there were two. that was one. the other was when he talked about paycheck fairness for women. let me quickly say about cory remsburg. ronald ray began in 198 started a tradition of having heroes up in the gallery. he had a fellow named lenny skutnik a government bureaucrat who jumped into the potomac when a plane crashed into the fwrinlg and saved people. i don't remember any moment as powerful and as emotional as seeing that brave, young solder, former ranger, cor y remsburg
and the bipartisan emotion and applause and rightly so that when out to him as he makes his remarkable recovery. on the political side of this and political speech the president whom only a third of the country pleefz has faith, will make the right decisions i thought it was a strong and confident speech by the president and exactly as you say a lot of it and the most powerful parts of it were when he was not asking congress for action, although he did challenge them on some occasions but when he basically said as you say a dozen times i'm going to take action myself. i'll use my pen when my phone. his aides said they felt the president was being seen linked too much to congress, being seen as acting too much like a prime minister instead of as a president and he needed particularly since he couldn't get things through this congress
to act more as a chief xexecutie who would act with or without congress. that was clearly the theme i'm not going to wait for you. if you'll come along, fine, if not fine i'll act on my own to try to bring it opportunity to people as he said ladders of opportunity to the middle class. >> as i was about to say he pointed out what everybody knows by now for the past number of years of recovery that the top have done very well and the middle class has not. he said wages have been stagnant and the polls, the statistics show that he's on point there. there's a difference of opinion how you fix this and that's where gridlock has come about. >> a number of issues are poll tested and the president believes deeply in them, unemployment benefits when he told the story of that young mother who has worked her way through college, bought a home and then lost her job and is unemployment benefits evan's
heart has to go out and say i'd like to help that woman and her husband and their children. minimum wage when he says anybody who works a full time job shouldn't be living in poverty and when he talked about women and there's been talk about a war on women in the republican party, that was very effective politically. i thought it was interesting when he talked about obamacare he talked about all the things it does, he didn't make a single ne mention of the problems, never mentioned the fact that millions lost their policies, never mentioned the fact when he said if you like your plan you can keep your plan, that turned out according to some watchdog fact-checking groups to be the political lie of the year so he was emphasizing his strong points. he was trying to swipe aside or simply ignore some of the reasons he's in such trouble with the country, a remarkably strong and confident performance. i'm not sure the people that
have doubts about him are going to be persuaded to change their minds because of this speech. >> rarely does that happen on a night such as this one throughout history. he talked about immigration reform and it's interesting, i remember distinctly last year at this same event i happened to be in rome at the time but was listening to it, he was specific about comprehensive immigration reform he was hoping for and this year he seemed purposefully and understandably vague. earlier in the day we had lunch with the president at the white house which was an off the record thing but it was mentioned that the republicans seemed to be moving on immigration reform and the president seemed to leave the door open for whatever compromise may seem to come. >> i completely agree with that, one fairly short paragraph about immigration reform in which he said i know that the house wants to do things. i want to work with you so let's get imfwramigration reform dones year. never mentioned the path to citizenship and legalization.
he is going to give speaker baper and the republicans in the house as wide a berth as possible in the hopes they can come up with not full of what he wants but a half flow in terms of immigration restorm. >> the republican response to the state of the union will happen in just about five minutes, our understanding, the timing is five minutes after that door closes, and we'll bring that to you in its entirety. first i want to go to whendell goler. your thoughts? >> he really hit it when he talked about the president giving house speaker john boehner a lot of space on immigration reform and on other matters as well. remember when the president talked about income inequality and how america allows people to rise up as they do nowhere else in the world, he drew the example of a factory worker now the woman heading general motors, mary barra and pointed
also to the son of a bartender,@ now speaker of the house, and the son of a single mom, now president of the united states. mr. obama was determined not to, if you will, offend john baper in this state of the union address, and he took care to give him the space boehner needs to get an unruly, if you will, constituency behind him, hitting him only once really when he said you know 40 times trying to repeal the affordable care act is enough. we're going to hear from the republican response from kathy mcmorris-rogers. that's the official republican response but we're also going to hear a tea party response from utah republican senator mike lee and we're going to hear a response from kentucky republican senator rand paul, the three responses probably an indication of the divisions in the republican party.
shepard? >> wendell, one of our white house correspondettes thanks so much. it is interesting of note there is the official, there is the tea party and there is the rand paul. >> yes, and rand paul just seems to have decided he's going to deliver his own response. we despite what when del said won't be hearing all of those tonight. all you'll hear is kathy mcmorris-ronnellers one of the top members, in fact the only woman in the republican leadership in the house, has had three children since she became a member of congress, the only woman ever to do that and i don't think it's a complete coincidence it's a woman delivering the republican response obviously. they've got an issue with women and the president was exploiting that tonight in his comments. i think republicans know they need to have a woman as the face of the republican party. >> sometimes these responses go well and lead to great things. sometimes these responses do not. we shall see what happens with kathy mcmorris-rogers after a
half post10:00 on the east coast in the rotunda on capitol hill. we await the republican response to the president's state of the union address about a minute and a half from now, chris? >> you were talking about the fact that sometimes these speeches go well and sometimes they don't. i will say it's not really a fair match. the president is speaking before