Obama bares second term priorities in SOTU
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – President Barack Obama bared his second term priorities and vowed to fulfill them even without congressional support in his annual State of the Union (SOTU) address Tuesday night.
In his fifth SOTU before a joint session of Congress in Capitol Hill, Obama hinged economic growth to a strengthened middle class and promised to increase the minimum hourly wage to $9 from $7.25 by 2015. He proposed a universal pre-school education that will also benefit four-year-old children of low- and middle-income families.
To generate jobs, he proposed a $50 billion infrastructure repair program.
To address climate change, Obama proposed increasing investments in clean energy technologies , doubling generation of renewable electricity by 2020 and giving grants to states with the most efficient energy program. The President said he will resort to executive actions if Congress will not address the climate change issue to protect future generations.
Obama repeated his call for reforms in the immigration system, for tighter gun control and for more rights to gays and lesbians.
On national security and foreign policy, Obama said his administration will send home 34,000 troops in Afghanistan within one year, address the nuclear threat from North Korea, prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, continue supporting Israel’s peace initiatives, reduce the U.S. nuclear arsenal, come up with a law on the use of aerial drones against terrorists and protect national infrastructure from cyberattack.
On fiscal issue, Obama reiterated his disagreement with deficit reduction as demanded by Republican lawmakers and called for a compromise on spending cuts and tax increases to prevent losing jobs and hurting the economy.