Compiled by Jesse Wood
Jan. 21, 2015. President Barack Obama held the 2015 State of the Union address last night. Watch the entire speech inside and read responses from U.S. Reps. Virginia Foxx and Mark Meadows and others.
Excerpt from Transcript of State of Union Address:
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, my fellow Americans:
We are 15 years into this new century. Fifteen years that dawned with terror touching our shores; that unfolded with a new generation fighting two long and costly wars; that saw a vicious recession spread across our nation and the world. It has been, and still is, a hard time for many.
But tonight, we turn the page. Tonight, after a breakthrough year for America, our economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999. (Applause.) Our unemployment rate is now lower than it was before the financial crisis. More of our kids are graduating than ever before. More of our people are insured than ever before. (Applause.) And we are as free from the grip of foreign oil as we’ve been in almost 30 years. (Applause.)
Tonight, for the first time since 9/11, our combat mission in Afghanistan is over. (Applause.) Six years ago, nearly 180,000 American troops served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, fewer than 15,000 remain. And we salute the courage and sacrifice of every man and woman in this 9/11 Generation who has served to keep us safe. (Applause.) We are humbled and grateful for your service.
America, for all that we have endured; for all the grit and hard work required to come back; for all the tasks that lie ahead, know this: The shadow of crisis has passed, and the State of the Union is strong. (Applause.)
At this moment — with a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, booming energy production — we have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth. It’s now up to us to choose who we want to be over the next 15 years and for decades to come.
Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well? Or will we commit ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes and chances for everyone who makes the effort? (Applause.)
Read entire transcript here.
Foxx Responds to State of the Union Address
Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., tonight issued the following response regarding President Obama’s State of the Union address:
“The American people spoke loud and clear in November, but it’s evident from tonight’s State of the Union that President Obama wasn’t listening. Despite a rejection of his policies at the ballot box, the president continues to propose outdated, Washington-centered ideas that simply don’t work.
“The nation’s tax code is in desperate need of reform, but I wholeheartedly reject the notion that higher taxes for the employers and workers who drive our economy is the solution. Hardworking Americans pay enough in taxes, and they deserve better than failed class warfare gimmicks.
“Making higher education affordable and attainable for America’s students must be a priority, but President Obama’s $60 billion proposal to provide free community college tuition is the wrong approach for the federal government to take. Rather than yet another top-down federal government boondoggle, we need to focus on new ways to promote innovation, access and completion, which starts with the states and individual institutions that are best suited to tailor solutions to their local needs.
“The American people want Washington to stop interfering in their lives, and they don’t need more one-size-fits-all federal dictates. Republicans have a vision for the future, but President Obama appears to be mired in the past.
“Tonight the president expressed a willingness to work with Republicans, and I hope that gesture is sincere. In the past, working together too often meant agreeing with whatever the president said. It’s time for President Obama to live up to his rhetoric. House Republicans are eager to work together to increase opportunities for all Americans and empower people, not Washington.”
Congressman Meadows’ Response to State of the Union Address
On Tuesday evening, President Obama gave his 2015 State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress. Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) released the following statement in response:
“I commend President Obama for coming before a joint session of Congress to lay out his vision for the coming year. While many of his policy proposals seem well-intentioned, they miss the mark when it comes to growing the economy and getting Americans back to work, which should be the top priorities of both the President and Congress. Tonight, President Obama proposed what amounts to $320 billion in new taxes on Americans over the next ten years. That’s billion with a ‘B.’ The President claimed that his new tax increases would only impact the top 1 percent of income earners, but that claim is patently false.
The President also presented a plan for ‘free’ community college. But the program is anything but free. The President’s plan comes at an estimated price tag of $60 billion over 10 years—to be footed by American taxpayers. It also taxes college savings accounts known as 529 plans. That’s right. The President plans to fund his ‘free’ community college plan by taxing those who are saving to invest in their and their children’s futures. Making sure that young Americans have access to quality, affordable education must be a top priority for the United States to remain globally competitive and equip the next generation with the skills they need. But I worry that the President’s community college plan is merely about scoring political points rather than actually providing a policy blueprint for making higher education more accessible.
However, I do believe there are areas where Congress and the President can work together. A new NBC/WSJ poll revealed that 85 percent of Americans consider job creation to be the most important area on which the President and Congress should focus. The President can work with the new Congress to implement policies including tax reform, regulatory reform and investment in our infrastructure that will help grow our economy. I will continue to prioritize support for pro-growth policies that tangibly help my constituents and boost our economy. I thank the President for his willingness to come before Congress this evening. Now let’s get to work.”
Sen. Tillis Statement On President Obama’s State Of The Union Address
Tonight, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress:
“President Obama is right to acknowledge that America’s economy must improve and Washington needs to do more to help hardworking taxpayers, but unfortunately he doesn’t understand that Washington is the problem. Partisan gridlock has made things harder, not easier for the American people and Washington has not produced results. There aren’t enough good-paying jobs, and prices for groceries and healthcare keep going up while paychecks are going down or staying the same.
“Millions of hardworking families are still struggling to make ends meet. North Carolina small businesses and job creators have been buried with inefficient regulations and red-tape. We have also seen our enemies, radical Islamic terrorists, gain in strength and numbers, posing an ever increasing threat to our safety and security.
“The American people deserve a government that is efficient, effective, accountable and responsive to the challenges American families face. We must work to make our tax code fairer and simpler, to help small businesses expand and create jobs, to put America on a path to energy independence, and to reduce the costs of healthcare. At the same time, we must improve America’s safety and security at home and abroad. Clearly, these are areas where we can work together for the good of the nation.
“It will require a genuine willingness to cooperate, to find common ground, and to produce results. I will work in the United States Senate to find common ground, to find common-sense solutions, and to end the partisan gridlock. Republican or Democrat, it doesn’t matter whose idea it is, as long as it works for the American people.
“We should never settle for an economy that’s limping along and a nation that’s less safe and secure. Americans aspire to a standard of greatness, and so should Washington. I will work every single day to solve problems, to create opportunities, and to help hardworking taxpayers achieve their American Dream. I hope the President will end the politics as usual and cooperate with us to turn these bipartisan goals into solutions and results for the American people.”