Domestic issues dominated US President Barack Obama’s first State the Union speech since his re-election last November.
With a rallying call for a divided Congress to unite
over contentious plans for tax reform he set out an ambitious second term agenda for creating jobs and restarting the economy.
“It is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many not just the few,” said the president.
Although he promised to cut the deficit Obama said that alone was not an economic policy and went on to propose a 50 billion dollar infrastructure project and to help the poorly paid.
“Tonight, let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour.”
Foreign issues were included but one which got the biggest reaction was the planned pull out from Afghanistan.
“Tonight, I can announce that over the next year, another 34,000 American troops will come home from Afghanistan. This drawdown will continue. And by the end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will be over.”
But the policy which is likely to become the hallmark of his second term is Obama’s determination to introduce gun control. With the families of recent shooting victims in the audience, it was an almost evangelical Obama who called on Congress to act.
“They deserve a vote.
Gabby Giffords deserves a vote.
The families of Newtown deserve a vote.
The families of Aurora deserve a vote.
The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence – they deserve a simple vote,” urged President Obama to a packed House of Representatives.