The past week or so in Washington, D.C., there has been a lot of buildup to Obama giving the State of the Union address. In the speech, Obama called for greater investment in the future, and for greater cooperation between parties. Response has been mixed.
State of the Union address from Obama calls for investing in future
There has been a lot of buildup to the State of the Union address by President Obama. The annual presidential address to Congress is always a huge television event and sets the tone for the rest of the year. Obama called for greater investment in the future and announced he is putting together a bill aimed at doing exactly that. He spoke about needing advances in education, especially in math and the sciences, citing that America needed to have a “Sputnik moment” that put the United States ahead of the international pack. He also stressed the need for improving infrastructure and putting America in the forefront of greener technology in transportation and power generation. Obama also praised Republicans and asked for greater degrees of cooperation between the parties.
Republican response from Paul Ryan
Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin was chosen to deliver the State of the Union rebuttal. He praised Obama’s reaching out to Republicans but addressed concerns about fiscal policy. In the Republican response, Ryan highlighted that federal debt has been increasing without affecting unemployment to the degree desired. Ryan reiterated the pledge to repeal the Obama health care law and replace it with one that places less burden on taxpayers. He also maintained that people were justified in being “skeptical of both parties” that getting government spending to sustainable levels was an issue for everyone.
Michelle Bachmann speaks for tea party
Michelle Bachmann, the controversial tea party Republican from Minnesota, gave a separate rebuttal from Rep. Ryan. In the tea party rebuttal, she called for drastically reducing spending and the federal debt. She also mentioned the Battle of Iwo Jima, saying it was a defense against tyranny, and that liberty had to be spread by cutting government waste.