President Barack Obama made good on his promise not to announce a litany of new proposals in his last State of the Union address.
Obama and White House officials said ahead of the State of the Union address that he was planning a “nontraditional” speech that would offer a broad, long-term view of the nation. They said he would skip the traditional list of ambitious plans for the coming year and calls for new legislation. Those calls would likely hit a dead end in Congress as Obama’s presidency begins to wind down.
Obama used his speech to repeat his previous calls for legislation on immigration, minimum wage, pay equity and guns, as well as a new war powers resolution.
His only new announcement is that he’s tasking Vice President Joe Biden with a mission to accelerate research on cancer. But Biden had already announced last year that he planned to pursue a “moonshot” to cure cancer.
Missouri House Representative Vicki Hartzler (R – Harrisonville) told ABC 17 News after the speech that the President should do more with his actions, rather than words.
“Americans aren’t working,” Rep. Hartzler said. “We have less people working now than back in the ’70s, so we do need to still address that and get out economy going. And our position in the world has been weakened due to a failed foreign policy.”
President Obama made an overture to new House Speaker Paul Ryan by highlighting the Republican’s interest in fighting poverty.
Obama, in his State of the Union address, says he’d welcome “a serious discussion about strategies we can all support, like expanding tax cuts for low-income workers without kids.”
The president notes, however, that there are plenty of other areas where it’s more difficult to find agreement between Republicans and Democrats.
He says those include what role the government should play in making sure the system works for ordinary Americans, not just the rich.