State of the Union Highlights

[Click here for coverage of Gov. Jim Doyle’s State of the State address Tuesday]

In his first State of the Union address, President Barack Obama emphasized his goal to ease challenges for middle class families. Above: Obama speaks in Ohio Jan. 22, 2010.

President Barack Obama delivered his first State of the Union address Wednesday night, outlining the challenges facing the country one year after he took office.

Within his 70-minute address before Congress, the president responded to criticisms in his first year, while concentrating on his agenda for the start of the new decade.

Here are some of the highlights from the speech:

Education:

  • “I urge the Senate to follow the House and pass a bill that will revitalize our community colleges, which are a career pathway to the children of so many working families.”
  • “To make college more affordable, this bill will finally end the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies that go to banks for student loans. Instead, let’s take that money and give families a $10,000 tax credit for four years of college and increase Pell Grants.”
  • “Let’s tell another 1 million students that when they graduate, they will be required to pay only 10 percent of their income on student loans, and all of their debt will be forgiven after 20 years — and forgiven after 10 years if they choose a career in public service.”
  • “In the United States of America, no one should go broke because they chose to go to college. And it’s time for colleges and universities to get serious about cutting their own costs — because they too have a responsibility to help solve this problem.”

Economy:

  • “I have proposed a fee on the biggest banks. If these firms can afford to hand out big bonuses again, they can afford a modest fee to pay back the taxpayers who rescued them in their time of need.”
  • “We cut taxes for 95 percent of working families. We cut taxes for small businesses. We cut taxes for first-time home buyers. We cut taxes for parents trying to care for their children. We cut taxes for 8 million Americans paying for college.”
  • “The plan that has made all of this possible, from the tax cuts to the jobs, is the Recovery Act. That’s right — the Recovery Act, also known as the Stimulus Bill. Economists on the left and the right say that this bill has helped save jobs and avert disaster.”
  • “Jobs must be our number-one focus in 2010, and that’s why I’m calling for a new jobs bill tonight.”

Health care:

  • “The approach we’ve taken would protect every American from the worst practices of the insurance industry.”
  • “I want everyone to take another look at the plan we’ve proposed. There’s a reason why many doctors, nurses and health care experts who know our system best consider this approach a vast improvement over the status quo. But if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors and stop insurance company abuses, let me know.”

National Defense/Military:

  • “This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are.”
  • “As we take the fight to al Qaeda, we are responsibly leaving Iraq to its people. As a candidate, I promised that I would end this war, and that is what I am doing as president. We will have all of our combat troops out of Iraq by the end of this August.”
  • “In Afghanistan, we are increasing our troops and training Afghan Security Forces so they can begin to take the lead in July of 2011, and our troops can begin to come home.”

Comments are closed