Women in combat, phrased as a privilege: "We will draw upon the courage and skills of our sisters and daughters, because women have proven under fire that they are ready for combat."
From NPR's John Ydstie:
The President urged the Congress to take action to avoid the trillion dollars worth of budget cuts, the sequester, now set to take effect on March 1st. He said the “sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts would jeopardize our military readiness. They’d devastate priorities like education, energy, and medical research. They would certainly slow our recovery, and cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs. “
The President did not offer a list of alternative budget cuts that Republicans have asked for to replace the automatic spending cuts. But he did offer a broad strategy for achieving the last $1.5 trillion dollars in deficit reduction needed to reach his goal of $4 trillion dollars over ten years. He suggested savings in Medicare would be a part of the strategy. He said the rest could be achieved through tax reform saving ” hundreds of billions of dollars by getting rid of tax loopholes and deductions for the well-off and well-connected.”
The President noted that both parties have advocated tax reform. But for Republicans the goal of tax reform is reducing tax rates, in a way that’s revenue neutral. They reject the idea the added revenue from closing deductions and en
Refugio, we are here, but y'all are getting in a lot more chatting than we are here at NPR since there are so many of your comments in queue. We'll continue this conversation through the GOP response.
As he previewed in his inaugural address, Obama is now convening a "non-partisan commission to improve the voting experience in America." "When any Americans – no matter where they live or what their party – are denied that right simply because they can't wait for five, six, seven hours just to cast their ballot, we are betraying our ideals," he said.
From NPR's Brian Naylor:
In what may have been the most emotional portion of his speech, President Obama called on Congress to vote on a package of proposals to reduce gun violence.
The President mentioned the 15 year old Chicago girl, Hadiya Pendleton, who was killed a week after taking part in his inauguration last month. “She loved Fig Newtons and lip gloss. She was a majorette,” Obama said.
Her parents sat next to First Lady Michelle Obama, while elsewhere in the gallery were, according to the President’s count “more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence.
“They deserve a vote,” Obama said.
“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.”
Many lawmakers in the House chamber wore ribbons in honor of the 26 children and educators killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in December, while others wore black and white ribbons signifying the shooting in Tucson Arizona that severely wounded their former colleague, Gabrielle Giffords.
So far neither chamber has acted on the President’s proposals, which include a renewed ban on assault style weapons, universal background checks for gun purchasers and a limit on ammunition magazines to 10 rounds. The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday held the second hearing on gun violence, and a bipartisan group of Senators has been working on legislation to expand background checks.
Now touching on gun control. #SOTU
By the way, the president shouts out to "senators of both parties" for starting legislation on gun violence. Senators. Take that, Speaker Boehner.
It was painful to watch the mother of the Chicago shooting victim as her face went from a smile when the president talked about her personality and her marching in his inaugural parade to anguish when he mentioned her killing.
@Tokyoti: That didn't sound to me like a specific chant, but rather supporters making noise in support.