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Author Topic: President Barack Obama's final State of the Union address focuses on the future  (Read 216 times)

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US President Barack Obama gave his eighth and final State of the Union Address on 12 January, defending the achievements of his two-term presidency and striking an optimistic note for the future of the country.

Obama was introduced to Congress by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan after the traditional walk and welcome into the joint session.

As it is his final year, Obama vowed to go "easy" on listing the proposals for the year ahead.

"I'll keep pushing for progress on the work that still needs doing. Fixing a broken immigration system. Protecting our kids from gun violence. Equal pay for equal work, paid leave, raising the minimum wage. All these things still matter to hardworking families; they are still the right thing to do; and I will not let up until they get done."

Instead, the president called for a focus on the future five years and 10 years on. "We live in a time of extraordinary change?change that's reshaping the way we live, the way we work, our planet and our place in the world," Obama said.

He focused much of his address on four questions the country has to answer "regardless of who the next President is, or who controls the next Congress." First was the US economy and how to provide a fair shot at opportunity and security.

Obama claimed the US "has the strongest, most durable economy in the world." He noted the way technology has affected the American workforce and the shift to a more global economy.

The president then spoke on education and benefits, including his controversial Affordable Care Act. "Now, I'm guessing we won't agree on health care anytime soon. But there should be other ways both parties can improve economic security," he said.

Obama appeared opened to discussing with Speaker Ryan about tackling poverty, but added that the government should find a way to make sure the "system's not rigged in favour of the wealthiest and biggest corporations."

In his final State of the Union, President Obama reflected on the past seven years in office and spoke on topics including climate change, gun control, immigration and income .
Next the president discussed making technology work for the country particularly in regards to climate change and saying that there should be a renewed effort to bring about scientific innovation in the US.

He mentioned Vice President Joe Biden's efforts to continue work towards a cure to cancer. Biden lost his son, Beau Biden, last year to brain cancer and eventually decided to forgo a run for the White House.

The president announced a new national effort to find a cure for cancer and placed Biden in charge. "For the loved ones we've all lost, for the family we can still save, let's make America the country that cures cancer once and for all," he said. "Medical research is critical. We need the same level of commitment when it comes to developing clean energy sources."


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