Terrance McLeod, Staff Writer
On January 28, President Obama gave his fifth State of the Union address. This year’s speech was very similar to the past four speeches the President has given, however his attitude toward Congress has shifted. He started the speech by stating that it was time to focus on the American people’s lives and aspirations.
The President let us know that he was offering “a set of concrete practical proposals to speed up growth and strengthen the middle class.” He also made it clear that he would seek Congressional help to resolve these issues, but he would not wait if they failed to act. With the use of an executive order, Obama also raised the federal minimum wage to $10.10 for federal contract workers and urged Congress to raise it for everyone. He also addressed women’s rights issues, stating, “Today, women make up about half our workforce, but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong and in 2014 it’s an embarrassment,” a statement that received thundering applause.
Obama didn’t speak very much on the issue of immigration reform, even though everyone thought that would be the focus of the night. He stated that reform was important for economic growth and that both Democrats and Republicans in the house need to act, but that was all. When he spoke about education, his focus was less on higher education and more towards elementary education and increasing funding for pre-k programs. All in all, the speech from the president was not unlike Obama’s previous State of the Union Addresses, charismatic. This latest speech made it apparent that he is growing tired of waiting for Congress and will take measures to pass legislation with or without their help. How much President Obama can get done alone, we don’t know. It is clear that only time will tell.