State of the Union Address 2015
State of the Union is an annual message delivered to Congress by the president of the United States, in which he describes the condition of the country, outlines the nation's most serious problems, and proposes his annual program of legislation. The 2015 State of the Union Address was given by the 44th United States President, Barack Obama, on January 20, 2015, in the chamber of the United States House of Representatives. The address focused on the improved American economic situation, and the fight against terrorism, especially the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Obama called for community college to be made free, proposed a new tax.
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years, businesses have created more than 11 million new jobs, reduced dependency on foreign oil, and now America is number one in wind power, gas, and solar power. Obama ensured the set-up of the worker protections, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to protect from the harshest adversity. He will help to childcare more available and more affordable for middle-class families with young kids. In November 2014, in a historic joint announcement with China, President Obama laid out an ambitious but achievable target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States in the range of 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, while China announced its intent to peak carbon emissions around 2030 and to double its share of zero-carbon energy to 20 percent. The announcement was a historic step for climate change action. The United States shouldn't do anything to discourage health care workers from traveling to Ebola-stricken countries, President Barack Obama said Tuesday in.
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State of the Union 2015. (2015, September 21). Retrieved February 25, 2017, from http://www.essayworld.com/essays/State-of-the-Union-2015/105001
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"State of the Union 2015." Essayworld.com. September 21, 2015. Accessed February 25, 2017. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/State-of-the-Union-2015/105001.
"State of the Union 2015." Essayworld.com. September 21, 2015. Accessed February 25, 2017. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/State-of-the-Union-2015/105001.
Following are foreign policy excerpts from President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address. The full transcript of the speech is available on the White House website.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
January 20, 2015
Remarks of President Barack Obama
State of the Union Address
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, my fellow Americans:
We are fifteen years into this new century. Fifteen years that dawned with terror touching our shores; that unfolded with a new generation fighting two long and costly wars; that saw a vicious recession spread across our nation and the world. It has been, and still is, a hard time for many.
But tonight, we turn the page.
America, for all that we have endured; for all the grit and hard work required to come back; for all the tasks that lie ahead, know this:
The shadow of crisis has passed, and the State of the Union is strong.
Today, our businesses export more than ever, and exporters tend to pay their workers higher wages. But as we speak, China wants to write the rules for the world’s fastest-growing region. We should write those rules. We should level the playing field. That’s why I’m asking both parties to give me trade promotion authority to protect American workers, with strong new trade deals from Asia to Europe that aren’t just free, but are also fair.
I believe in a smarter kind of American leadership. We lead best when we combine military power with strong diplomacy; when we leverage our power with coalition building; when we don’t let our fears blind us to the opportunities that this new century presents. That’s exactly what we’re doing right now – and around the globe, it is making a difference.
First, we stand united with people around the world who have been targeted by terrorists – from a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris. We will continue to hunt down terrorists and dismantle their networks, and we reserve the right to act unilaterally, as we have done relentlessly since I took office to take out terrorists who pose a direct threat to us and our allies.
At the same time, we’ve learned some costly lessons over the last thirteen years.
Instead of Americans patrolling the valleys of Afghanistan, we’ve trained their security forces, who’ve now taken the lead, and we’ve honored our troops’ sacrifice by supporting that country’s first democratic transition. Instead of sending large ground forces overseas, we’re partnering with nations from South Asia to North Africa to deny safe haven to terrorists who threaten America. In Iraq and Syria, American leadership – including our military power – is stopping ISIL’s advance. Instead of getting dragged into another ground war in the Middle East, we are leading a broad coalition, including Arab nations, to degrade and ultimately destroy this terrorist group. We’re also supporting a moderate opposition in Syria that can help us in this effort, and assisting people everywhere who stand up to the bankrupt ideology of violent extremism. Now this effort will take time. It will require focus. But we will succeed. And tonight, I call on this Congress to show the world that we are united in this mission by passing a resolution to authorize the use of force against ISIL. We need that authority.
Second, we are demonstrating the power of American strength and diplomacy. We’re upholding the principle that bigger nations can’t bully the small – by opposing Russian aggression, and supporting Ukraine’s democracy, and reassuring our NATO allies. Last year, as we were doing the hard work of imposing sanctions along with our allies, as we were reinforcing our presence in frontline state, some suggested that Mr. Putin’s aggression was a masterful display of strategy and strength. That’s what I heard from some folks. Well, today, it is America that stands strong and united with our allies, while Russia is isolated, with its economy in tatters.
That’s how America leads – not with bluster, but with persistent, steady resolve.
And in Cuba, we are ending a policy that was long past its expiration date. When what you’re doing doesn’t work for fifty years, it’s time to try something new. And our shift in Cuba policy has the potential to end a legacy of mistrust in our hemisphere; removes a phony excuse for restrictions in Cuba; stands up for democratic values; and extends the hand of friendship to the Cuban people. And this year, Congress should begin the work of ending the embargo. As His Holiness, Pope Francis, has said, diplomacy is the work of “small steps.” These small steps have added up to new hope for the future in Cuba. And after years in prison, we are overjoyed that Alan Gross is back where he belongs. Welcome home, Alan. We’re glad you’re here.
Our diplomacy is at work with respect to Iran, where, for the first time in a decade, we’ve halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material. Between now and this spring, we have a chance to negotiate a comprehensive agreement that prevents a nuclear-armed Iran; secures America and our allies – including Israel; while avoiding yet another Middle East conflict. There are no guarantees that negotiations will succeed, and I keep all options on the table to prevent a nuclear Iran. But new sanctions passed by this Congress, at this moment in time, will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails – alienating America from its allies; making it harder to maintain sanctions; and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again. It doesn’t make sense. That is why I will veto any new sanctions bill that threatens to undo this progress. The American people expect us only to go to war as a last resort, and I intend to stay true to that wisdom.
Third, we’re looking beyond the issues that have consumed us in the past to shape the coming century.
No foreign nation, no hacker, should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets, or invade the privacy of American families, especially our kids. So we are making sure our government integrates intelligence to combat cyber threats, just as we have done to combat terrorism. And tonight, I urge this Congress to finally pass the legislation we need to better meet the evolving threat of cyber-attacks, combat identity theft, and protect our children’s information. That should be a bipartisan effort. If we don’t act, we’ll leave our nation and our economy vulnerable. If we do, we can continue to protect the technologies that have unleashed untold opportunities for people around the globe.
In West Africa, our troops, our scientists, our doctors, our nurses, our healthcare workers are rolling back Ebola – saving countless lives and stopping the spread of disease. I could not be prouder of them, and I thank this Congress for your bipartisan support of their efforts. But the job is not yet done – and the world needs to use this lesson to build a more effective global effort to prevent the spread of future pandemics, invest in smart development, and eradicate extreme poverty.
In the Asia Pacific, we are modernizing alliances while making sure that other nations play by the rules – in how they trade, how they resolve maritime disputes, how they participate in meeting common international challenges like nonproliferation and disaster relief. And no challenge – no challenge – poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.
2014 was the planet’s warmest year on record. Now, one year doesn’t make a trend, but this does – 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all fallen in the first 15 years of this century.
I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But you know what – I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and at NOAA, and at our major universities. And the best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we don’t act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, and conflict, and hunger around the globe. The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it.
And that’s why, over the past six years, we’ve done more than ever to combat climate change, from the way we produce energy, to the way we use it. That’s why we’ve set aside more public lands and waters than any administration in history. And that’s why I will not let this Congress endanger the health of our children by turning back the clock on our efforts. I am determined to make sure that American leadership drives international action. In Beijing, we made a historic announcement – the United States will double the pace at which we cut carbon pollution, and China committed, for the first time, to limiting their emissions. And because the world’s two largest economies came together, other nations are now stepping up, and offering hope that, this year, the world will finally reach an agreement to protect the one planet we’ve got.
And there’s one last pillar to our leadership – and that’s the example of our values.
As Americans, we respect human dignity, even when we’re threatened, which is why I have prohibited torture, and worked to make sure our use of new technology like drones is properly constrained. It’s why we speak out against the deplorable anti-Semitism that has resurfaced in certain parts of the world. It’s why we continue to reject offensive stereotypes of Muslims – the vast majority of whom share our commitment to peace. That’s why we defend free speech, and advocate for political prisoners, and condemn the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. We do these things not only because they’re the right thing to do, but ultimately because they will make us safer.
As Americans, we have a profound commitment to justice – so it makes no sense to spend three million dollars per prisoner to keep open a prison that the world condemns and terrorists use to recruit. Since I’ve been President, we’ve worked responsibly to cut the population of GTMO in half. Now it is time to finish the job. And I will not relent in my determination to shut it down. It’s not who we are. It’s time to close GTMO.
As Americans, we cherish our civil liberties – and we need to uphold that commitment if we want maximum cooperation from other countries and industry in our fight against terrorist networks. So while some have moved on from the debates over our surveillance programs, I have not. As promised, our intelligence agencies have worked hard, with the recommendations of privacy advocates, to increase transparency and build more safeguards against potential abuse. And next month, we’ll issue a report on how we’re keeping our promise to keep our country safe while strengthening privacy.
Looking to the future instead of the past. Making sure we match our power with diplomacy, and use force wisely. Building coalitions to meet new challenges and opportunities. Leading – always – with the example of our values. That’s what makes us exceptional. That’s what keeps us strong. That’s why we must keep striving to hold ourselves to the highest of standards – our own.
p President Obama State of the Union Speech President Obama 's February 24. 2009 Address to Congress The current global economic crises rose to the forefront of President Obama 's recent address to a joint session of Congress. Although the President and Congress recently passed a landmark "economic recovery bill. with the aim of jump-starting the economy out of the deepening recession. President Obama 's address made a stark case that additional measures on the behalf of the Federal government would be necessary to prevent an economic collapse. President Obama 's tone during
his address was sober and authoritative. but it also hit points of soaring optimism Taken together. the President 's dual tones of somberness and excited optimism left me. personally. feeling a bit surprised and also a bit skeptical about the practical aspects of his economic recovery plan
Although the President was careful to remind Americans that "The weight of this crisis will not determine the destiny of this nation (Obama. 2009 ) his observation that crises creates a potential for bold and assertive action. at times. seemed to be far too generalized. and a bit thin on practical specifics. For example. when Obama asserted that "The answers to our problems don 't lie beyond our reach. They exist in our laboratories and universities in our fields and our factories in the imaginations of our entrepreneurs and the pride of the hardest-working people on Earth (Obama. 2009. I felt my pulse quicken and my heart surge and I felt.
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Philadelphia Police Officer Richard DeCoatsworth — who as a rookie in 2007 was shot in the face chasing a suspect and, while bleeding, continued in pursuit until he collapsed, thus earning the name “hero cop” — stands with first lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden during President Barack Obama’s first address to Congress.
Update: DeCoatsworth would later have a steep fall from grace when, while managing the pain from the gunshot injury, he became addicted to prescription painkillers and, later, heroin, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. In January 2015, he was sentenced to 18 months of probation and mandatory counseling for a misdemeanor assault conviction involving an ex-girlfriend.
Michelle Obama hugs Ty’Sheoma Bethea, an eighth-grade student from Dillon, S.C. before the president’s first address to Congress. Ty’Sheoma had written to members of Congress over her school’s crumbling infrastructure after President Obama, who visited her school twice during his campaign, referenced it during his first presidential news conference promoting his stimulus package. Obama pointed out Ty’Sheoma during his address and quoted from her letter: “The letter asks us for help, and says, ‘We are just students trying to become lawyers, doctors, congressmen like yourself and one day president, so we can make a change to not just the state of South Carolina but also the world. We are not quitters.’”
Update: In March 2013, the Charleston Post and Courier published a story on Ty’Sheoma, accompanied by a photo of the 18-year-old with her arms raised outside Dillon County’s $25 million middle school — the first new school built in the county in 40 years. “I feel like what I did really made a difference,” she told the newspaper. “I’m very proud of myself for the part I played.” Obama must get thousands of letters a day, “but he read mine. It’s overwhelming that I could have helped build something like this.”
Fort Hood, Texas, police Sgt. Kimberly Munley and her partner, Mark Todd, were invited to the 2010 State of the Union address after stopping a shooting rampage on base months earlier that left 13 people dead and 32 wounded.
Update: Three years after being guests at the address, Munley — who was shot three times as she and Todd confronted the Fort Hood shooter — criticized President Obama for breaking his promise to take care of the victims. “Betrayed is a good word,” she told ABC News. “Not to the least little bit have the victims been taken care of. In fact, they've been neglected.”
The 2011 State of the Union address took place just weeks after a shooting in Tucson, Ariz. killed six and wounded 13, including Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was shot in the head. Among those killed was 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green; her family — including her mother, Roxanna Green, and brother, Dallas Green (pictured) — were invited to be Michelle Obama’s guests at the address. President Obama opened his speech by honoring Giffords and referencing the tragedy. “Amid all the noise and passion and rancor of our public debate, Tucson reminded us that no matter who we are or where we come from, each of us is a part of something greater — something more consequential than party or political preference,” Obama said. “We believe … that the dreams of a little girl in Tucson are not so different than those of our own children, and that they all deserve the chance to be fulfilled.”
Update: Last week, the Green family stood with Obama as he announced executive actions on gun control. The week also marked the fifth anniversary of the shooting, and on Jan. 9, the Greens launched a campaign to pay for renovations to Tucson’s Christina-Taylor Green Memorial River Park, which will include a memorial desert garden for the community in honor of their daughter. “I think it’s a positive, safe, beautiful place where people can come, and if they recognize the name, they can remember this beautiful little girl who wanted nothing but goodness,” Roxanna Green told The Arizona Republic.
Army Staff Sgt. Brian Mast and his wife, Brianna, first met Joe and Jill Biden at a Thanksgiving dinner for wounded warriors and their families that the Bidens hosted in 2010. Mast, an explosives disposal technician, lost both his legs below the knee to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in 2010.
Update: In 2015, Mast launched a bid to replace U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, who is running for Senate, to represent Florida's 18th Congressional District as a Republican.
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Systems Engineer Bobak Ferdowsi, also known as the Mars Curiosity mission’s “Mohawk Guy,” gained much attention after the Curiosity rover’s successful Mars landing in August 2012; President Obama reportedly thanked Curiosity’s flight director for making science cooler.
Update: In February 2015, the White House’s budget request for NASA included $30 million for a mission to Europa — Jupiter’s icy moon — and Ferdowsi is a system engineer for the proposed mission. “We believe it has as much water as the planet Earth,” Ferdowsi said, according to Wired UK. “This could be a great place for life to rise.”
Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton and her husband were guests of Michelle Obama at the 2013 State of the Union address, just weeks after their 15-year-old daughter, Hadiya, was shot and killed in Chicago. Eight days before her death, Hadiya had performed at President Obama’s inauguration. Obama’s address, which came two months after the massacre at Newtown Elementary School, included a call for stricter gun-control laws. “Hadiya’s parents, Nate and Cleo, are in this chamber tonight, along with more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence,” Obama said in his address. “They deserve a vote.”
Update: Last week, Cowley-Pendleton joined other victims’ family members behind Obama as he announced he would take executive action to curb gun violence.
Carlos Arredondo (left) and Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman watch as President Obama delivers his 2014 State of the Union address. Arredondo (pictured in the inset photo wearing a cowboy hat) helped get medical attention to Bauman (in the wheelchair) after the April 2013 bombings, and Bauman, who lost both legs in the attack, played a vital role in identifying the bombers.
Update: Bauman wrote a book about the tragedy, “Stronger,” that is being made into a movie by Lionsgate, and the documentary “The Man in the Cowboy Hat” — which spans 10 years following Arredondo, beginning in 2004 when his son was killed in Iraq — is being submitted to film festivals.
Before the 2014 State of the Union address, Michelle Obama gives a thumbs up to Army Ranger Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg, who was injured by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on his 10th deployment. President Obama pointed out Remsburg in his address, noting that he had been in a coma for three months and partially paralyzed but is “working toward the day when he can serve his country again. … Cory is here tonight. And like the Army he loves, like the America he serves, Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg never gives up, and he does not quit.” With help from his father, Remsburg stood up and waved to the standing, applauding crowd below. “Men and women like Cory remind us that America has never come easy," Obama said. "Our freedom, our democracy, has never been easy. But if we work together; if we summon what is best in us the way Cory summoned the best in him, with our feet planted firmly in today but our eyes cast towards tomorrow — I know it's within our reach.”
Update: In March 2015, Remsburg met with Obama again when the president was in Phoenix visiting the Veterans Affairs hospital. As Remsburg was having a barbecue in the backyard of his newly remodeled home that would help him live independently, Obama surprised him with a visit. “I thought I’d just stop by; I was in the neighborhood,” Obama said, according to USA Today. “I didn't bring my swim shorts, though.”
In his 2015 address, President Obama touched on his administration’s new outreach to Cuba, drawing applause as he mentioned the recent release of one of the first lady’s guests, Alan Gross, the USAID worker who was accused of spying and spent five years in jail in the communist country. “Our shift in Cuba policy has the potential to end a legacy of mistrust in our hemisphere; removes a phony excuse for restrictions in Cuba; stands up for democratic values; and extends the hand of friendship to the Cuban people,” Obama said. “And this year, Congress should begin the work of ending the embargo. As His Holiness, Pope Francis, has said, diplomacy is the work of ‘small steps.’ These small steps have added up to new hope for the future in Cuba. And after years in prison, we’re overjoyed that Alan Gross is back where he belongs. Welcome home, Alan.”
Update: At the end of November, Gross gave his first interview since his release. In an interview with “60 Minutes,” Gross talked about his five-year ordeal: “They threatened to hang me. They threatened to pull out my fingernails. They said I’d never see the light of day. I had to do three things in order to survive, three things every day. I thought about my family that survived the Holocaust. I exercised religiously every day. And I found something every day to laugh at.”
While addressing his commitment to innovation, President Obama gave a shout-out to another one of the first lady’s guests — NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, who was set to spend a year in space on board the International Space Station. “I want Americans to win the race for the kinds of discoveries that unleash new jobs — converting sunlight into liquid fuel; creating revolutionary prosthetics, so that a veteran who gave his arms for his country can play catch with his kid; pushing out into the Solar System not just to visit, but to stay,” Obama said. “Last month, we launched a new spacecraft as part of a re-energized space program that will send American astronauts to Mars. In two months, to prepare us for those missions, Scott Kelly will begin a yearlong stay in space. Good luck, captain — and make sure to Instagram it.”
Update: Kelly, who remains in space and will complete his mission in the spring, has indeed been active on social media during his stay; the Texan tweeted a photo from space of NRG Stadium in Houston on Saturday to show his support for the Texans in their NFL playoff game against Kansas City.