2013 State of the Union

President Obama proposes a series of reforms in the 2013 State of the Union address

President Barack Obama gestures as he gives his State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday Feb. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, Pool)
President Barack Obama gestures as he gives his State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday Feb. 12, 2013 (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, Pool)

by, Alanna Anglin
Features Editor

President Obama delivered a State of the Union Address Tuesday Feb. 12 in Washington, D.C. The President released his proposals for a series of infrastructure, tax, education, immigration, and gun control reforms to Congress and the American people.

In order to prevent any occurrence of sequestration, or automatic budget cuts that will take place if the set budget cap is not reached by March 2013, the President suggested to remove tax loopholes and bring back manufacturing jobs to the U.S.

The President also mentioned funding for scientific research to “fight” climate change with particular emphasis in job creation. He also mentioned creating an energy security trust to reduce pollution and create sustainable energy.

He went on to introduce education reforms for preschools, high schools, and higher education. His effort will try to make high quality preschools easier for all families to send their children to. He cited a recent study showing that children who attend preschool are more likely to graduate high school.

His educational proposal pushes to give high school diplomas the equivalence to technical degrees. In the address, he refers to Germany where graduates become employed with technical jobs immediately after high school.

He then urged colleges and universities to reduce tuition costs so that students will not rely heavily on federal grants and loans so that “taxpayers [do not] continue to subsidize the soaring cost of higher education.”

He addressed an immigration reform that will create stronger border security, and set up a new process to legality and citizenship. The process will require all applicants to undergo a background check and receive English language education in order to receive full citizenship.

The President announced that 34,000 troops will be pulled out of Afghanistan by 2014. However, he mentions that security will be set up in Yemen, Libya, and Somalia against terrorist groups with dangerous weapons. He also discusses cyber attacks as a serious issue in national defense that needs to be resolved as soon as possible.

Finally, the President reintroduced gun control proposals without mentioning Diane Feinstein’s bill to ban semi-automatics and high capacity magazines. He emphasized that actions need to be taken to prevent gun violence.

“Our actions will not prevent every senseless act of violence in this country,” he added, “we were sent here to make what difference we can, to secure this nation, expand opportunity, and uphold our ideals through the hard, often frustrating, but absolutely necessary work of self-government.”

President Obama is hoping for support from the House of Representatives, Senate, and the American people in order for his propositions to progress. To watch or read the State of the Union address, visit www.whitehouse.gov/state-of-the-union-2013.

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