State of the Union: Obama calls for action, with or without Congress


Signaling a “year of change,” the U.S. President issues a call to close Guantanamo, impose limits on drones and reform surveillance.

He talked a good game of acting on his own if necessary, calling for 2014 to be a “year of action, but President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address showed he knows that true progress depends on cooperation with a divided and recalcitrant Congress, CNN reports.”Sometimes we stumble; we make mistakes; we get frustrated or discouraged,” he said near the end of the more than hour-long speech, seeming to describe his bad 2013 that lowered his approval ratings.  Additionally, Obama called for:
- Eliminating USD 4 billion in tax subsidies for the fossil fuel industries “that don’t need it” and instead “invest more in fuels of the future.”
- Equal pay for women, noting they make 77 cents for each dollar a man earns, which he called “wrong” and “an embarrassment” to prompt loud and long applause.
- Setting new fuel standards for American trucks to help reduce U.S. oil imports “and what we pay at the pump.”
- Reworking the corporate tax code. He urged Congress to work with him to close “wasteful, complicated loopholes that punish businesses investing here” and instead “lower tax rates for businesses that create jobs right here at home.”
- Congress to lift restrictions on transferring detainees from Guantanamo Bay so the prison cna be closed in 2014.
Obama also reiterated that he will veto any new sanctions bill from Congress that would derail talks on preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, adding that “for the sake of our national security, we must give diplomacy a chance to succeed.”

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