President’s State of the Union

During tonight’s State of the Union Address, President Obama expressed his desire to work with COngress to improve the nation’s economy. But he also stressed that if necessary he would take executive action.

One big theme of the night was income inequality. Obama urged Congress to increase the minimum wage for all Americans, while issuing an executive order to increase the minimum wage for some federal workers from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour.

He touched on concerns that the gap between the rich and poor is increasing and said that these trends must be reversed. That includes redressing inequality for women, Obama said, endorsing equal pay for equal work, and help for child rearing. He said he is offering plans to speed up and strengthen the growth of the middle class but for that he needs the cooperation and collaboration of Congress.

Obama praised a recent budget deal as a sign that both parties can work together. And he stressed the importance of bipartisan collaboration in fixing the economy.

Obama also called on Congress to put forth an immigration bill. He touched upon his his energy and climate change policies and mentioned proposed changes to drone use and National Security Agency surveillance programs.