In his State of the Union speech for 2014, President Barack Obama’s sixth State of the Union speech, the president promised to act “wherever and whenever I can” to improve the economic odds for struggling American families, even it means telling Congress to get lost.
Laying out a series of steps for creating jobs and pumping cash into the economy, Obama said that if the Congress — and here he was clearly referring to the Republican controlled House of Representatives — continues to oppose his economic initiatives, he’ll find ways to put his plans into practice without congressional help, according to a transcript of his State of the Union 2014 address.
“America does not stand still — and neither will I,” he told the 535 members of the House and Senate, who assemble annually in a joint session to hear the president deliver his State of the Union speech. “So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do.”
Obama also took a verbal jab at House Republicans for their 47 votes to repeal the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act, better known as “Obamacare,” which passed in 2010.
“The American people aren’t interested in refighting old battles,” Obama said, quoted by CNN. “Let’s not have another 40-something votes to repeal a law that’s already helping millions of Americans. The first 40 were plenty. We all owe it to the American people to say what we’re for, not just what we’re against.”
Obama’s 2014 State of the Union contained his pledge to rebuild American infrastructure and pump money into the economy by creating construction jobs, even if he must resort to doing it by executive order.
“I will act on my own to slash bureaucracy and streamline the permitting process for key projects, so we can get more construction workers on the job as fast as possible,” Obama warned.
The growing crisis of income inequality was a major focus of State of the Union 2014 for Obama.
“Today, after four years of economic growth, corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher, and those at the top have never done better,” Obama said. “But average wages have barely budged. Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled. The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by – let alone get ahead. And too many still aren’t working at all.”
Obama also pledged to end the war in Afghanistan in 2014 — the U.S. still has about 38,000 troops there, USA Today reports —and to “act with more urgency” on the issue of climate change.
“Let’s make this a year of action,” Obama said in the signature line of State of the Union 2014. “That’s what most Americans want — for all of us in this chamber to focus on their lives, their hopes, their aspirations.”