Obama in State of the Union: Economy growing, help middle class, tax very wealthy, seek common ground
WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Barack Obama has used his first State of the Union Address to a GOP-controlled Congress to say that the nation's economy is emerging from the "shadow of crisis."
The president listed positive economic indicators including higher employment and a lower national debt. After finishing the rundown, he joked "This is good news, people." Obama also pushed proposals he said will benefit the middle class including lowering the cost of child care and junior college.
While saying there are areas of agreement where cooperation is possible with Republicans, he also warned that he'll veto any efforts to roll back the Affordable Health Care Act and regulations that reigned in Wall Street after the economic collapse.
He'll undoubtedly run into staunch opposition with a tax plan that would also require estates to pay capital gains taxes on securities at the time they're inherited and slap a fee on the roughly 100 U.S. financial firms with assets of more than $50 billion.
On foreign policy issues, Obama defended his decision to return to military action in Iraq and also authorize airstrikes in Syria. He called on Congress to pass a new resolution formally authorizing the use of force against the Islamic State group.
Republicans offered their strongest applause when Obama said he had no more campaigns to run. As Republicans erupted in laughter, Obama jokingly shot back, "I know, because I won both of them."