As he wrapped up the first State of the Union address of his second term, President Barack Obama Tuesday laid out plans for reducing the deficit, accelerating troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, increasing the minimum wage, fixing immigration, repairing roads and bridges and nudged a reluctant Congress to work together. Now lets get this done, he said.
He offered a framework to save money in a key entitlement program. On Medicare, Im prepared to enact reforms that will achieve the same amount of health care savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission.
He also chastised Congress for the recent debt ceiling and fiscal cliff showdowns. The greatest nation on Earth cannot keep conducting its business by drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next. Lets agree, right here, right now, to keep the peoples government open, pay our bills on time, and always uphold the full faith and credit of the United States of America.
Obama called on Congress to pass several measures to curb gun violence. Police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets, because they are tired of being outgunned.
The families of Newtown deserve a vote, he said. The families of Aurora deserve a vote. The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities they deserve a simple vote.
He concluded his remarks by highlighting several guests in the gallery who had been through challenges, including a 102-year-old Florida woman who waited hours to vote and a Wisconsin police officer who was shot 12 times during a shootout at a Sikh temple.
We may do different jobs, and wear different uniforms, and hold different views than the pe rson beside us. But as Americans, we all share the same proud title: We are citizens, he said.
Watch CNN's ongoing coverage of reaction to the State of the Union address tonight on CNN TV. Follow online at http://www.cnn.com or via CNN's apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. Follow our real-time State of the Union live blog at http://www.cnn.com/conversation
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