President Barack Obama seemed to be speaking more to the legislative branch than to the citizens as a whole on Tuesday when he said, “Give America a raise.”
As expected, the president called on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage, and for greater access to college. He announced an executive order that would allow workers to save for retirement with Treasury bills.
Obama praised natural gas as a bridge to greener fuels, and lauded America’s energy independence.
In response, Rep Joe Barton (R-Texas) tweeted, “America’s energy boom is taking place in spite of the president’s policies, not because of them.”
Speaking about the Affordable Care Act, Obama warned the House not to keep voting to repeal it, saying Americans are not interested in refighting old battles. He urged young people to sign up for health insurance.
The most emotional moment came when Obama told the story of Army Ranger Corey Remsberg, who was severely wounded on his 10th deployment. Obama thanked all veterans and praised Remsberg’s refusal to give up while recovering from his injuries. The audience gave Remsberg a long, loud standing ovation.
“The president’s policies are making American’s lives harder,” said Rep Cathy McMorris Rodger (R-Wash.), in the Republican response.