Thursday, July 18, 2024

Obama States “Time for Something New”

In his State of the Union speech on Wednesday evening, President Obama appealed to Congress to throw off “the numbing weight of our politics” and embrace bipartisanship. He vowed to make the creation of millions of new jobs his main priority for the coming year in response to the wave of public anger in the U.S. over unemployment and other recession-related issues. In addition, Obama discussed helping small business getting back on track and chided Wall Street executives for their big bonuses.

The 44th president asked Congress for support on the health care plan that is in danger since Democrats lost their super-majority in the Senate and urged them not to abandon the effort.  He urged reversal of the Supreme Court decision that expands corporate spending in the political process, and said he would permit gays to openly serve in the military.

Reverting back to his central campaign theme of change, Obama attempted to address the  growing cynicism of the American public by saying, “Right now, I know there are many Americans who aren’t sure if they still believe we can change, or that I can deliver it.”

Many in the Latino community were listening to see if given the new political landscape on Capitol Hill, the president would speak to the issue of comprehensive immigration reform, and they were not disappointed.  Urging lawmakers to pass immigration reform legislation he said, “We should continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system, to secure our borders, enforce our laws and ensure that everyone who plays by the rules can contribute to our economy and enrich our nation.”

The president supports earned legal status for the estimated 12 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States, a controversial issue that has blocked reform legislation in the past. Republicans oppose these measures characterizing them as an amnesty for lawbreakers who entered the country illegally.

Immigration reform this year faces election-year hurdles that include an electorate focused on the economic recession. Obama’s mention of immigration reform in his speech was noted by Democrats.

Rep. Charlie Gonzalez D-San Antonio said, “I am going to give the president a lot of credit for broaching the subject in this particular environment of ‘Just Say No to Everything.”

A 2007 bipartisan bill failed in the Senate. A new effort has begun in the House led by Rep. Luis Gutierrez D- IL, but not yet in the Senate.

San Antonio Express

Congress Daily