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President Delivers Final State of the Union Address

On January 12, President Obama delivered his annual State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress.

Highlighting four questions, or themes, the president asked: “First, how do we give everyone a fair shot at economic opportunity and security in this new economy? Second, how do we make technology work for us, and not against us – especially when it comes to solving urgent challenges like climate change? Third, how do we keep America safe and lead the world without becoming its policeman? And finally, how can we make our politics reflect what’s best in us, and not what’s worst?”

After touting the economic gains of the past seven years, the president said, “We’ve made progress. But we need to make more…We agree that real opportunity requires every American to get the education and training they need to land a good-paying job. The bipartisan reform of No Child Left Behind [P.L. 107-110] was an important start, and together, we’ve increased early childhood education, lifted high school graduation rates to new highs…In the coming years, we should build on that progress by providing Pre-K for all and offering every student hands-on computer science and math classes that make them job-ready on day one.”

The president cited Vice President Joe Biden’s and Congress’ work to “give scientists at the National Institutes of Health the strongest resources that they’ve had in a decade.” Putting Vice President Biden “in charge of Mission Control,” the president then announced “a new national effort” to cure cancer, saying, “For the loved ones we’ve all lost, for the families that we can still save, let’s make America the country that cures cancer once and for all.”

Speaking of American foreign policy and global health, President Obama noted that, “When we help African countries feed their people and care for the sick, it’s the right thing to do, and it prevents the next pandemic from reaching our shores. Right now, we’re on track to end the scourge of HIV/AIDS. That’s within our grasp. And we have the chance to accomplish the same thing with malaria – something I’ll be pushing this Congress to fund this year.”

In closing his remarks, the president said, “I see our future unfolding…That’s the America I know. That’s the country we love. Clear-eyed. Big-hearted. Undaunted by challenge. Optimistic that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. That’s what makes me so hopeful about our future. I believe in change because I believe in you, the American people. And that’s why I stand here confident as I have ever been that the state of our union is strong.”

For the full transcript of the president’s remarks, please click here.

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