Matt Drudge should be ashamed of himself, but we all know that will never happen. (By the away, Matt, Condi wasn’t Mitt’s VP choice…)
Today Drudge has been teasing a video or videos of President Obama which Buzzfeed apparently figured out were from 2007, and posted on their site — as are we. Hannity apparently will be showing these on Fox News tonight.
The videos, taken of then-Senator Barack Obama delivering a speech at Hampton University — an historically Black college founded “after theÂ American Civil WarÂ to provide education toÂ freedmen.”
(Can’t you just feel the anti-White, anti-American hatred already flowing from Barack Obama?… Oh, right, because it’s not there.)
Remarks of Senator Barack Obama
Hampton University Annual Ministersâ€™ Conference
June 5, 2007
As Prepared for Delivery:
It is an honor to be here at Hampton University. It is a privilege to stand with so many ministers from across this country and we thank God and all His blessings for this wonderful day.
A few weeks ago, I attended a service at First A.M.E. Church in Los Angeles to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the LA Riots. After a jury acquitted 4 police officers of beating Rodney Kingâ€”a beating that was filmed and flashed around the worldâ€” Los Angeles erupted. I remember the sense of despair and powerlessness in watching one of America’s greatest cities engulfed in flames.
But in the middle of that desperate time, there was a miracle: a baby born with a bullet in its arm. We need to hear about these miracles in these desperate times because they are the blessings that can unite us when some in the world try to drive a wedge between our common humanity and deep, abiding faith. And this story, too, starts with a baby.
We learned about this child from a doctor named Andy Moosa. He was working the afternoon shift on April 30 at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood as the second day of violence was exploding in the streets.
He told us about a pregnant woman who had been wearing a white dress. She was in Compton and on her way to the supermarket. Where the bullet came from nobody knew. Her sister-in-law noticed a red spot in the middle of her white dress and said that I think you’ve been shot. The bullet had gone in, but it had not exited. The doctor described the ultrasound and how he realized that the bullet was in the baby. The doctor said, “We could tell it was lodged in one of the upper limbs. We needed to get this baby out so we were in the delivery room.”
And here’s the thing: the baby looked great. Except for the swelling in the right elbow in the fleshy part, it hadn’t even fractured a bone. The bullet had lodged in the soft tissue in the muscle. By Godâ€™s grace, the baby was fine. It was breathing and crying and kicking. They removed the bullet, stitched up the baby’s arm, and everything was fine. The doctor went on to say that there’s always going to be a scar to remind that child how quickly she came into the world in very unusual circumstances.
Iâ€™ve been thinking and praying about that story. Iâ€™ve been thinking that there’s always going to be a scar there, that doesn’t go away. You take the bullet out. You stitch up the wound and 15 years later, there’s still going to be a scar.
Many of the folks in this room know just where they were when the riot in Los Angeles started and tragedy struck the corner of Florence and Normandy. And most of the ministers here know that those riots didn’t erupt over night; there had been a “quiet riot” building up in Los Angeles and across this country for years.
If you had gone to any street corner in Chicago or Baton Rouge or Hampton — you would have found the same young men and women without hope, without miracles, and without a sense of destiny other than life on the edge — the edge of the law, the edge of the economy, the edge of family structures and communities.
Those “quiet riots” that take place every day are born from the same place as the fires and the destruction and the police decked out in riot gear and the deaths. They happen when a sense of disconnect settles in and hope dissipates. Despair takes hold and young people all across this country look at the way the world is and believe that things are never going to get any better. You tell yourself, my school will always be second rate. You tell yourself, there will never be a good job waiting for me to excel at. You tell yourself, I will never be able to afford a place that I can be proud of and call my home. That despair quietly simmers and makes it impossible to build strong communities and neighborhoods. And then one afternoon a jury says, “Not guilty” — or a hurricane hits New Orleans — and that despair is revealed for the world to see.
Much of what we saw on our television screens 15 years ago was Los Angeles expressing a lingering, ongoing, pervasive legacyâ€”a tragic legacy out of the tragic history this country has never fully come to terms with. This is not to excuse the violence of bashing in a man’s head or destroying someone’s store and their life’s work. That kind of violence is inexcusable and self-defeating. It does, however, describe the reality of many communities around this country.
And it made me think about our cities and communities all around this country, how not only do we still have scars from that riot and the “quiet riots” that happen every dayâ€”but how in too many places we haven’t even taken the bullet out.
Look at what happened in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast when Katrina hit. People ask me whether I thought race was the reason the response was so slow. I said, “No. This Administration was colorblind in its incompetence.” But everyone here knows the disaster and the poverty happened long before that hurricane hit. All the hurricane did was make bare what we ignore each and every day which is that there are whole sets of communities that are impoverished, that don’t have meaningful opportunity, that don’t have hope and they are forgotten. This disaster was a powerful metaphor for what’s gone on for generations.
Of course, the federal response after Katrina was similar to the response after the riots in Los Angeles. People in Washington wake up and are surprised that there’s poverty in our midst, and that others were frustrated and angry. Then there are panels and there are hearings. There are commissions. There are reports. Aid dollars are approved but they can’t seem to get to the people. And then nothing really changes except the news coverage quiets down.
This isn’t to diminish the extraordinary generosity of the American people at the time. Our churches and denominations were particularly generous during this time, sending millions of dollars, thousands of volunteers and countless prayers down to the Gulf Coast.
But despite this extraordinary generosity, here we are 19 months later â€“ or 15 years later in the case of LA — and the homes haven’t been built, the businesses haven’t returned, and those same communities are still drowning and smoldering under the same hopelessness as before the tragedy hit.
And so God is asking us today to remember that miracle of that baby. And He is asking us to take that bullet out once more.
If we have more black men in prison than are in our colleges and universities, then it’s time to take the bullet out. If we have millions of people going to the emergency room for treatable illnesses like asthma; it’s time to take the bullet out. If too many of our kids donâ€™t have health insurance; it’s time to take the bullet out. If we keep sending our kids to dilapidated school buildings, if we keep fighting this war in Iraq, a war that never should have been authorized and waged, a war that’s costing us $275 million dollars a day and a war that is taking too many innocent lives — if we have all these challenges and nothing’s changing, then every minister in America needs to come together — form our own surgery teams — and take the bullets out.
So whatâ€™s stopping us? Whatâ€™s stopping us from taking these bullets out and rebuilding our families, our communities, our nation and our faith in one another? Whatâ€™s stopping us from seeing the light and the way and the faith that unites us?
Well, Iâ€™ve been on a journey trying to get at the truth of that question.
That journey started a long time ago in Hawaii, but it got interesting when I moved to Chicago. I moved there when I was just a year out of college, and a group of churches offered me a job as a community organizer so I could help rebuild neighborhoods that had been devastated by the closing of steel plants.
They didnâ€™t pay me much, but they gave me enough to live on plus something extra to buy an old, beat-up car, and so I took the job and drove out to Chicago, where I didnâ€™t know a soul. And during the time I was there, we worked to set up job training programs for the unemployed and after school programs for kids.
It was also there â€“ at Trinity United Church of Christ on the South Side of Chicago â€“ that I met Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., who took me on another journey and introduced me to a man named Jesus Christ. It was the best education I ever had. At Trinity and working in the South Side, I learned that when church folks come together, they can achieve extraordinary things.
After three years, I went back across this country to law school. I left there with a degree and a lifetime of debt, but I turned down the corporate job offers so I could come back to Chicago and organize a voter registration drive. I also started a civil rights practice, and began to teach constitutional law.
After a few years, people started coming up to me and telling me I should run for state Senate. So I did what every man does when heâ€™s faced with a big decision â€“ I prayed on it, and I asked my wife. And after consulting those two higher powers, I decided to get in the race.
Everywhere Iâ€™d go, Iâ€™d get two questions. First, theyâ€™d ask, â€œWhereâ€™d you get that funny name, Barack Obama?â€ Because people just couldnâ€™t pronounce it. Theyâ€™d call me â€œ Alabama,â€ or theyâ€™d call me â€œYo Mama.â€ And Iâ€™d tell them that my father was from Kenya, and thatâ€™s where I got my name. And my mother was from Kansas, and thatâ€™s where I got my accent from.
And the second thing people would ask me gets back to the question about why we canâ€™t seem to take the bullet out in this country and do the works and the deeds and unite this country.
Theyâ€™d say, â€œYou seem like a nice young man. Youâ€™ve done all this great work. Youâ€™ve been a community organizer, and you teach law school, youâ€™re a civil rights attorney, youâ€™re a family man â€“ why would you wanna go into something dirty and nasty like politics?â€
And I understand the question, and the cynicism. We all understand it.
We understand it because we get the sense today that politics has become a business and not a mission. The leaders in Washington have forgotten President Kennedyâ€™s call to remember that â€œhere on Earth Godâ€™s work must truly be our own.â€
In the last several years, we have seen Washington become a place where driving the wedge to further divide us and keeping score of whoâ€™s up and whoâ€™s down is more important than whoâ€™s working on behalf of the sick and the hungry and the lonely.
We have been told that our mounting debts donâ€™t matter, that the economy is doing great, and that peopleâ€™s anxieties about rising health care costs and disappearing pensions arenâ€™t a big deal. Weâ€™ve been told that climate change is a hoax, that our broken schools cannot be fixed, and that we are destined to send millions of dollars a day to Mideast dictators for their oil.
And when it comes to faith, weâ€™ve been told that all that matters is what divides us â€“ Evangelicals from Mainline Protestants, the Black church from the White church, Catholics from Protestants from Muslims from Jews.
And when we try to have an honest debate about the crises we face, whether itâ€™s from the pulpit or the campaign trail, the pundits donâ€™t want us to find common ground, they want us to find someone to blame. They want to divide us into Red States and Blue States, and tell us to always point the finger at somebody else â€“ the other party, or gay people, or people of faith, or immigrants.
This journey teaches us that they are going to keep driving that wedge; they are going to keep the distraction going. They are going to keep our faiths separate until we shout from the mountain top, â€œOur Father who art in heaven, we are going to take the bullets out. We believe in your will and your way.â€
Right here in this room, we believe that God is big enough to overcome the smallness of our politics; that He is big enough to overcome our doubts and our cynicism and our worries; that He is big enough to love children of every color and creed and political label.
Ministers, itâ€™s time to unite behind our faith and help all of Godâ€™s children around the world and here at home realize that we are all surgeons. Our faith, the word and his will are the instruments we need to take the bullets out.
Letâ€™s start with fighting poverty.
There are 37 million Americans who are poor. Most work. Most are single mothers and children. And most are forgotten by leaders in Washington. Itâ€™s time to take the bullet out and lift the poor out of despair and into the middle class of America.
Thatâ€™s why throughout my years in the Illinois State Senate and every day of this campaign, Iâ€™ve been fighting to expand the EITC, create a living wage, put a qualified teacher and more math and science teachers in our struggling schools, increase Pell Grants so more people can go to college, build more homes people can afford, go after predatory lenders, and make sure we rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf. Weâ€™ve been working hard to take those bullets.
But we need to do more to fight poverty in this country. I need your support to do that. And I want to tell you quickly about a few new ideas I have today.
We can diminish poverty if we approach it in two ways: by taking mutual responsibility for each other as a society, and also by asking for some more individual responsibility to strengthen our families.
If we want to stop the cycle of poverty, then we need to start with our families.
We need to start supporting parents with young children. There is a pioneering Nurse-Family Partnership program right now that offers home visits by trained registered nurses to low-income mothers and mothers-to-be. They learn how to care for themselves before the baby is born and what to do after. Itâ€™s common sense to reach out to a young mother. Teach her about changing the baby. Help her understand what all that crying means, and when to get vaccines and check-ups.
This program saves money. It raises healthy babies and creates better parents. It reduced childhood injuries and unintended pregnancies, increased father involvement and womenâ€™s employment, reduced use of welfare and food stamps, and increased childrenâ€™s school readiness. And it produced more than $28,000 in net savings for every high-risk family enrolled in the program.
This works and I will expand the Nurse-Family Partnership to provide at-home nurse visits for up to 570,000 first-time mothers each year. We can do this. Our God is big enough for that.
We need to give our young people some real choices out there so they move away from gangs and violence and connect them with growing job sectors. That is why I am also going to create a 5-E Youth Service Corps. The â€œEâ€™sâ€ stand for energy efficiency, environmental education and employment. This program would directly engage disconnected and disadvantaged young people in energy efficiency and environmental service opportunities to strengthen their communities while also providing them with practical skills and experience in important and growing career field. We can do this. When it comes to bringing hope and real job opportunities to our young people, we can take the bullet out. Our God is big enough for that.
We know what works. We know that supporting ex-offenders and their families keeps our men out of prison. That makes a difference in our families and can stop the cycle of poverty. That is why I will expand federal programs that help ex-offenders and sign the Second Chance Act into law.
As president, I will do more to strengthen support to state correctional systems so that ex-offenders can meet their parole requirements without worrying about losing their jobs. I will create a prison-to-work incentive program, modeled on the successful Welfare-to-Work program. It would create strong ties with employers, job training agencies and ex-offenders to improve job retention rates. And I will reach out to all the Reverends and engage faith-based organizations to provide support for ex-offenders and their families, both during incarceration and after. We can do that for our families. Our God is a forgiving God. Heâ€™s certainly big enough for that.
But we need to do a better job making sure that there are jobs in our communities. We need to provide economic opportunity in every corner of our country if we want to take the bullet out.
We know that we have to invest in transitional jobs too. When there are people who are homeless, veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder from this war in Iraq, and thousands of children aging out of foster care, we canâ€™t expect them to have all the skills they need for work. They may need help with basic skillsâ€”how to show up to work on time, wear the right clothes, and act appropriately in an office. We have to help them get there. Thatâ€™s why I have called for $50 million to begin innovative new job training and workforce development programs.
But what good are these efforts if men and women canâ€™t afford the bus fare or the subway fare or the car insurance to get to the training center or new job. That is why, as president, I will invest in transportation.
We know that three-quarters of welfare recipients live in areas that are poorly served by public transportation and low-income workers spend up to 36% of their incomes on transportation. That is why I will fight to ensure that the federal Jobs Access and Reverse Commute program provides grants to improve low-income access to transportation. And that additional federal public transportation dollars flow to the highest-need communities. No one should be denied work in this country because they canâ€™t find public transportation in their neighborhood.
But we should do just as much if not more to invest in minority-owned businesses in our neighborhoods so people donâ€™t need to travel miles away in the first place. Right now, less than one percent of the $250 billion in venture capital dollars that we invest nationwide each year has been directed to the country’s 4.4 million minority business owners. And in recent years, there has been a significant decline in the share of the Small Business Investment Company financings that have gone to minority-owned and women-owned businesses. We are going to change that and strengthen the Small Business Administration to provide more capital minority-owned businesses. We can do that.
And hereâ€™s one final idea today that will help break the cycle of poverty â€“ affordable health care for every American. Our God is big enough for that now.
The other day I met a couple who owns a small business in northern Iowa that hundreds of people in their community count on every day to get their internet access. But today they are on the verge of bankruptcy â€“ and itâ€™s all because of their health care costs.
Seventeen years ago the husband had cancer. Heâ€™s recovered now, but every year since then, his familyâ€™s premiums have gone up, and they canâ€™t find anyone else who will insure them. They now pay forty percent of their income in health care premiums, they havenâ€™t been able to save a dime for their kidsâ€™ college education, and theyâ€™re having trouble paying for things like clothes and gas.
When the loan officer first uttered the word â€œbankruptcy,â€ it was one of the worst days of their life. They said, â€œWe have done everything right. We have done everything we were supposed to do. This is not who we are.â€ This is not who we are.
I have a health care plan that will cover every American and cut the cost of every familyâ€™s premiums by up to $2500 a year. If you donâ€™t have health care, this plan will offer you coverage thatâ€™s similar to the kind federal employees and members of Congress give themselves. If you do have health care, it will bring down your premiums by investing in information technology, and preventive care, and by stopping the drug companies from price-gouging when patients need their medicine. It will help business and families shoulder the burden of catastrophic care so that an illness doesnâ€™t lead to a bankruptcy. And I promise you this â€“ this health care plan will be signed into law by the end of my first term in office as President.
Before we can start that work, we need to end this war in Iraq. We are spending $275 million a day in Iraq. Those dollars could go a long way to ending poverty in this country. This war should never have been authorized and waged. I opposed it from the very start, back in 2002 when it wasn’t popular to be against this war. I opposed it because I believed strongly that it could lead to the disaster we find ourselves in today, with our brave young service men and women mired in the middle of a civil war.
That’s why I introduced a plan in January that would have brought them home by March 31st, while forcing the Iraqi government to meet its obligations. We need 16 Republican votes in the Senate to force this President to change course. This is the only chance we have to truly end the war. It’s not symbolic; this is real. Sixteen votes and we can turn the page on this war. Sixteen votes and we can start bringing our men and women home. Our God is big enough for that. Our God is calling on us to do that.
We all know that our faith will be tested and challenged. It happens to each and every one of us. As some of you know, during the 2004 U.S. Senate General Election I ran against a gentleman named Alan Keyes. Mr. Keyes is well-versed in the Pat Robertson style of rhetoric that often labels progressives as both immoral and godless.
Indeed, Mr. Keyes announced toward the end of the campaign that, “Jesus Christ would not vote for Barack Obama. Christ would not vote for Barack Obama because Barack Obama has behaved in a way that it is inconceivable for Christ to have behaved.” Jesus Christ would not vote for Barack Obama.
It nagged at me in that campaign because I did not respond with the full force of what I found that Sunday morning at Trinity United Church of Christ: that our faith can never be used as a driving force to divide us. That with a big God, with a loving and forceful God we need to unite in His name to finish His work on earth.
It reminds me of a simple truth: a truth I learned all those years ago as an organizer in Chicagoâ€”a truth you speak of in your churches every Sunday. In the face of impossible odds, people who love their country can change it. With a uniting faith, with a God powerful enough to empower usâ€”we can take the bullets out.
We know how the doctors do it. We watch some of these TV shows like ER and Gray’s Anatomy. The doctors are in the operating room. Youâ€™ve got a head surgeon, and one’s got the scalpel, but others are watching the monitors and administering the IV. The nurses are on the job. The orderlies are on the job. There was a team that got the bullet out of that baby girl 15 years ago. She’s got a scar on her arm, always will, but she survived.
America is going to survive. We won’t forget where we came from. We won’t forget what happened 19 months ago, 15 years ago, thousands of years ago. We know who the head surgeon is, and weâ€™re on the case. We’re going to pull out bullet after bullet. We’re going to stitch up arm after arm. We’re going to wear those scars for justice. We’re going to usher in a new America the way that newborn child was ushered in.
We’re never going to forget there is always hope — there is always light in the midst of desperate days — that a baby can be born even with a bullet in her arm. And we can come together as one people and transform this nation. Our God is big enough for that.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: JUNE 5, 2007
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Former GOP Congressman Calls for Marjorie Taylor Greene to Be Censured After Calling President Biden a ‘Liar’
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) numerous times heckled President Joe Biden as he delivered the State of the Union Address, including repeatedly calling him a “liar.”
Not in modern history has anyone so clearly disturbed the decorum of the nationally-televised event watched live by 40 million Americans. Not even U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), who infamously also called the President a liar – “You lie!” – during another nationally-televised event, that one by President Barack Obama in September of 2009.
Tuesday night Congresswoman Greene repeatedly yelled, “You lie!” and, “Liar!” at President Biden, who, ironically, was sitting one seat back from his current position the last time it happened.
Here is that moment:
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) yells “you lie, you lie” and “liar” after President Biden says Republicans are proposing to sunset Medicare and Social Security. pic.twitter.com/nhRYn5KC7E
— The Recount (@therecount) February 8, 2023
Greene also heckled President Biden at other times throughout his speech – something she and Rep. Lauren Boebert did one year ago, also during the State of the Union.
Rep. Eric Swalwell tore into GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Twitter after she and Rep. Lauren Boebert heckled President Biden while he was speaking about his late son, Beau. https://t.co/krr2pAUvM0 pic.twitter.com/c2zAvV5VAI
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) March 2, 2022
Republican former U.S. Congressman Adam Kinzinger Tuesday night tweeted, “Did @RepMTG just yell ‘liar’?! Awful. Yet she will not be punished in response.”
He then called for Greene’s censure – and called for her fellow Republicans to do it.
“The GOP should lead the censure of @RepMTG for her behavior,” Kinzinger tweeted.
He wasn’t done.
Posting a screenshot of Greene standing during the State of the Union heckling President Biden, with her thumb pointing down, Kinzinger asked, “My fellow Republicans… you really want this as a role model for your kids? Do you really think the next generation will want to be part of this? I don’t.”
Kinzinger went one step further, reposting a tweet likening Congresswoman Greene to the fictional Disney villain Cruella de Vil – a comparison many on social media had been making during the evening’s event.
“Representative Joe Wilson was formally rebuked by the House on Tuesday for his outburst during President Obama’s health care address,” The New York Times reported, less than a week after what was at the time an unthinkable act. “The vote came after a Congressional clash over civility that showcased the deep partisan divisions in the House.”
Congressman Wilson also apologized for calling President Obama a “liar,” barely hours after his outburst.
“This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the President’s remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill,” he said in a statement. “While I disagree with the President’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the President for this lack of civility.”
Congresswoman Greene likely will not apologize, and likely will not face any formal rebuke.
Read: President Biden’s State of the Union Address
President Joe Biden is delivering his State of the Union Address.
Read his remarks below, as prepared for delivery, via The White House.
Mr. Speaker. Madam Vice President. Our First Lady and Second Gentleman.
Members of Congress and the Cabinet. Leaders of our military.
Mr. Chief Justice, Associate Justices, and retired Justices of the Supreme Court.
And you, my fellow Americans.
I start tonight by congratulating the members of the 118th Congress and the new Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy.
Mr. Speaker, I look forward to working together.
I also want to congratulate the new leader of the House Democrats and the first Black House Minority Leader in history, Hakeem Jeffries.
Congratulations to the longest serving Senate Leader in history, Mitch McConnell.
And congratulations to Chuck Schumer for another term as Senate Majority Leader, this time with an even bigger majority.
And I want to give special recognition to someone who I think will be considered the greatest Speaker in the history of this country, Nancy Pelosi.
The story of America is a story of progress and resilience. Of always moving forward. Of never giving up.
A story that is unique among all nations.
We are the only country that has emerged from every crisis stronger than when we entered it.
That is what we are doing again.
Two years ago, our economy was reeling.
As I stand here tonight, we have created a record 12 million new jobs, more jobs created in two years than any president has ever created in four years.
Two years ago, COVID had shut down our businesses, closed our schools, and robbed us of so much.
Today, COVID no longer controls our lives.
And two years ago, our democracy faced its greatest threat since the Civil War.
Today, though bruised, our democracy remains unbowed and unbroken.
As we gather here tonight, we are writing the next chapter in the great American story, a story of progress and resilience. When world leaders ask me to define America, I define our country in one word: Possibilities.
You know, we’re often told that Democrats and Republicans can’t work together.
But over these past two years, we proved the cynics and the naysayers wrong.
Yes, we disagreed plenty. And yes, there were times when Democrats had to go it alone.
But time and again, Democrats and Republicans came together.
Came together to defend a stronger and safer Europe.
Came together to pass a once-in-a-generation infrastructure law, building bridges to connect our nation and people.
Came together to pass one of the most significant laws ever, helping veterans exposed to toxic burn pits.
In fact, I signed over 300 bipartisan laws since becoming President. From reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, to the Electoral Count Reform Act, to the Respect for Marriage Act that protects the right to marry the person you love.
To my Republican friends, if we could work together in the last Congress, there is no reason we can’t work together in this new Congress.
The people sent us a clear message. Fighting for the sake of fighting, power for the sake of power, conflict for the sake of conflict, gets us nowhere.
And that’s always been my vision for our country.
To restore the soul of the nation.
To rebuild the backbone of America, the middle class.
To unite the country.
We’ve been sent here to finish the job.
For decades, the middle class was hollowed out.
Too many good-paying manufacturing jobs moved overseas. Factories at home closed down.
Once-thriving cities and towns became shadows of what they used to be.
And along the way, something else was lost.
Pride. That sense of self-worth.
I ran for President to fundamentally change things, to make sure the economy works for everyone so we can all feel pride in what we do.
To build an economy from the bottom up and the middle out, not from the top down. Because when the middle class does well, the poor have a ladder up and the wealthy still do very well. We all do well.
As my Dad used to say, a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about your dignity. It’s about respect. It’s about being able to look your kid in the eye and say, “Honey –it’s going to be OK,” and mean it.
So, let’s look at the results. Unemployment rate at 3.4%, a 50-year low. Near record low unemployment for Black and Hispanic workers.
We’ve already created 800,000 good-paying manufacturing jobs, the fastest growth in 40 years.
Where is it written that America can’t lead the world in manufacturing again?
For too many decades, we imported products and exported jobs.
Now, thanks to all we’ve done, we’re exporting American products and creating American jobs.
Inflation has been a global problem because of the pandemic that disrupted supply chains and Putin’s war that disrupted energy and food supplies.
But we’re better positioned than any country on Earth.
We have more to do, but here at home, inflation is coming down.
Here at home, gas prices are down $1.50 a gallon since their peak.
Food inflation is coming down.
Inflation has fallen every month for the last six months while take home pay has gone up.
Additionally, over the last two years, a record 10 million Americans applied to start a new small business.
Every time somebody starts a small business, it’s an act of hope.
And the Vice President will continue her work to ensure more small businesses can access capital and the historic laws we enacted.
Standing here last year, I shared with you a story of American genius and possibility.
Semiconductors, the small computer chips the size of your fingertip that power everything from cellphones to automobiles, and so much more. These chips were invented right here in America.
America used to make nearly 40% of the world’s chips.
But in the last few decades, we lost our edge and we’re down to producing only 10%. We all saw what happened during the pandemic when chip factories overseas shut down.
Today’s automobiles need up to 3,000 chips each, but American automakers couldn’t make enough cars because there weren’t enough chips.
Car prices went up. So did everything from refrigerators to cellphones.
We can never let that happen again.
That’s why we came together to pass the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act.
We’re making sure the supply chain for America begins in America.
We’ve already created 800,000 manufacturing jobs even without this law.
With this new law, we will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs across the country.
That’s going to come from companies that have announced more than $300 billion in investments in American manufacturing in the last two years.
Outside of Columbus, Ohio, Intel is building semiconductor factories on a thousand acres – a literal field of dreams.
That’ll create 10,000 jobs. 7,000 construction jobs. 3,000 jobs once the factories are finished.
Jobs paying $130,000 a year, and many don’t require a college degree.
Jobs where people don’t have to leave home in search of opportunity.
And it’s just getting started.
Think about the new homes, new small businesses, and so much more that will come to life.
Talk to mayors and Governors, Democrats and Republicans, and they’ll tell you what this means to their communities.
We’re seeing these fields of dreams transform the heartland.
But to maintain the strongest economy in the world, we also need the best infrastructure in the world.
We used to be #1 in the world in infrastructure, then we fell to #13th.
Now we’re coming back because we came together to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the largest investment in infrastructure since President Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System.
Already, we’ve funded over 20,000 projects, including at major airports from Boston to Atlanta to Portland.
These projects will put hundreds of thousands of people to work rebuilding our highways, bridges, railroads, tunnels, ports and airports, clean water, and high-speed internet across America.
Urban. Suburban. Rural. Tribal.
And we’re just getting started. I sincerely thank my Republican friends who voted for the law.
And to my Republican friends who voted against it but still ask to fund projects in their districts, don’t worry.
I promised to be the president for all Americans.
We’ll fund your projects. And I’ll see you at the ground-breaking.
This law will help further unite all of America.
Major projects like the Brent Spence bridge between Kentucky and Ohio over the Ohio River. Built 60 years ago. Badly in need of repairs.
One of the nation’s most congested freight routes carrying $2 billion worth of freight every day. Folks have been talking about fixing it for decades, but we’re finally going to get it done.
I went there last month with Democrats and Republicans from both states to deliver $1.6 billion for this project.
While I was there, I met an ironworker named Sara, who is here tonight.
For 30 years, she’s been a proud member of Ironworkers Local 44, known as the “cowboys of the sky” who built the Cincinnati skyline.
Sara said she can’t wait to be ten stories above the Ohio River building that new bridge. That’s pride.
That’s what we’re also building – Pride.
We’re also replacing poisonous lead pipes that go into 10 million homes and 400,000 schools and childcare centers, so every child in America can drink clean water.
We’re making sure that every community has access to affordable, high-speed internet.
No parent should have to drive to a McDonald’s parking lot so their kid can do their homework online.
And when we do these projects, we’re going to Buy American.
Buy American has been the law of the land since 1933. But for too long, past administrations have found ways to get around it.
Tonight, I’m also announcing new standards to require all construction materials used in federal infrastructure projects to be made in America.
American-made lumber, glass, drywall, fiber optic cables.
And on my watch, American roads, American bridges, and American highways will be made with American products.
My economic plan is about investing in places and people that have been forgotten. Amid the economic upheaval of the past four decades, too many people have been left behind or treated like they’re invisible.
Maybe that’s you, watching at home.
You remember the jobs that went away. And you wonder whether a path even exists anymore for you and your children to get ahead without moving away.
I get it.
That’s why we’re building an economy where no one is left behind.
Jobs are coming back, pride is coming back, because of the choices we made in the last two years. This is a blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America and make a real difference in your lives.
For example, too many of you lay in bed at night staring at the ceiling, wondering what will happen if your spouse gets cancer, your child gets sick, or if something happens to you.
Will you have the money to pay your medical bills? Will you have to sell the house?
I get it. With the Inflation Reduction Act that I signed into law, we’re taking on powerful interests to bring your health care costs down so you can sleep better at night.
You know, we pay more for prescription drugs than any major country on Earth.
For example, one in ten Americans has diabetes.
Every day, millions need insulin to control their diabetes so they can stay alive. Insulin has been around for 100 years. It costs drug companies just $10 a vial to make.
But, Big Pharma has been unfairly charging people hundreds of dollars – and making record profits.
We capped the cost of insulin at $35 a month for seniors on Medicare.
But there are millions of other Americans who are not on Medicare, including 200,000 young people with Type I diabetes who need insulin to save their lives.
Let’s finish the job this time.
Let’s cap the cost of insulin at $35 a month for every American who needs it.
This law also caps out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors on Medicare at a maximum $2,000 per year when there are in fact many drugs, like expensive cancer drugs, that can cost up to $10,000, $12,000, and $14,000 a year.
If drug prices rise faster than inflation, drug companies will have to pay Medicare back the difference.
And we’re finally giving Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices. Bringing down prescription drug costs doesn’t just save seniors money.
It will cut the federal deficit, saving tax payers hundreds of billions of dollars on the prescription drugs the government buys for Medicare.
Why wouldn’t we want to do that?
Now, some members here are threatening to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act.
Make no mistake, if you try to do anything to raise the cost of prescription drugs, I will veto it.
I’m pleased to say that more Americans have health insurance now than ever in history.
A record 16 million people are enrolled under the Affordable Care Act.
Thanks to the law I signed last year, millions are saving $800 a year on their premiums.
But the way that law was written, that benefit expires after 2025.
Let’s finish the job, make those savings permanent, and expand coverage to those left off Medicaid.
Look, the Inflation Reduction Act is also the most significant investment ever to tackle the climate crisis.
Lowering utility bills, creating American jobs, and leading the world to a clean energy future.
I’ve visited the devastating aftermaths of record floods and droughts, storms and wildfires.
In addition to emergency recovery from Puerto Rico to Florida to Idaho, we are rebuilding for the long term.
New electric grids able to weather the next major storm.
Roads and water systems to withstand the next big flood.
Clean energy to cut pollution and create jobs in communities too often left behind.
We’re building 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations installed across the country by tens of thousands of IBEW workers.
And helping families save more than $1,000 a year with tax credits for the purchase of electric vehicles and energy-efficient appliances.
Historic conservation efforts to be responsible stewards of our lands.
Let’s face reality.
The climate crisis doesn’t care if your state is red or blue. It is an existential threat.
We have an obligation to our children and grandchildren to confront it. I’m proud of how America is at last stepping up to the challenge.
But there’s so much more to do.
We will finish the job.
And we pay for these investments in our future by finally making the wealthiest and the biggest corporations begin to pay their fair share.
I’m a capitalist. But just pay your fair share.
And I think a lot of you at home agree with me that our present tax system is simply unfair.
The idea that in 2020, 55 of the biggest companies in America made $40 billion in profits and paid zero in federal income taxes?
That’s simply not fair.
But now, because of the law I signed, billion-dollar companies have to pay a minimum of 15%.
That’s less than a nurse pays. Let me be clear.
Under my plan, nobody earning less than $400,000 a year will pay an additional penny in taxes.
Nobody. Not one penny.
But there’s more to do.
Let’s finish the job. Reward work, not just wealth. Pass my proposal for a billionaire minimum tax.
Because no billionaire should pay a lower tax rate than a school teacher or a firefighter.
You may have noticed that Big Oil just reported record profits.
Last year, they made $200 billion in the midst of a global energy crisis.
They invested too little of that profit to increase domestic production and keep gas prices down.
Instead, they used those record profits to buy back their own stock, rewarding their CEOs and shareholders.
Corporations ought to do the right thing.
That’s why I propose that we quadruple the tax on corporate stock buybacks to encourage long term investments instead.
They will still make a considerable profit.
Let’s finish the job and close the loopholes that allow the very wealthy to avoid paying their taxes.
Instead of cutting the number of audits of wealthy tax payers, I signed a law that will reduce the deficit by $114 billion by cracking down on wealthy tax cheats.
That’s being fiscally responsible.
In the last two years, my administration cut the deficit by more than $1.7 trillion – the largest deficit reduction in American history.
Under the previous administration, America’s deficit went up four years in a row.
Because of those record deficits, no president added more to the national debt in any four years than my predecessor.
Nearly 25% of the entire national debt, a debt that took 200 years to accumulate, was added by that administration alone.
How did Congress respond to all that debt?
They lifted the debt ceiling three times without preconditions or crisis.
They paid America’s bills to prevent economic disaster for our country.
Tonight, I’m asking this Congress to follow suit.
Let us commit here tonight that the full faith and credit of the United States of America will never, ever be questioned.
Some of my Republican friends want to take the economy hostage unless I agree to their economic plans. All of you at home should know what their plans are.
Instead of making the wealthy pay their fair share, some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security to sunset every five years.
That means if Congress doesn’t vote to keep them, those programs will go away.
Other Republicans say if we don’t cut Social Security and Medicare, they’ll let America default on its debt for the first time in our history.
I won’t let that happen.
Social Security and Medicare are a lifeline for millions of seniors.
Americans have been paying into them with every single paycheck since they started working.
So tonight, let’s all agree to stand up for seniors. Stand up and show them we will not cut Social Security. We will not cut Medicare.
Those benefits belong to the American people. They earned them.
If anyone tries to cut Social Security, I will stop them. And if anyone tries to cut Medicare, I will stop them.
I will not allow them to be taken away.
Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever.
Next month when I offer my fiscal plan, I ask my Republican friends to offer their plan.
We can sit down together and discuss both plans together.
My plan will lower the deficit by $2 trillion.
I won’t cut a single Social Security or Medicare benefit.
In fact, I will extend the Medicare Trust Fund by at least two decades.
I will not raise taxes on anyone making under $400,000 a year. And I will pay for the ideas I’ve talked about tonight by making the wealthy and big corporations begin to pay their fair share.
Look, here’s the deal. Big corporations aren’t just taking advantage of the tax code. They’re taking advantage of you, the American consumer.
Here’s my message to all of you out there: I have your back. We’re already preventing insurance companies from sending surprise medical bills, stopping 1 million surprise bills a month.
We’re protecting seniors’ lives and life savings by cracking down on nursing homes that commit fraud, endanger patient safety, or prescribe drugs they don’t need.
Millions of Americans can now save thousands of dollars because they can finally get hearing aids over-the-counter without a prescription.
Capitalism without competition is not capitalism. It is exploitation.
Last year I cracked down on foreign shipping companies that were making you pay higher prices for everyday goods coming into our country.
I signed a bipartisan bill that cut shipping costs by 90%, helping American farmers, businesses, and consumers.
Let’s finish the job.
Pass bipartisan legislation to strengthen antitrust enforcement and prevent big online platforms from giving their own products an unfair advantage.
My administration is also taking on “junk” fees, those hidden surcharges too many businesses use to make you pay more.
For example, we’re making airlines show you the full ticket price upfront and refund your money if your flight is cancelled or delayed.
We’ve reduced exorbitant bank overdraft fees, saving consumers more than $1 billion a year.
We’re cutting credit card late fees by 75%, from $30 to $8.
Junk fees may not matter to the very wealthy, but they matter to most folks in homes like the one I grew up in. They add up to hundreds of dollars a month.
They make it harder for you to pay the bills or afford that family trip.
I know how unfair it feels when a company overcharges you and gets away with it.
We’ve written a bill to stop all that. It’s called the Junk Fee Prevention Act.
We’ll ban surprise “resort fees” that hotels tack on to your bill. These fees can cost you up to $90 a night at hotels that aren’t even resorts.
We’ll make cable internet and cellphone companies stop charging you up to $200 or more when you decide to switch to another provider.
We’ll cap service fees on tickets to concerts and sporting events and make companies disclose all fees upfront.
And we’ll prohibit airlines from charging up to $50 roundtrip for families just to sit together.
Baggage fees are bad enough – they can’t just treat your child like a piece of luggage.
Americans are tired of being played for suckers.
Pass the Junk Fee Prevention Act so companies stop ripping us off.
For too long, workers have been getting stiffed.
We’re beginning to restore the dignity of work.
For example, 30 million workers had to sign non-compete agreements when they took a job. So a cashier at a burger place can’t cross the street to take the same job at another burger place to make a couple bucks more.
We’re banning those agreements so companies have to compete for workers and pay them what they’re worth.
I’m so sick and tired of companies breaking the law by preventing workers from organizing.
Pass the PRO Act because workers have a right to form a union. And let’s guarantee all workers a living wage.
Let’s also make sure working parents can afford to raise a family with sick days, paid family and medical leave, and affordable child care that will enable millions more people to go to work.
Let’s also restore the full Child Tax Credit, which gave tens of millions of parents some breathing room and cut child poverty in half, to the lowest level in history.
And by the way, when we do all of these things, we increase productivity. We increase economic growth.
Let’s also finish the job and get more families access to affordable and quality housing.
Let’s get seniors who want to stay in their homes the care they need to do so. And give a little more breathing room to millions of family caregivers looking after their loved ones.
Pass my plan so we get seniors and people with disabilities the home care services they need and support the workers who are doing God’s work.
These plans are fully paid for and we can afford to do them.
Restoring the dignity of work also means making education an affordable ticket to the middle class.
When we made 12 years of public education universal in the last century, it made us the best-educated, best-prepared nation in the world.
But the world has caught up.
Jill, who teaches full-time, has an expression: “Any nation that out-educates us will out-compete us.”
Folks, you all know 12 years is not enough to win the economic competition for the 21st Century.
If you want America to have the best-educated workforce, let’s finish the job by providing access to pre-school for 3- and 4-year-olds.
Studies show that children who go to pre-school are nearly 50% more likely to finish high school and go on to earn a 2- or 4-year degree, no matter their background.
Let’s give public school teachers a raise.
And we’re making progress by reducing student debt and increasing Pell Grants for working- and middle-class families.
Let’s finish the job, connect students to career opportunities starting in high school and provide two years of community college, some of the best career training in America, in addition to being a pathway to a four-year degree.
Let’s offer every American the path to a good career whether they go to college or not.
And folks, in the midst of the COVID crisis when schools were closed, let’s also recognize how far we’ve come in the fight against the pandemic itself.
While the virus is not gone, thanks to the resilience of the American people, we have broken COVID’s grip on us.
COVID deaths are down nearly 90%.
We’ve saved millions of lives and opened our country back up.
And soon we’ll end the public health emergency.
But we will remember the toll and pain that will never go away for so many. More than 1 million Americans have lost their lives to COVID.
Families grieving. Children orphaned. Empty chairs at the dining room table.
We remember them, and we remain vigilant.
We still need to monitor dozens of variants and support new vaccines and treatments.
So Congress needs to fund these efforts and keep America safe.
And as we emerge from this crisis stronger, I’m also doubling down on prosecuting criminals who stole relief money meant to keep workers and small businesses afloat during the pandemic.
Before I came to office many inspector generals who protect taxpayer dollars were sidelined. Fraud was rampant.
Last year, I told you the watchdogs are back. Since then, we’ve recovered billions of taxpayer dollars.
Now, let’s triple our anti-fraud strike forces going after these criminals, double the statute of limitations on these crimes, and crack down on identity fraud by criminal syndicates stealing billions of dollars from the American people.
For every dollar we put into fighting fraud, taxpayers get back at least ten times as much.
COVID left other scars, like the spike in violent crime in 2020, the first year of the pandemic.
We have an obligation to make sure all our people are safe.
Public safety depends on public trust. But too often that trust is violated.
Joining us tonight are the parents of Tyre Nichols, who had to bury him just last week. There are no words to describe the heartbreak and grief of losing a child.
But imagine what it’s like to lose a child at the hands of the law.
Imagine having to worry whether your son or daughter will come home from walking down the street or playing in the park or just driving their car.
I’ve never had to have the talk with my children – Beau, Hunter, and Ashley – that so many Black and Brown families have had with their children.
If a police officer pulls you over, turn on your interior lights. Don’t reach for your license. Keep your hands on the steering wheel.
Imagine having to worry like that every day in America.
Here’s what Tyre’s mom shared with me when I asked her how she finds the courage to carry on and speak out.
With faith in God, she said her son “was a beautiful soul and something good will come from this.”
Imagine how much courage and character that takes.
It’s up to us. It’s up to all of us.
We all want the same thing.
Neighborhoods free of violence.
Law enforcement who earn the community’s trust.
Our children to come home safely.
Equal protection under the law; that’s the covenant we have with each other in America.
And we know police officers put their lives on the line every day, and we ask them to do too much.
To be counselors, social workers, psychologists; responding to drug overdoses, mental health crises, and more.
We ask too much of them.
I know most cops are good. decent people. They risk their lives every time they put on that shield.
But what happened to Tyre in Memphis happens too often.
We have to do better.
Give law enforcement the training they need, hold them to higher standards, and help them succeed in keeping everyone safe.
We also need more first responders and other professionals to address growing mental health and substance abuse challenges.
More resources to reduce violent crime and gun crime; more community intervention programs; more investments in housing, education, and job training.
All this can help prevent violence in the first place.
And when police officers or departments violate the public’s trust, we must hold them accountable.
With the support of families of victims, civil rights groups, and law enforcement, I signed an executive order for all federal officers banning chokeholds, restricting no-knock warrants, and other key elements of the George Floyd Act.
Let’s commit ourselves to make the words of Tyre’s mother come true, something good must come from this.
All of us in this chamber, we need to rise to this moment.
We can’t turn away.
Let’s do what we know in our hearts we need to do.
Let’s come together and finish the job on police reform.
That was the same plea of parents who lost their children in Uvalde: Do something on gun violence.
Thank God we did, passing the most sweeping gun safety law in three decades.
That includes things that the majority of responsible gun owners support, like enhanced background checks for 18 to 21-year-olds and red flag laws keeping guns out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves and others.
But we know our work is not done.
Joining us tonight is Brandon Tsay, a 26-year-old hero.
Brandon put off his college dreams to stay by his mom’s side as she was dying from cancer. He now works at a dance studio started by his grandparents.
Two weeks ago, during Lunar New Year celebrations, he heard the studio’s front door close and saw a man pointing a gun at him.
He thought he was going to die, but then he thought about the people inside.
In that instant, he found the courage to act and wrestled the semi-automatic pistol away from a gunman who had already killed 11 people at another dance studio.
He saved lives. It’s time we do the same as well.
Ban assault weapons once and for all.
We did it before. I led the fight to ban them in 1994.
In the 10 years the ban was law, mass shootings went down. After Republicans let it expire, mass shootings tripled.
Let’s finish the job and ban assault weapons again.
And let’s also come together on immigration and make it a bipartisan issue like it was before.
We now have a record number of personnel working to secure the border, arresting 8,000 human smugglers and seizing over 23,000 pounds of fentanyl in just the last several months.
Since we launched our new border plan last month, unlawful migration from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela has come down 97%.
But America’s border problems won’t be fixed until Congress acts.
If you won’t pass my comprehensive immigration reform, at least pass my plan to provide the equipment and officers to secure the border. And a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, those on temporary status, farm workers, and essential workers.
Here in the people’s House, it’s our duty to protect all the people’s rights and freedoms.
Congress must restore the right the Supreme Court took away last year and codify Roe v. Wade to protect every woman’s constitutional right to choose.
The Vice President and I are doing everything we can to protect access to reproductive health care and safeguard patient privacy. But already, more than a dozen states are enforcing extreme abortion bans.
Make no mistake; if Congress passes a national abortion ban, I will veto it.
Let’s also pass the bipartisan Equality Act to ensure LGBTQ Americans, especially transgender young people, can live with safety and dignity.
Our strength is not just the example of our power, but the power of our example. Let’s remember the world is watching.
I spoke from this chamber one year ago, just days after Vladimir Putin unleashed his brutal war against Ukraine.
A murderous assault, evoking images of the death and destruction Europe suffered in World War II.
Putin’s invasion has been a test for the ages. A test for America. A test for the world.
Would we stand for the most basic of principles?
Would we stand for sovereignty?
Would we stand for the right of people to live free from tyranny?
Would we stand for the defense of democracy?
For such a defense matters to us because it keeps the peace and prevents open season for would-be aggressors to threaten our security and prosperity. One year later, we know the answer.
Yes, we would.
And yes, we did.
Together, we did what America always does at our best.
We united NATO and built a global coalition.
We stood against Putin’s aggression.
We stood with the Ukrainian people.
Tonight, we are once again joined by Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States. She represents not just her nation, but the courage of her people.
Ambassador, America is united in our support for your country. We will stand with you as long as it takes.
Our nation is working for more freedom, more dignity, and more peace,
not just in Europe, but everywhere.
Before I came to office, the story was about how the People’s Republic of China was increasing its power and America was falling in the world.
I’ve made clear with President Xi that we seek competition, not conflict.
I will make no apologies that we are investing to make America strong. Investing in American innovation, in industries that will define the future, and that China’s government is intent on dominating.
Investing in our alliances and working with our allies to protect our advanced technologies so they’re not used against us.
Modernizing our military to safeguard stability and deter aggression.
Today, we’re in the strongest position in decades to compete with China or anyone else in the world.
I am committed to work with China where it can advance American interests and benefit the world.
But make no mistake: as we made clear last week, if China’s threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country. And we did.
And let’s be clear: winning the competition with China should unite all of us. We face serious challenges across the world.
But in the past two years, democracies have become stronger, not weaker.
Autocracies have grown weaker, not stronger.
America is rallying the world again to meet those challenges, from climate and global health, to food insecurity, to terrorism and territorial aggression.
Allies are stepping up, spending more and doing more.
And bridges are forming between partners in the Pacific and those in the Atlantic. And those who bet against America are learning just how wrong they are.
It’s never a good bet to bet against America.
When I came to office, most everyone assumed bipartisanship was impossible. But I never believed it.
That’s why a year ago, I offered a Unity Agenda for the nation.
We’ve made real progress.
Together, we passed a law making it easier for doctors to prescribe effective treatments for opioid addiction.
Passed a gun safety law making historic investments in mental health.
Launched ARPA-H to drive breakthroughs in the fight against cancer,
Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and so much more.
We passed the Heath Robinson PACT Act, named for the late Iraq war veteran whose story about exposure to toxic burn pits I shared here last year.
But there is so much more to do. And we can do it together.
Joining us tonight is a father named Doug from Newton, New Hampshire.
He wrote Jill and me a letter about his daughter Courtney. Contagious laugh. Her sister’s best friend.
He shared a story all too familiar to millions of Americans.
Courtney discovered pills in high school. It spiraled into addiction and eventually her death from a fentanyl overdose.
She was 20 years old.
Describing the last eight years without her, Doug said, “There is no worse pain.”
Yet their family has turned pain into purpose, working to end stigma and change laws.
He told us he wants to “start the journey towards America’s recovery.”
Doug, we’re with you.
Fentanyl is killing more than 70,000 Americans a year.
Let’s launch a major surge to stop fentanyl production, sale, and trafficking, with more drug detection machines to inspect cargo and stop pills and powder at the border.
Working with couriers like Fed Ex to inspect more packages for drugs. Strong penalties to crack down on fentanyl trafficking.
Second, let’s do more on mental health, especially for our children. When millions of young people are struggling with bullying, violence, trauma, we owe them greater access to mental health care at school.
We must finally hold social media companies accountable for the experiment they are running on our children for profit.
And it’s time to pass bipartisan legislation to stop Big Tech from collecting personal data on kids and teenagers online, ban targeted advertising to children, and impose stricter limits on the personal data these companies collect on all of us.
Third, let’s do more to keep our nation’s one truly sacred obligation: to equip those we send into harm’s way and care for them and their families when they come home.
Job training and job placement for veterans and their spouses as they return to civilian life.
Helping veterans afford their rent because no one should be homeless in this country, especially not those who served it.
And we cannot go on losing 17 veterans a day to the silent scourge of suicide.
The VA is doing everything it can, including expanding mental health screenings and a proven program that recruits veterans to help other veterans understand what they’re going through and get the help they need.
And fourth, last year Jill and I re-ignited the Cancer Moonshot that President Obama asked me to lead in our Administration.
Our goal is to cut the cancer death rate by at least 50% over the next 25 years. Turn more cancers from death sentences into treatable diseases. And provide more support for patients and families.
It’s personal for so many of us.
Joining us are Maurice and Kandice, an Irishman and a daughter of immigrants from Panama.
They met and fell in love in New York City and got married in the same chapel as Jill and I did.
He wrote us a letter about their little daughter Ava.
She was just a year old when she was diagnosed with a rare kidney cancer.
26 blood transfusions. 11 rounds of radiation. 8 rounds of chemo. 1 kidney removed.
A 5% survival rate.
He wrote how in the darkest moments he thought, “if she goes, I can’t stay.”
Jill and I understand, like so many of you.
They read how Jill described our family’s cancer journey and how we tried to steal moments of joy where you can.
For them, that glimmer of joy was a half-smile from their baby girl. It meant everything.
They never gave up hope.
Ava never gave up hope. She turns four next month.
They just found out that Ava beat the odds and is on her way to being cancer free, and she’s watching from the White House tonight.
For the lives we can save and for the lives we have lost, let this be a truly American moment that rallies the country and the world together and proves that we can do big things.
Twenty years ago, under the leadership of President Bush and countless advocates and champions, we undertook a bipartisan effort through PEPFAR to transform the global fight against HIV/AIDS. It’s been a huge success.
I believe we can do the same with cancer.
Let’s end cancer as we know it and cure some cancers once and for all.
There’s one reason why we’re able to do all of these things: our democracy itself.
It’s the most fundamental thing of all.
With democracy, everything is possible. Without it, nothing is.
For the last few years our democracy has been threatened, attacked, and put at risk.
Put to the test here, in this very room, on January 6th.
And then, just a few months ago, unhinged by the Big Lie, an assailant unleashed political violence in the home of the then-Speaker of this House of Representatives. Using the very same language that insurrectionists who stalked these halls chanted on January 6th.
Here tonight in this chamber is the man who bears the scars of that brutal attack, but is as tough and strong and as resilient as they get.
My friend, Paul Pelosi.
But such a heinous act never should have happened.
We must all speak out. There is no place for political violence in America. In America, we must protect the right to vote, not suppress that fundamental right. We honor the results of our elections, not subvert the will of the people. We must uphold the rule of the law and restore trust in our institutions of democracy.
And we must give hate and extremism in any form no safe harbor.
Democracy must not be a partisan issue. It must be an American issue.
Every generation of Americans has faced a moment where they have been called on to protect our democracy, to defend it, to stand up for it.
And this is our moment.
My fellow Americans, we meet tonight at an inflection point. One of those moments that only a few generations ever face, where the decisions we make now will decide the course of this nation and of the world for decades to come.
We are not bystanders to history. We are not powerless before the forces that confront us. It is within our power, of We the People. We are facing the test of our time and the time for choosing is at hand.
We must be the nation we have always been at our best. Optimistic. Hopeful. Forward-looking.
A nation that embraces, light over darkness, hope over fear, unity over division. Stability over chaos.
We must see each other not as enemies, but as fellow Americans. We are a good people, the only nation in the world built on an idea.
That all of us, every one of us, is created equal in the image of God. A nation that stands as a beacon to the world. A nation in a new age of possibilities.
So I have come here to fulfil my constitutional duty to report on the state of the union. And here is my report.
Because the soul of this nation is strong, because the backbone of this nation is strong, because the people of this nation are strong, the State of the Union is strong.
As I stand here tonight, I have never been more optimistic about the future of America. We just have to remember who we are.
We are the United States of America and there is nothing, nothing
beyond our capacity if we do it together.
May God bless you all. May God protect our troops.
‘Salute Their Flags’: Sarah Huckabee Sanders Appears to Attack LGBTQ Americans and BLM During Angry GOP SOTU Response
Arkansas GOP Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders appears to be targeting the LGBTQ community and its allies, Black Lives Matter activists and supporters, and all of the “left-wing” as she takes a national platform as the Republican Party’s chosen representative to deliver its response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address Tuesday night.
“Every day, we are told that we must partake in their rituals, salute their flags, and worship their false idols.. all while big government colludes with Big Tech to strip away the most American thing there is -your freedom of speech,” the former Trump White House press secretary is expected to say, based on excerpts from her prepared remarks. “That’s not normal. It’s crazy, and it’s wrong.”
The excerpts do not specify the “rituals,” “flags,” or “false idols” Huckabee Sanders is referring to, but no one on the left salutes the LGBTQ pride flag or Black Lives Matter flags or banners, and no one on the left forces anyone to worship or partake in any rituals.
“In the radical left’s America, Washington taxes you and lights your hard-earned money on fire, but you get crushed with high gas prices, empty grocery shelves, and our children are taught to hate one another on account of their race, but not to love one another or our great country,” she will also say, in remarks that sound like the ex-president’s.
“And while you reap the consequences of their failures, the Biden administration seems more interested in woke fantasies than the hard reality Americans face every day. Most Americans simply want to live their lives in freedom and peace, but we are under attack in a left-wing culture war we didn’t start and never wanted to fight. Every day, we are told that we must partake in their rituals, salute their flags, and worship their false idols.. all while big government colludes with Big Tech to strip away the most American thing there is -your freedom of speech. That’s not normal. It’s crazy, and it’s wrong.”
And yet, Huckabee Sanders, ignoring her own direct attack on some American families during her State of the Union response, will then say: “Republicans believe in an America where strong families thrive in safe communities. Where jobs are abundant, and paychecks are rising. Where the freedom our veterans shed their blood to defend is the birthright of every man, woman, and child.”
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