In the 2014 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama made it clear that while he is dedicated to working with Congress on addressing many of the country’s lingering problems, he is willing to go at it alone where he can if need be.
See President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union below:
As he noted during his speech, “In the coming weeks, I will issue an Executive Order requiring federal contractors to pay their federally-funded employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour – because if you cook our troops’ meals or wash their dishes, you shouldn’t have to live in poverty.”
Or, in much more memorable slogan fashion: “Say yes. Give America a raise.”
Frankly, $10.10 an hour isn’t keeping anyone out of poverty, but the fact that we still have to debate even giving workers this low a wage is astounding. Much of Obama’s speech felt like this as he addressed other issues that should have long been resolved.
For instance, equal pay for women is one of those campaign trail issues that still receives thunderous applause or smoldering glares, depending on which side of the aisle one sits.
“A woman deserves equal pay for equal work. She deserves to have a baby without sacrificing her job. A mother deserves a day off to care for a sick child or sick parent without running into hardship –- and you know what, a father does, too. It’s time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a Mad Men episode.”
The same goes for climate change:
The shift to a cleaner energy economy won’t happen overnight, and it will require tough choices along the way. But the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact.
And I’m reaching out to some of America’s leading foundations and corporations on a new initiative to help more young men of color facing tough odds stay on track and reach their full potential.
“America does not stand still, and neither will I,” Obama said. “So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do.”