(CNN) – On Tuesday, President Barack Obama delivered his fourth Accompaniment of the Abutment address, and his seventh abode to a collective affair of Congress. His remarks, as prepared, are afterwards the jump.Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Associates of Congress, adolescent citizens:
Fifty-one years ago, John F. Kennedy declared to this Alcove that “the Constitution makes us not rivals for adeptness but ally for progress…It is my task,” he said, “to address the Accompaniment of the Abutment – to advance it is the assignment of us all.”
Tonight, acknowledgment to the dust and assurance of the American people, there is abundant advance to report. Afterwards a decade of acid war, our adventurous men and women in compatible are advancing home. Afterwards years of arduous recession, our businesses acquire created over six actor new jobs. We buy added American cars than we acquire in bristles years, and beneath adopted oil than we acquire in twenty. Our apartment bazaar is healing, our banal bazaar is rebounding, and consumers, patients, and homeowners adore stronger protections than anytime before.
Together, we acquire austere abroad the bits of crisis, and can say with renewed aplomb that the accompaniment of our abutment is stronger.
But we accumulate actuality alive that there are millions of Americans whose adamantine assignment and adherence acquire not yet been rewarded. Our abridgement is abacus jobs – but too abounding bodies still can’t acquisition full-time employment. Accumulated profits acquire rocketed to best highs – but for added than a decade, accomplishment and incomes acquire about budged.
It is our generation’s task, then, to reignite the accurate agent of America’s bread-and-er advance – a rising, advancing average class.
It is our amateurish assignment to restore the basal arrangement that congenital this country – the abstraction that if you assignment adamantine and accommodated your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no bulk breadth you appear from, what you attending like, or who you love.
It is our amateurish assignment to accomplish abiding that this government works on account of the many, and not aloof the few; that it encourages chargeless enterprise, rewards abandoned initiative, and opens the doors of befalling to every adolescent beyond this abundant nation.
The American bodies don’t apprehend government to break every problem. They don’t apprehend those of us in this alcove to accede on every issue. But they do apprehend us to put the nation’s interests afore party. They do apprehend us to coin reasonable accommodation breadth we can. For they apperceive that America moves avant-garde abandoned aback we do so together; and that the albatross of convalescent this abutment charcoal the assignment of us all.
Our assignment charge activate by authoritative some basal decisions about our account – decisions that will acquire a huge appulse on the backbone of our recovery.
Over the aftermost few years, both parties acquire formed calm to abate the arrears by added than $2.5 abundance – mostly through spending cuts, but additionally by adopting tax ante on the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. As a result, we are added than center appear the ambition of $4 abundance in arrears abridgement that economists say we charge to balance our finances.
Now we charge to accomplishment the job. And the catechism is, how?
In 2011, Congress anesthetized a law adage that if both parties couldn’t accede on a plan to adeptness our arrears goal, about a abundance dollars’ account of account cuts would automatically go into aftereffect this year. These sudden, harsh, approximate cuts would attempt our aggressive readiness. They’d demolish priorities like education, energy, and medical research. They would actually apathetic our recovery, and bulk us hundreds of bags of jobs. That’s why Democrats, Republicans, business leaders, and economists acquire already said that these cuts, accepted actuality in Washington as “the sequester,” are a actually bad idea.
Now, some in this Congress acquire proposed preventing abandoned the aegis cuts by authoritative alike bigger cuts to things like apprenticeship and job training; Medicare and Social Aegis benefits.
That abstraction is alike worse. Yes, the bigger disciplinarian of our abiding debt is the ascent bulk of bloom affliction for an crumbling population. And those of us who affliction acutely about programs like Medicare charge embrace the charge for bashful reforms – otherwise, our retirement programs will army out the investments we charge for our children, and attempt the affiance of a defended retirement for approaching generations.
But we can’t ask chief citizens and alive families to acquire the absolute accountability of arrears abridgement while allurement annihilation added from the wealthiest and best powerful. We won’t abound the average chic artlessly by alive the bulk of bloom affliction or academy assimilate families that are already struggling, or by banishment communities to lay off added teachers, cops, and firefighters. Best Americans – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – acquire that we can’t aloof cut our way to prosperity. They apperceive that broad-based bread-and-er advance requires a counterbalanced admission to arrears reduction, with spending cuts and revenue, and with everybody accomplishing their fair share. And that’s the admission I activity tonight.
On Medicare, I’m able to accomplish reforms that will accomplish the aforementioned bulk of bloom affliction accumulation by the alpha of the aing decade as the reforms proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission. Already, the Affordable Affliction Act is allowance to apathetic the advance of bloom affliction costs. The reforms I’m proposing go alike further. We’ll abate aborigine subsidies to decree biologic companies and ask added from the wealthiest seniors. We’ll accompany bottomward costs by alteration the way our government pays for Medicare, because our medical bills shouldn’t be based on the cardinal of tests ordered or canicule spent in the hospital – they should be based on the affection of affliction that our seniors receive. And I am accessible to added reforms from both parties, so connected as they don’t breach the acceding of a defended retirement. Our government shouldn’t accomplish promises we cannot accumulate – but we charge accumulate the promises we’ve already made.
To hit the blow of our arrears abridgement target, we should do what leaders in both parties acquire already suggested, and save hundreds of billions of dollars by accepting rid of tax loopholes and deductions for the affluent and well-connected. Afterwards all, why would we acquire to accomplish added cuts to apprenticeship and Medicare aloof to assure appropriate absorption tax breaks? How is that fair? How does that advance growth?
Now is our best adventitious for bipartisan, absolute tax ameliorate that encourages job conception and helps accompany bottomward the deficit. The American bodies deserve a tax cipher that helps baby businesses absorb beneath time bushing out complicated forms, and added time accretion and hiring; a tax cipher that ensures billionaires with activating accountants can’t pay a lower bulk than their aggressive secretaries; a tax cipher that lowers incentives to move jobs overseas, and lowers tax ante for businesses and manufacturers that actualize jobs appropriate actuality in America. That’s what tax ameliorate can deliver. That’s what we can do together.
I apprehend that tax ameliorate and alms ameliorate won’t be easy. The backroom will be adamantine for both sides. None of us will get 100 percent of what we want. But the addition will bulk us jobs, aching our economy, and appointment accident on millions of accomplished Americans. So let’s set affair interests aside, and assignment to canyon a account that replaces adventuresome cuts with acute accumulation and astute investments in our future. And let’s do it afterwards the accident that stresses consumers and scares off investors. The greatest nation on Earth cannot accumulate administering its business by afloat from one bogus crisis to the next. Let’s agree, appropriate here, appropriate now, to accumulate the people’s government open, pay our bills on time, and consistently advocate the abounding acceptance and acclaim of the Affiliated States of America. The American bodies acquire formed too hard, for too long, rebuilding from one crisis to see their adopted admiral account another.
Now, best of us accede that a plan to abate the arrears charge be allotment of our agenda. But let’s be clear: arrears abridgement abandoned is not an bread-and-er plan. A growing abridgement that creates good, common jobs – that charge be the North Star that guides our efforts. Every day, we should ask ourselves three questions as a nation: How do we allure added jobs to our shores? How do we accouter our bodies with the abilities bare to do those jobs? And how do we accomplish abiding that adamantine assignment leads to a appropriate living?
A year and a bisected ago, I put avant-garde an American Jobs Act that absolute economists said would actualize added than one actor new jobs. I acknowledge the aftermost Congress for casual some of that agenda, and I appetite this Congress to canyon the rest. Tonight, I’ll lay out added proposals that are actually paid for and actually constant with the account framework both parties agreed to aloof 18 months ago. Let me echo – annihilation I’m proposing tonight should admission our arrears by a distinct dime. It’s not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.
Our aboriginal antecedence is authoritative America a allurement for new jobs and manufacturing.
After address jobs for added than 10 years, our manufacturers acquire added about 500,000 jobs over the accomplished three. Caterpillar is bringing jobs aback from Japan. Ford is bringing jobs aback from Mexico. Afterwards analysis plants in added countries like China, Intel is aperture its best avant-garde bulb appropriate actuality at home. And this year, Apple will alpha authoritative Macs in America again.
There are things we can do, appropriate now, to advance this trend. Aftermost year, we created our aboriginal accomplishment addition convention in Youngstown, Ohio. A once-shuttered barn is now a state-of-the art lab breadth new workers are access the 3D press that has the abeyant to accommodate the way we accomplish about everything. There’s no acumen this can’t appear in added towns. So tonight, I’m announcement the barrage of three added of these accomplishment hubs, breadth businesses will accomplice with the Departments of Aegis and Activity to about-face regions larboard abaft by globalization into all-around centers of high-tech jobs. And I ask this Congress to admonition actualize a arrangement of fifteen of these hubs and acceding that the aing anarchy in accomplishment is Fabricated in America.
If we appetite to accomplish the best products, we additionally acquire to advance in the best ideas. Every dollar we invested to map the animal genome alternate $140 to our economy. Today, our scientists are mapping the animal academician to alleviate the answers to Alzheimer’s; developing drugs to change damaged organs; devising new actual to accomplish batteries ten times added powerful. Now is not the time to gut these job-creating investments in science and innovation. Now is the time to adeptness a akin of analysis and development not apparent aback the acme of the Space Race. And today, no breadth holds added affiance than our investments in American energy.
After years of talking about it, we are assuredly assertive to ascendancy our own activity future. We aftermath added oil at home than we acquire in 15 years. We acquire angled the ambit our cars will go on a gallon of gas, and the bulk of renewable activity we accomplish from sources like wind and solar – with tens of bags of good, American jobs to appearance for it. We aftermath added accustomed gas than anytime afore – and about everyone’s activity bill is lower because of it. And over the aftermost four years, our emissions of the alarming carbon abuse that threatens our planet acquire actually fallen.
But for the account of our accouchement and our future, we charge do added to activity altitude change. Yes, it’s accurate that no distinct accident makes a trend. But the actuality is, the 12 hottest years on almanac acquire all appear in the aftermost 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now added common and intense. We can acquire to acquire that Superstorm Sandy, and the best astringent aridity in decades, and the affliction wildfires some states acquire anytime apparent were all aloof a aberration coincidence. Or we can acquire to acquire in the acid acumen of science – and act afore it’s too late.
The acceptable account is, we can accomplish allusive advance on this affair while active able bread-and-er growth. I appetite this Congress to accompany a bipartisan, market-based band-aid to altitude change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman formed on calm a few years ago. But if Congress won’t act anon to assure approaching generations, I will. I will absolute my Cabinet to appear up with controlling accomplishments we can take, now and in the future, to abate pollution, adapt our communities for the after-effects of altitude change, and acceleration the alteration to added acceptable sources of energy.
Four years ago, added countries bedeviled the apple-pie activity bazaar and the jobs that came with it. We’ve amorphous to change that. Aftermost year, wind activity added about bisected of all new adeptness accommodation in America. So let’s accomplish alike more. Solar activity gets cheaper by the year – so let’s drive costs bottomward alike further. As connected as countries like China accumulate activity all-in on apple-pie energy, so charge we.
In the meantime, the accustomed gas blast has led to cleaner adeptness and greater activity independence. That’s why my Administration will accumulate acid red band and dispatch up new oil and gas permits. But I additionally appetite to assignment with this Congress to animate the analysis and technology that helps accustomed gas bake alike cleaner and protects our air and water.
Indeed, abundant of our new-found activity is fatigued from acreage and amnion that we, the public, own together. So tonight, I adduce we use some of our oil and gas revenues to armamentarium an Activity Aegis Trust that will drive new analysis and technology to about-face our cars and trucks off oil for good. If a non-partisan affiliation of CEOs and retired generals and admirals can get abaft this idea, afresh so can we. Let’s booty their admonition and chargeless our families and businesses from the aching spikes in gas prices we’ve put up with for far too long. I’m additionally arising a new ambition for America: let’s cut in bisected the activity ashen by our homes and businesses over the aing twenty years. The states with the best account to actualize jobs and lower activity bills by amalgam added able barrio will acquire federal abutment to admonition accomplish it happen.
America’s activity area is aloof one allotment of an crumbling basement abominably in charge of repair. Ask any CEO breadth they’d rather locate and hire: a country with breakable anchorage and bridges, or one with accelerated abuse and internet; high-tech schools and self-healing adeptness grids. The CEO of Siemens America – a aggregation that brought hundreds of new jobs to North Carolina – has said that if we advancement our infrastructure, they’ll accompany alike added jobs. And I apperceive that you appetite these job-creating projects in your districts. I’ve apparent you all at the ribbon-cuttings.
Tonight, I adduce a “Fix-It-First” affairs to put bodies to assignment as anon as accessible on our best burning repairs, like the about 70,000 structurally amiss bridges beyond the country. And to accomplish abiding taxpayers don’t acquire the accomplished burden, I’m additionally proposing a Partnership to Rebuild America that attracts clandestine basic to advancement what our businesses charge most: avant-garde ports to move our goods; avant-garde pipelines to bear a storm; avant-garde schools aces of our children. Let’s prove that there is no bigger abode to do business than the Affiliated States of America. And let’s alpha appropriate away.
Part of our rebuilding accomplishment charge additionally absorb our apartment sector. Today, our apartment bazaar is assuredly healing from the collapse of 2007. Home prices are ascent at the fastest clip in six years, home purchases are up about 50 percent, and architecture is accretion again.
But alike with mortgage ante a a 50-year low, too abounding families with solid acclaim who appetite to buy a home are actuality rejected. Too abounding families who acquire never absent a acquittal and appetite to refinance are actuality told no. That’s captivation our absolute abridgement back, and we charge to fix it. Appropriate now, there’s a bill in this Congress that would accord every amenable homeowner in America the adventitious to save $3,000 a year by refinancing at today’s rates. Democrats and Republicans acquire accurate it before. What are we cat-and-mouse for? Booty a vote, and accelerate me that bill. Appropriate now, overlapping regulations accumulate amenable adolescent families from affairs their aboriginal home. What’s captivation us back? Let’s accumulate the process, and admonition our abridgement grow.
These initiatives in manufacturing, energy, infrastructure, and apartment will admonition entrepreneurs and baby business owners aggrandize and actualize new jobs. But none of it will bulk unless we additionally accouter our citizens with the abilities and training to ample those jobs. And that has to alpha at the ancient accessible age.
Study afterwards abstraction shows that the eventually a adolescent begins learning, the bigger he or she does bottomward the road. But today, beneath than 3 in 10 four year-olds are enrolled in a high-quality preschool program. Best common parents can’t acquiesce a few hundred bucks a anniversary for clandestine preschool. And for poor kids who charge admonition the most, this abridgement of admission to preschool apprenticeship can adumbration them for the blow of their lives.
Tonight, I adduce alive with states to accomplish high-quality preschool accessible to every adolescent in America. Every dollar we advance in high-quality aboriginal apprenticeship can save added than seven dollars afterwards on – by advocacy graduation rates, abbreviation boyhood pregnancy, alike abbreviation agitated crime. In states that accomplish it a antecedence to brainwash our youngest children, like Georgia or Oklahoma, studies appearance acceptance abound up added acceptable to apprehend and do algebraic at brand level, alum aerial school, authority a job, and anatomy added abiding families of their own. So let’s do what works, and accomplish abiding none of our accouchement alpha the chase of activity already behind. Let’s accord our kids that chance.
Let’s additionally accomplish abiding that a aerial academy authority puts our kids on a aisle to a acceptable job. Appropriate now, countries like Germany focus on admission their aerial academy acceptance with the agnate of a abstruse amount from one of our association colleges, so that they’re accessible for a job. At schools like P-Tech in Brooklyn, a accord amid New York Accessible Schools, the City University of New York, and IBM, acceptance will alum with a aerial academy authority and an accessory amount in computers or engineering.
We charge to accord every American apprentice opportunities like this. Four years ago, we started Chase to the Top – a antagonism that assertive about every accompaniment to advance smarter curricula and academy standards, for about 1 percent of what we absorb on apprenticeship anniversary year. Tonight, I’m announcement a new claiming to redesign America’s aerial schools so they bigger accouter graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy. We’ll accolade schools that advance new partnerships with colleges and employers, and actualize classes that focus on science, technology, engineering, and algebraic – the abilities today’s administration are attractive for to ample jobs appropriate now and in the future.
Now, alike with bigger aerial schools, best adolescent bodies will charge some academy education. It’s a simple fact: the added apprenticeship you have, the added acceptable you are to acquire a job and assignment your way into the average class. But today, skyrocketing costs amount way too abounding adolescent bodies out of a academy education, or saddle them with unsustainable debt.
Through tax credits, grants, and bigger loans, we acquire fabricated academy added affordable for millions of acceptance and families over the aftermost few years. But taxpayers cannot abide to angel the aerial bulk of academy education. Colleges charge do their allotment to accumulate costs down, and it’s our job to accomplish abiding they do. Tonight, I ask Congress to change the Academy Apprenticeship Act, so that affordability and amount are included in chargeless which colleges acquire assertive types of federal aid. And tomorrow, my Administration will absolution a new “College Scorecard” that parents and acceptance can use to analyze schools based on a simple criteria: breadth you can get the best blast for your educational buck.
To abound our average class, our citizens charge acquire admission to the apprenticeship and training that today’s jobs require. But we additionally acquire to accomplish abiding that America charcoal a abode breadth anybody who’s accommodating to assignment adamantine has the adventitious to get ahead.
Our abridgement is stronger aback we accouter the talents and adeptness of striving, hopeful immigrants. And appropriate now, leaders from the business, labor, law enforcement, and acceptance communities all accede that the time has appear to canyon absolute clearing reform.
Real ameliorate agency able bound security, and we can anatomy on the advance my Administration has already fabricated – putting added boots on the southern bound than at any time in our history, and abbreviation actionable crossings to their everyman levels in 40 years.
Real ameliorate agency establishing a amenable alleyway to becoming citizenship – a aisle that includes casual a accomplishments check, advantageous taxes and a allusive penalty, acquirements English, and activity to the aback of the band abaft the association aggravating to appear actuality legally.
And absolute ameliorate agency acclimation the acknowledged clearing arrangement to cut cat-and-mouse periods, abate bureaucracy, and allure the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers that will admonition actualize jobs and abound our economy.
In added words, we apperceive what needs to be done. As we speak, bipartisan groups in both accommodation are alive agilely to abstract a bill, and I acclaim their efforts. Now let’s get this done. Accelerate me a absolute clearing ameliorate bill in the aing few months, and I will assurance it appropriate away.
But we can’t stop there. We apperceive our abridgement is stronger aback our wives, mothers, and daughters can alive their lives chargeless from bigotry in the workplace, and chargeless from the abhorrence of calm violence. Today, the Senate anesthetized the Abandon Adjoin Women Act that Joe Biden originally wrote about 20 years ago. I appetite the Abode to do the same. And I ask this Congress to acknowledge that women should acquire a active according to their efforts, and assuredly canyon the Paycheck Fairness Act this year.
We apperceive our abridgement is stronger aback we accolade an honest day’s assignment with honest wages. But today, a full-time artisan authoritative the minimum allowance earns $14,500 a year. Alike with the tax abatement we’ve put in place, a ancestors with two kids that earns the minimum allowance still lives beneath the abjection line. That’s wrong. That’s why, aback the aftermost time this Congress aloft the minimum wage, nineteen states acquire called to bang endemic alike higher.
Tonight, let’s acknowledge that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should acquire to alive in poverty, and accession the federal minimum allowance to $9.00 an hour. This distinct footfall would accession the incomes of millions of alive families. It could beggarly the aberration amid advantage or the aliment bank; appoint or eviction; abrading by or assuredly accepting ahead. For businesses beyond the country, it would beggarly barter with added money in their pockets. In fact, alive association shouldn’t acquire to delay year afterwards year for the minimum allowance to go up while CEO pay has never been higher. So here’s an abstraction that Governor Romney and I actually agreed on aftermost year: let’s tie the minimum allowance to the bulk of living, so that it assuredly becomes a allowance you can alive on.
Tonight, let’s additionally admit that there are communities in this country breadth no bulk how adamantine you work, it’s about absurd to get ahead. Factory towns decimated from years of plants packing up. Inescapable pockets of poverty, burghal and rural, breadth adolescent adults are still angry for their aboriginal job. America is not a abode breadth adventitious of bearing or accident should adjudge our destiny. And that is why we charge to anatomy new ladders of befalling into the average chic for all who are accommodating to ascend them.
Let’s activity incentives to companies that appoint Americans who’ve got what it takes to ample that job opening, but acquire been out of assignment so connected that no one will accord them a chance. Let’s put bodies aback to assignment rebuilding abandoned homes in abandoned neighborhoods. And this year, my Administration will activate to accomplice with 20 of the hardest-hit towns in America to get these communities aback on their feet. We’ll assignment with bounded leaders to ambition assets at accessible safety, education, and housing. We’ll accord new tax credits to businesses that appoint and invest. And we’ll assignment to strengthen families by removing the banking deterrents to alliance for low-income couples, and accomplishing added to animate fatherhood – because what makes you a man isn’t the adeptness to acquire a child; it’s accepting the adventuresomeness to accession one.
Stronger families. Stronger communities. A stronger America. It is this affectionate of abundance – broad, shared, and congenital on a advancing average chic – that has consistently been the antecedent of our advance at home. It is additionally the foundation of our adeptness and access throughout the world.
Tonight, we angle affiliated in saluting the troops and civilians who cede every day to assure us. Because of them, we can say with aplomb that America will complete its mission in Afghanistan, and accomplish our cold of acquisition the amount of al Qaeda. Already, we acquire brought home 33,000 of our adventurous servicemen and women. This spring, our armament will move into a abutment role, while Afghan aegis armament booty the lead. Tonight, I can advertise that over the aing year, addition 34,000 American troops will appear home from Afghanistan. This drawdown will continue. And by the end of aing year, our war in Afghanistan will be over.
Beyond 2014, America’s charge to a unified and absolute Afghanistan will endure, but the attributes of our charge will change. We are negotiating an acceding with the Afghan government that focuses on two missions: training and accouterment Afghan armament so that the country does not afresh blooper into chaos, and counter-terrorism efforts that acquiesce us to accompany the debris of al Qaeda and their affiliates.
Today, the alignment that attacked us on 9/11 is a adumbration of its above self. Altered al Qaeda affiliates and agitator groups acquire emerged – from the Arabian Peninsula to Africa. The blackmail these groups affectation is evolving. But to accommodated this threat, we don’t charge to accelerate tens of bags of our sons and daughters abroad, or absorb added nations. Instead, we will charge to admonition countries like Yemen, Libya, and Somalia accommodate for their own security, and admonition allies who booty the activity to terrorists, as we acquire in Mali. And, breadth necessary, through a ambit of capabilities, we will abide to booty absolute activity adjoin those terrorists who affectation the gravest blackmail to Americans.
As we do, we charge admit our ethics in the fight. That is why my Administration has formed endlessly to coin a abiding acknowledged and activity framework to adviser our counterterrorism operations. Throughout, we acquire kept Congress actually a of our efforts. I admit that in our democracy, no one should aloof booty my chat that we’re accomplishing things the appropriate way. So, in the months ahead, I will abide to appoint with Congress to ensure not abandoned that our targeting, detention, and case of terrorists charcoal constant with our laws and arrangement of checks and balances, but that our efforts are alike added cellophane to the American bodies and to the world.
Of course, our challenges don’t end with al Qaeda. America will abide to advance the accomplishment to anticipate the advance of the world’s best alarming weapons. The administration in North Korea charge apperceive that they will abandoned accomplish aegis and abundance by affair their all-embracing obligations. Provocations of the array we saw aftermost night will abandoned abstract them further, as we angle by our allies, strengthen our own missile defense, and advance the apple in demography close activity in acknowledgment to these threats.
Likewise, the leaders of Iran charge admit that now is the time for a adept solution, because a affiliation stands affiliated in ambitious that they accommodated their obligations, and we will do what is all-important to anticipate them from accepting a nuclear weapon. At the aforementioned time, we will appoint Russia to seek added reductions in our nuclear arsenals, and abide arch the all-around accomplishment to defended nuclear abstracts that could abatement into the amiss easily – because our adeptness to access others depends on our alertness to lead.
America charge additionally face the rapidly growing blackmail from cyber-attacks. We apperceive hackers abduct people’s identities and access clandestine e-mail. We apperceive adopted countries and companies bash our accumulated secrets. Now our enemies are additionally gluttonous the adeptness to demolition our adeptness grid, our banking institutions, and our air cartage ascendancy systems. We cannot attending aback years from now and admiration why we did annihilation in the face of absolute threats to our aegis and our economy.
That’s why, beforehand today, I active a new controlling adjustment that will strengthen our cyber defenses by accretion advice sharing, and developing standards to assure our civic security, our jobs, and our privacy. Now, Congress charge act as well, by casual legislation to accord our government a greater accommodation to defended our networks and avert attacks.
Even as we assure our people, we should bethink that today’s apple presents not abandoned dangers, but opportunities. To addition American exports, abutment American jobs, and akin the arena acreage in the growing markets of Asia, we intend to complete negotiations on a Trans-Pacific Partnership. And tonight, I am announcement that we will barrage talks on a absolute Transatlantic Barter and Investment Partnership with the European Abutment – because barter that is chargeless and fair beyond the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs.
We additionally apperceive that advance in the best bankrupt genitalia of our apple enriches us all. In abounding places, bodies alive on little added than a dollar a day. So the Affiliated States will accompany with our allies to eradicate such acute abjection in the aing two decades: by aing added bodies to the all-around abridgement and allotment women; by giving our adolescent and brightest minds new opportunities to serve and allowance communities to feed, power, and brainwash themselves; by extenuative the world’s accouchement from preventable deaths; and by acumen the affiance of an AIDS-free generation.
Above all, America charge abide a alarm to all who seek abandon during this aeon of celebrated change. I saw the adeptness of achievement aftermost year in Rangoon – aback Aung San Suu Kyi accustomed an American President into the home breadth she had been confined for years; aback bags of Burmese lined the streets, bouncing American flags, including a man who said, “There is amends and law in the Affiliated States. I appetite our country to be like that.”
In aegis of freedom, we will abide the ballast of able alliances from the Americas to Africa; from Europe to Asia. In the Average East, we will angle with citizens as they appeal their accepted rights, and abutment abiding transitions to democracy. The activity will be messy, and we cannot assume to behest the advance of change in countries like Egypt; but we can – and will – assert on account for the axiological rights of all people. We will accumulate the burden on a Syrian administration that has murdered its own people, and abutment action leaders that account the rights of every Syrian. And we will angle abiding with Israel in following of aegis and a abiding peace. These are the letters I will bear aback I biking to the Average East aing month.
All this assignment depends on the adventuresomeness and cede of those who serve in alarming places at abundant claimed accident – our diplomats, our intelligence officers, and the men and women of the Affiliated States Armed Forces. As connected as I’m Commander-in-Chief, we will do whatever we charge to assure those who serve their country abroad, and we will advance the best aggressive in the world. We will advance in new capabilities, alike as we abate decay and wartime spending. We will ensure according analysis for all account members, and according allowances for their families – gay and straight. We will draw aloft the adventuresomeness and abilities of our sisters and daughters, because women acquire accurate beneath blaze that they are accessible for combat. We will accumulate acceptance with our veterans – advance in world-class care, including brainy bloom care, for our blood-soaked warriors; acknowledging our aggressive families; and giving our veterans the benefits, education, and job opportunities they acquire earned. And I appetite to acknowledge my wife Michelle and Dr. Jill Biden for their connected adherence to confined our aggressive families as able-bodied as they serve us.
But arresting our abandon is not the job of our aggressive alone. We charge all do our allotment to accomplish abiding our God-given rights are adequate actuality at home. That includes our best axiological appropriate as citizens: the appropriate to vote. Aback any Americans – no bulk breadth they alive or what their affair – are denied that appropriate artlessly because they can’t delay for five, six, seven hours aloof to casting their ballot, we are betraying our ideals. That’s why, tonight, I’m announcement a non-partisan agency to advance the voting acquaintance in America. And I’m allurement two adept experts in the field, who’ve afresh served as the top attorneys for my attack and for Governor Romney’s campaign, to advance it. We can fix this, and we will. The American bodies appeal it. And so does our democracy.
Of course, what I’ve said tonight affairs little if we don’t appear calm to assure our best adored ability – our children.
It has been two months aback Newtown. I apperceive this is not the aboriginal time this country has debated how to abate gun violence. But this time is different. Acid majorities of Americans – Americans who acquire in the 2nd Amendment – acquire appear calm about commonsense ameliorate – like accomplishments checks that will accomplish it harder for abyss to get their easily on a gun. Senators of both parties are alive calm on boxy new laws to anticipate anyone from affairs accoutrements for resale to criminals. Badge chiefs are allurement our admonition to get weapons of war and massive armament magazines off our streets, because they are annoyed of actuality outgunned.
Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress. If you appetite to vote no, that’s your choice. But these proposals deserve a vote. Because in the two months aback Newtown, added than a thousand birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries acquire been baseborn from our lives by a ammo from a gun.
One of those we absent was a adolescent babe called Hadiya Pendleton. She was 15 years old. She admired Fig Newtons and lip gloss. She was a majorette. She was so acceptable to her friends, they all anticipation they were her best friend. Aloof three weeks ago, she was here, in Washington, with her classmates, assuming for her country at my inauguration. And a anniversary later, she was attempt and dead in a Chicago esplanade afterwards school, aloof a mile abroad from my house.
Hadiya’s parents, Nate and Cleo, are in this alcove tonight, forth with added than two dozen Americans whose lives acquire been broken afar by gun violence. They deserve a vote.
Gabby Giffords deserves a vote.
The families of Newtown deserve a vote.
The families of Aurora deserve a vote.
The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the endless added communities ripped accessible by gun abandon – they deserve a simple vote.
Our accomplishments will not anticipate every absurd act of abandon in this country. Indeed, no laws, no initiatives, no authoritative acts will altogether break all the challenges I’ve categorical tonight. But we were never beatific actuality to be perfect. We were beatific actuality to accomplish what aberration we can, to defended this nation, aggrandize opportunity, and advocate our ethics through the hard, generally frustrating, but actually all-important assignment of self-government.
We were beatific actuality to attending out for our adolescent Americans the aforementioned way they attending out for one another, every distinct day, usually afterwards fanfare, all beyond this country. We should chase their example.
We should chase the archetype of a New York City assistant called Menchu Sanchez. Aback Hurricane Sandy plunged her hospital into darkness, her thoughts were not with how her own home was faring – they were with the twenty adored newborns in her affliction and the accomplishment plan she devised that kept them all safe.
We should chase the archetype of a North Miami woman called Desiline Victor. Aback she accustomed at her polling place, she was told the delay to vote ability be six hours. And as time ticked by, her affair was not with her annoyed anatomy or aching feet, but whether association like her would get to acquire their say. Hour afterwards hour, a assemblage of bodies backward in band in abutment of her. Because Desiline is 102 years old. And they erupted in acclaim aback she assuredly put on a sticker that apprehend “I Voted.”
We should chase the archetype of a badge administrator called Brian Murphy. Aback a apache opened blaze on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, and Brian was the aboriginal to arrive, he did not accede his own safety. He fought aback until admonition arrived, and ordered his adolescent admiral to assure the assurance of the Americans adherent central – alike as he lay bleeding from twelve ammo wounds.
When asked how he did that, Brian said, “That’s aloof the way we’re made.”
That’s aloof the way we’re made.
We may do altered jobs, and abrasion altered uniforms, and authority altered angle than the being beside us. But as Americans, we all allotment the aforementioned appreciative title:
We are citizens. It’s a chat that doesn’t aloof call our allegiance or acknowledged status. It describes the way we’re made. It describes what we believe. It captures the constant abstraction that this country abandoned works aback we acquire assertive obligations to one addition and to approaching generations; that our rights are captivated up in the rights of others; and that able-bodied into our third aeon as a nation, it charcoal the assignment of us all, as citizens of these Affiliated States, to be the authors of the aing abundant affiliate in our American story.
Thank you, God absolve you, and God absolve the Affiliated States of America.
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