One of the most emotional moments occured when President Obama urged Congress to vote on gun control legislation, mentioning the Sandy Hook tragedy and the death of Hadiya Pendleton. After President Obama’s speech, many experts and policy-makers responded with their thoughts, both positive and negative.
U.S. Representative Charles Rangel appreciates President Obama’s mentioning the War on Iraq:
“I applaud the President for keeping his promise to bring our troops home from Afghanistan. Reducing our troops by another 33,000 is a step in the right direction, and I thank him for bringing the fighting to an end. We must question every decision that puts our fellow citizens in harm's way and the availability of weapons that do so. With over 6,600 men and women fallen in the wars abroad and 1,200 gun deaths in the past three months at home, it is time to stop this preventable bloodshed.”
Read the full article in GlobalPolicy.TV.
Eugene Robinson believed the speech will encourage support for gun control:
“But I heard nothing to make me more confident that Congress will do as the president asked and vote on gun-control measures that would actually make a difference — much less pass such legislation. The same was true for the president’s proposals on economic growth, debt reduction, energy, climate change, education…. With the possible exception of immigration reform, I’m not sure I heard one issue on which the prospects for bold legislative action are promising.”
Read the full article in The Washington Post.
Aaron Laxton was disappointed by the speech’s lack of focus on the HIV/AIDs epidemic:
“During President Obama's State of the Union address those of us living with HIV waited for a renewed sense of vigor and determination, marking a move toward a CURE for HIV/AIDS. Sadly, in the end, it was a vague phrase that seemed like a disingenuous attempt to court voters rather than an actual plan to get to an AIDS-free generation. By the numbers, those living with HIV/AIDS have seen catastrophic cuts to programs and funding under the Obama Administration that only serve to prove that lip service is alive and well in the White House and Washington, D.C.”
Read the full article in The Body.
Kevin Webb writes that President Obama’s reference to raising the minimum wage could benefit the economy:
“The message, during his State of the Union address, can be seen as a significant vote of confidence in the economy, as a shift in the nation’s pay scale could have a large effect on employers. A statement released by the administration says that 15 million workers would benefit from the change and that it would offset inflation.”
Read the full article in Atlanta Black Star.