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President Barack Obama Speaks Before the Joint Session of Congress

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President Barack Obama speaks before the Joint session of congress.

I didn't see the President enter the chamber as he does for the state of the union address maybe MSNBC didn't broadcast it, I started it on time. Behind him was the speaker of the house, John Boehner and the vice president, Joe Biden. He addressed them and then immediately started his speech with perhaps a dig at the Republicans and critics. He said, "We continue to face an economic crisis that has left millions of our neighbors jobless, and a political crisis that has made things worse." I thought he might be blaming Republicans that he isn't getting his way. He also mentioned critics who thought the joint session was more of a campaign speech than a jobs speech.

The president first painted a picture of struggling Americans who believe in a strong America, and then said that he was sending Congress a plan that you should pass right away. It's called the American Jobs Act. "The purpose of the American Jobs Act is simple: to put more people back to work and more money in the pockets of those who are working." .....You should pass this jobs plan right away."

He then began to start every sentence with Pass this jobs bill like "Pass this jobs bill, and thousands of teachers in every state will go back to work." That gave his first standing ovation, but only from one side of the room. With "Pass this jobs bill, and companies will get extra tax credits if they hire America's veterans," both sides of the room stood up. He continued in that way through a list of people who will benefit from this jobs bill. Even the unemployed would get to keep benefits when they take temp jobs and he was extending benefits for another year.

He also said that this will be paid for, here's how. The committee, who were charged with finding 1 trillion dollars in spending cuts, will be asked to find enough money to fund the jobs bill, and then added that the wealthiest Americans should pay more and he'll close tax code loopholes.

On Medicare he admitted that "if we don't gradually reform the system while protecting current beneficiaries, it won't be there when future retirees need it. We have to reform Medicare to strengthen it." That got good reaction from the audience.

He also addressed new taxes for the wealthiest Americans. He said that Warren Buffet pays less taxes than his secretary and that Buffet has asked him to fix that. He used the 'pay their fair share argument. Should oil companies get tax breaks? He addressed Republicans specifically and said, "This isn't political grandstanding. This isn't class warfare. This is simple math." On that you could hear people laughing.

He got the audience back when he mentioned trade agreements that the administration could work



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