Breitbart News will be live-blogging President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address, which is expected to start around 9PM EST. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) will give the GOP’s response. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) will publish his response to Obama’s State of the Union address on YouTube after Obama completes his address. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) will also give an alternate response, which will be sponsored by the Tea Party Express.
UPDATE: Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) Speaks for Americans Who ‘Have Been Forgotten by Both Political Parties,’ Calls ObamaCare ‘an Inequality Godzilla’
In his response to President Barack Obama in an address sponsored by the Tea Party Express, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) spoke for Americans that both parties left behind and said Obamacare, which he called “an inequality Godzilla,” was symbolic of how Obama’s government-centered policies were exacerbating inequality in America.
Lee spoke for “those individuals and families who work hard, play by the rules, balance their budgets, honor the Golden Rule, and don’t understand why their government in Washington can’t do the same.”
Lee said this “inequality crisis presents itself in three principal forms” and said that Republicans in Washington’s permanent political class can be just as out of touch as Democrats:
Immobility among the poor, who are being trapped in poverty by big-government programs; insecurity in the middle class, where families are struggling just to get by and can’t seem to get ahead; and cronyist privilege at the top, where political and economic insiders twist the immense power of the federal government to profit at the expense of everyone else. To be fair, President Obama and his party did not create all of these problems. The Republican Establishment in Washington can be just as out-of-touch as the Democratic Establishment.
Lee slammed Obama for covering up the fact that he was leaving Americans behind with “lofty rhetoric” and then asked, “But where does this new inequality come from?”
“From government — every time it takes rights and opportunities away from the American people and gives them instead to politicians, bureaucrats, and special interests,” he said.
Lee continued by saying that “real inequality” is “trapping poor children in failing schools to benefit bureaucrats and union bosses. It’s penalizing low-income parents for getting married, or getting better jobs. It’s guaranteeing insurance companies taxpayer bailouts if Obamacare cuts into their profits.”
“And of course, Obamacare – all by itself – is an inequality Godzilla that has robbed working families of their insurance, their doctors, their wages and their jobs,” he said. “Many Americans are now seeing why some of us fought so hard to stop this train-wreck over the last four years.”
Lee continued, saying inequality “is blocking thousands of middle-class jobs in the energy industry as a favor to partisan donors and radical environmental activists”; “denying viable, unborn children any protection under the law, while exempting unsanitary, late-term abortion clinics from basic safety standards;” “denying citizens their right to define marriage in their states as traditionally or as broadly as their diverse values dictate.”
He said government increases inequality by hurting “rural communities, especially in the west, by controlling and mismanaging public lands” and “changing laws without congressional approval, and spying on American citizens without constitutional authority.”
Lee said Washington has a new generation of leaders like Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rand Paul (R-KY), Tim Scott (R-SC), Marco Rubio (R-FL) that want to push “reforms to help poor families work their way into the middle class, to help middle-class families start to get ahead, and to level the playing field and put corporate and political insiders back to work for the rest of us.”
He listed ideas regarding poverty, criminal justice reform, improving K-12 education, modernizing higher education, and bills to simplify the tax code to “provide relief from the hidden double-tax Washington currently imposes on working parents, especially moms and dads in the middle class.”
“This new generation of reformers still has a long way to go to win over our Party in Washington, and even further to go to earn your trust,” Lee said before noting that he was ultimately “confident that our best days as a nation are ahead of us – not because of government, but because within America’s diverse society of individuals and families, neighborhoods and churches, businesses and communities, freedom doesn’t mean you’re on your own.”
UPDATE: Rand Paul’s response to Obama’s State of the Union Address:
UPDATE: Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) Calls Obama Out for Pushing Amnesty While Claiming to Care About America’s Unemployed Workers:
“President Obama says he is concerned about low wages and chronic unemployment for American workers. Yet his signature second-term legislative item is an immigration bill that would immediately and permanently double the flow of new immigrant workers competing against unemployed Americans–reducing wages, increasing unemployment, and further shrinking the middle class. Experts tell us that the current, very high immigration flow is already a factor in declining wages.
His other policy proposals–more government spending, public assistance, and wage controls–are a continued attempt to deal with the symptoms of an economy that is failing and stagnant, rather than with the causes. This agenda will not only do little for those it is designed to assist in the short run, but will actually do harm to many in the long run.
With a record 1 in 5 households on food stamps, and with 92 million Americans outside the work force, it is clear what we must do: a focused national effort to help transition millions of Americans off of welfare, off of unemployment, and into good-paying jobs. This must be done without adding to the debt. Such an effort would include more American energy; better trade and immigration enforcement; welfare and tax reform; a leaner, more productive government; the elimination of regulations that destroy jobs; and the growth and confidence created by balancing the federal budget.”
UPDATE: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) Tweets Some Thoughts on Obama’s SOTU: ‘You Do Not Get to ‘Act Alone’.
— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) January 29, 2014
— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) January 29, 2014
— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) January 29, 2014
UPDATE: GOP RESPONSE: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) Pushes for Piecemeal Immigration Reform:
McMorris Rodgers said while Obama “talks a lot about income inequality,” the “real gap we face today is one of opportunity inequality.”
As the House Republican leadership gets ready to unveil their “immigration principles,” she said that Republicans are “working on a step-by-step solution to immigration reform by first securing our borders and making sure America will always attract the best, brightest, and hardest working from around the world.”
McMorris Rodgers said that she wants “our children” to “say that we rebuilt the American Dream.” But 16 House Republicans, who wrote that amnesty legislation would be the “final economic blow” for American workers, may not agree that piecemeal immigration reform that leads to various types of amnesty may help working-class Americans rebuild the American dream.
McMorris Rodgers also spoke about having worked at McDonald’s and how Washington needs to play “by the same rules that you do.” She discussed growing up and “working at my family’s orchard and fruit stand in Kettle Falls, a small town in Eastern Washington – getting up before dawn with my brother to pick apples.”
She then spoke about how her son got diagnosed with Down syndrome three days after she gave birth:
The doctors told us he could have endless complications, heart defects, even early Alzheimer’s. They told us all the problems. But when we looked at our son, we saw only possibilities. We saw a gift from God. Today we see a 6-year old boy who dances to Bruce Springsteen; who reads above grade level; and who is the best big brother in the world.We see all the things he can do, not those he can’t.
Cole, and his sisters, Grace and Brynn, have only made me more determined to see the potential in every human life – that whether we are born with an extra twenty-first chromosome or without a dollar to our name – we are not defined by our limits, but by our potential.
Because our mission – not only as Republicans, but as Americans, is to once again to ensure that we are not bound by where we come from, but empowered by what we can become. That is the gap Republicans are working to close.
UPDATE: Young Americans for Freedom: ‘Offered No Plan, Just More Empty Rhetoric’
President Obama delivered the country’s 93rd State of the Union address tonight, but as expected, he steered clear of sharing many devastating details about the real state of the union. Young people are hurting under this administration with over 6 million young people between the ages of 16 and 24 neither working nor in school, and with an alarming 16.3% youth unemployment rate. Obama failed to directly address our nation’s young people; and neglected to apologize for misleading our nation’s youth and offered no plan, just more empty rhetoric.
Young America’s Foundation (YAF) conducted a new nationwide poll, finding just 6% of young people between the ages of 18 and 24 more favorable to the President after he misled them with the lie of the year. Compare this with an astonishing 68% who are less favorable to Obama after he deliberately lied to the American people when he told them that if they liked their healthcare plan, they could keep it.
UPDATE: Obama Claims His Diplomacy Has ‘Halted the Progress of Iran’s Nuclear Program’ and Says He’ll Veto New Sanctions:
UPDATE: Obama on NSA Surveillance:
Obama Vows to “reform our surveillance programs – because the vital work of our intelligence community depends on public confidence, here and abroad, that the privacy of ordinary people is not being violated.”
Edward Snowden’s revelations about the Obama administration’s spying programs has contributed to his plummeting poll numbers.
UPDATE: Re-run: Obama Said Al-Qaeda Was on the Run and Hailed Their Demise Before the Benghazi Tragedy, but Now Says They Are Still Dangerous. Obama, Like a Broken Record, Also Says He Wants to Close Gitmo, as He Has Said Again and Again and Again and Again and Again during his State of the Union Addresses.
The fact is, that danger remains. While we have put al Qaeda’s core leadership on a path to defeat, the threat has evolved, as al Qaeda affiliates and other extremists take root in different parts of the world. In Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, and Mali, we have to keep working with partners to disrupt and disable these networks. In Syria, we’ll support the opposition that rejects the agenda of terrorist networks. Here at home, we’ll keep strengthening our defenses, and combat new threats like cyberattacks. And as we reform our defense budget, we have to keep faith with our men and women in uniform, and invest in the capabilities they need to succeed in future missions.
We have to remain vigilant.
And with the Afghan war ending, this needs to be the year Congress lifts the remaining restrictions on detainee transfers and we close the prison at Guantanamo Bay – because we counter terrorism not just through intelligence and military action, but by remaining true to our Constitutional ideals, and setting an example for the rest of the world.
UPDATE: Obama Politicizes Tragedies to Imply He May Ram Through More Gun Control ‘With or Without Congress’:
Citizenship means standing up for the lives that gun violence steals from us each day. I have seen the courage of parents, students, pastors, and police officers all over this country who say “we are not afraid,” and I intend to keep trying, with or without Congress, to help stop more tragedies from visiting innocent Americans in our movie theaters, shopping malls, or schools like Sandy Hook.
The White House conceded that Obama was damaged in 2013 because he failed to get gun control passed even though the White House tried to politicize the Sandy Hook tragedy to do so. Obama did not mention the gun violence in cities like Chicago.
UPDATE: Obama Continues to Push the Merits of Obamacare:
After a disastrous Obamacare rollout and numerous delays and exemptions, Obama said that health insurance is about “the peace of mind that “if misfortune strikes, you don’t have to lose everything.”
Unfortunately, many Americans are finding out that they are losing their doctors or their insurance plans because of Obamacare even though Obama infamously promised them that would not happen. Recently, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) said that he lost his cancer doctor due to Obamacare.
UPDATE: Obama Proposes a ‘MyRA’ Retirement Savings Account… That ‘GUARANTEES a decent return with no risk of losing what you put in”:
That’s why, tomorrow, I will direct the Treasury to create a new way for working Americans to start their own retirement savings: MyRA. It’s a new savings bond that encourages folks to build a nest egg. MyRA guarantees a decent return with no risk of losing what you put in.
UPDATE: Obama wants corporations to raise wages, says he’ll sign an executive order to raise the minimum wage of federal contractors, and called on Congress and governors, mayors, and state leaders to increase wages as well:
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.
Of course, to reach millions more, Congress needs to get on board. Today, the federal minimum wage is worth about twenty percent less than it was when Ronald Reagan first stood here. Tom Harkin and George Miller have a bill to fix that by lifting the minimum wage to $10.10. This will help families. It will give businesses customers with more money to spend. It doesn’t involve any new bureaucratic program. So join the rest of the country. Say yes. Give America a raise.
UPDATE: Obama Wants to Ensure “More Young Men of Color Facing Tough Odds” Reach Their Full Potential, but He Mentions Nothing About School Choice and Pushes More Amnesty:
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.
The bottom line is, Michelle and I want every child to have the same chance this country gave us. But we know our opportunity agenda won’t be complete – and too many young people entering the workforce today will see the American Dream as an empty promise – unless we do more to make sure our economy honors the dignity of work, and hard work pays off for every single American.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has repeatedly emphasized that passing comprehensive immigration reform would devastate the working Americans, especially those who are struggling in minority communities.
UPDATE: Obama Calls on Congress to Extend Unemployment Benefits, but He Also Wants Congress to Push for More Amnesty to Make It Even Harder for Americans to Find Jobs:
I’m also convinced we can help Americans return to the workforce faster by reforming unemployment insurance so that it’s more effective in today’s economy. But first, this Congress needs to restore the unemployment insurance you just let expire for 1.6 million people.
UPDATE: American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks Makes a Good Point:
Vice President Biden is now in charge of matching workers with jobs that suit them? I think that’s what free enterprise is for. #SOTUaei
— Arthur Brooks (@arthurbrooks) January 29, 2014
UPDATE: Obama: ‘Let’s Get Immigration Reform Done This Year’ Even Though Only 3% of Americans Care About the Issue:
Finally, if we are serious about economic growth, it is time to heed the call of business leaders, labor leaders, faith leaders, and law enforcement – and fix our broken immigration system. Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have acted. I know that members of both parties in the House want to do the same. Independent economists say immigration reform will grow our economy and shrink our deficits by almost $1 trillion in the next two decades. And for good reason: when people come here to fulfill their dreams – to study, invent, and contribute to our culture – they make our country a more attractive place for businesses to locate and create jobs for everyone. So let’s get immigration reform done this year.
UPDATE: Obama Calls for Action on Global Warming, More Solar Panels (Has he and the media forgotten about Solyndra?)… as Brutal Ice Storm Rips Across the Nation (It is 18 degrees in Washington, D.C. as Obama speaks):
It’s not just oil and natural gas production that’s booming; we’re becoming a global leader in solar, too. Every four minutes, another American home or business goes solar; every panel pounded into place by a worker whose job can’t be outsourced. Let’s continue that progress with a smarter tax policy that stops giving$4 billion a year to fossil fuel industries that don’t need it, so that we can invest more in fuels of the futurethat do.
But we have to act with more urgency – because a changing climate is already harming western communities struggling with drought, and coastal cities dealing with floods. That’s why I directed my administration to work with states, utilities, and others to set new standards on the amount of carbon pollution our power plants are allowed to dump into the air. 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 when our children’s children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world, with new sources of energy, I want us to be able to say yes, we did.
The RNC has quotes from prominent economists that have determined Obama’s energy investments are “not the most efficient” way to jumpstart the economy.
UPDATE: Obama Says Climate Change Is a “Fact.” Global Warming Is Religion to Liberals.
UPDATE: Chris Crane, President of the National ICE Council Representing ICE Officers, had some choice words about enforcement and border security before Obama’s speech:
“According to news accounts, the President has once again invited illegal immigrants to the State of the Union – and yet the President still refuses to meet with ICE officers. We have a President who will provide those illegally in the US with the seat of honor at one of the most important events of the year, but ICE officers who serve under him are unwelcome in the White House. This is symptomatic of the President’s continued demonstration of contempt for immigration officers and his blatant disregard for Congressionally-enacted law. ICE officers are forced every day to release violent offenders back into the streets; we are prohibited from enforcing immigration violations and document fraud and from cracking down on illegal employment; we are prohibited from enforcing public charge law to protect taxpayers; and we are forced to catch-and-release illegal aliens who are not ‘priorities’ even when officers’ believe there is a threat to public safety.
We are pleading with House Republicans to stand up to the Obama Administration’s abuses and to support ICE officers. I am therefore alarmed to read that House Republicans are working with prominent amnesty proponents instead of reaching out and working with ICE officers. Any immigration principles crafted by House Republicans should be crafted in consultation with the ICE personnel who know firsthand what is wrong with our immigration system and how to fix it. House Republicans must work with ICE officers, and investigate the abuses and misconduct at DHS, before moving any legalization bill – otherwise, they are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. ICE officers do not have the connections, funds or votes that powerful special interests and billionaire CEOs can deliver. We are just 5,000 law officers responsible for enforcing immigration law for tens of millions of visa holders and illegal immigrants in all 50 states and two territories – it is a losing battle that puts American safety at risk. But we hope to have justice and a concern for public safety on our side, and I hope House Republicans will support us in our uphill fight to ensure the constitutional rule of law in America.”
UPDATE: Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas Are Not Attending the State of the Union Address
UPDATE: Breitbart News Washington Editor Jonathan Strong Catches Up with Sean Hannity:
Breitbart News caught up with Fox News host Sean Hannity as he was receiving what he described as a “spectacular” tour of the Capitol from Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert.
“Literally getting a history lesson that I never got in high school college,” Hannity said, adding that it was the first State of the Union he had attended.
Hannity said he’s definitely moving out of New York City to either Florida or Texas – a vow he made after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said conservatives aren’t welcome in his state.
But on running for office, he was less sure. He’s still under contract for several years, for one thing. But, it could happen, Hannity said. “I want to put my life in God’s hands. Whatever He says.”
UPDATE: D.C. Republicans fawning over Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson, but where were they when the family needed their support?
— Lindsey Graham (@GrahamBlog) January 28, 2014
Congressmen taking selfies with Willie Robertson, Duck Dynasty star, include Paul Ryan.
— Gossip on the Hill (@GossipOnTheHill) January 29, 2014
UPDATE: Palin Looking Forward to Lee’s Response, Says Obama Will Say ‘More of the Same’:
— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) January 29, 2014
UPDATE: Tonight’s ‘Designated Survivor’ is Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz
— Robert Yoon (@yoonrob) January 29, 2014
UPDATE: Ted Cruz Pens a Thunderous Op-Ed in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal on ‘The Imperial Presidency of Barack Obama’:
The president’s taste for unilateral action to circumvent Congress should concern every citizen, regardless of party or ideology. The great 18th-century political philosopher Montesquieu observed: “There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or body of magistrates.” America’s Founding Fathers took this warning to heart, and we should too.
In the past, when Republican presidents abused their power, many Republicans–and the press–rightly called them to account. Today many in Congress–and the press–have chosen to give President Obama a pass on his pattern of lawlessness, perhaps letting partisan loyalty to the man supersede their fidelity to the law.
But this should not be a partisan issue. In time, the country will have another president from another party. For all those who are silent now: What would they think of a Republican president who announced that he was going to ignore the law, or unilaterally change the law? Imagine a future president setting aside environmental laws, or tax laws, or labor laws, or tort laws with which he or she disagreed.
That would be wrong–and it is the Obama precedent that is opening the door for future lawlessness. As Montesquieu knew, an imperial presidency threatens the liberty of every citizen. Because when a president can pick and choose which laws to follow and which to ignore, he is no longer a president.
UPDATE: Michelle Malkin Says George Washington’s State of the Union Address ‘Breath of Fresh Air’
Plenty of Americans (62% believe the State of the Union Address is “mostly just for show”) will agree.
Breath of fresh air: George Washington’s State of the Union Address ==> http://t.co/FZ3XdgYBBZ
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) January 29, 2014
UPDATE: Sean Hannity Enjoying Capitol Before His First State of Union Address
Got my pass! pic.twitter.com/LVatfZdMIE
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) January 29, 2014
Ronald Reagan statue pic.twitter.com/glMAa9M7AZ
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) January 29, 2014
UPDATE: Excerpts from Sen. Mike Lee’s (R-UT) Response
Original story below
Obama is expected to push for amnesty in his address, announce that he will sign an executive action to increase the minimum wage of federal contractors, focus on “income inequality,” and propose the creation of a new retirement savings plan.
The White House recently conceded that 2013 badly damaged Obama because in addition to the disastrous Obamacare rollout and his National Security Agency’s spying scandals, Obama could not get through more gun control and comprehensive immigration reform, which he said was his top goal in 2013, because of fierce opposition from grassroots conservatives and Tea Partiers. Liberal Republicans like Joe Scarborough and conservatives like Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) have agreed that House Republicans, though, by pushing for amnesty, may snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in 2014.
Obama gives his address as 63% of the nation, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll, have no confidence in him to make the right decisions for the country. Obama’s approval rating hovers around 43% while a majority of Americans disapprove of him.
The White House released some excerpts of Obama’s speech on Tuesday evening:
“In the coming months, let’s see where else we can make progress together. Let’s make this a year of action. That’s what most Americans want – for all of us in this chamber to focus on their lives, their hopes, their aspirations. And what I believe unites the people of this nation, regardless of race or region or party, young or old, rich or poor, is the simple, profound belief in opportunity for all – the notion that if you work hard and take responsibility, you can get ahead.
Let’s face it: that belief has suffered some serious blows. Over more than three decades, even before the Great Recession hit, massive shifts in technology and global competition had eliminated a lot of good, middle-class jobs, and weakened the economic foundations that families depend on.
Today, after four years of economic growth, corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher, and those at the top have never done better. But average wages have barely budged. Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled. The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by – let alone get ahead. And too many still aren’t working at all.
Our job is to reverse these tides. It won’t happen right away, and we won’t agree on everything. But what I offer tonight is a set of concrete, practical proposals to speed up growth, strengthen the middle class, and build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class. Some require Congressional action, and I’m eager to work with all of you. But America does not stand still – and neither will I. 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.”
Stay tuned to Breitbart News for more coverage of Obama’s State of the Union address and the responses that will follow.