The State of the Union Address (2013 Edition)

My fellow Bravovians, ask not what the State of the Union address was about on Tuesday night. Ask why have you not read my blog post and figured it out already! If you missed the annual State of the Union address the other night, here is a recap of what happened as well as a little history about what exactly the state of the union is.
5 Major Points from Tuesday Night’s Address:
  • Mandatory Military Spending Cuts
    • “In 2011, Congress passed a law saying that if both parties couldn’t agree on a plan to reach our deficit goal, about a trillion dollars’ worth of budget cuts would automatically go into effect this year. These sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts would jeopardize our military readiness.”
  • Immigration Reform
    • “Right now, leaders from the business, labor, law enforcement, and faith communities all agree that the time has come to pass comprehensive immigration reform. … In other words, we know what needs to be done. As we speak, bipartisan groups in both chambers are working diligently to draft a bill, and I applaud their efforts.”
  • Cyber Security
    • “Earlier today, I signed a new executive order that will strengthen our cyber defenses by increasing information sharing, and developing standards to protect our national security, our jobs, and our privacy. Now, Congress must act as well, by passing legislation to give our government a greater capacity to secure our networks and deter attacks. “
  • Gun Control
    • “It has been two months since Newtown. I know this is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence. But this time is different. Overwhelming majorities of Americans – Americans who believe in the Second Amendment – have come together around commonsense reform, like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun.”
  • Minimum Wage Increase
    • “The $9 an hour proposed minimum wage would bring the inflation-adjusted minimum back to where it was in 1981. About 15 million workers would get a raise under proposals to raise the minimum wage and index it for inflation. And the combination of a full-time, minimum wage job and the earned income tax credit is not sufficient now to lift a family of four above the poverty line.”
2011_State_of_the_UnionHistory of the State of the Union Address
 The State of the Union is the annual address presented by the President of the United States to a joint session of Congress. The address not only reports on the condition of the country but also allows the President to outline his legislative agenda (which ultimately requires Congressional cooperation) and national priorities.
 The State of the Union comes from article two, section three of the Constitution in which it says: “He shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”
 Although the language is vague on how, when, and where the President is to make this address, by tradition, the President makes this report annually in late January or early February. While not required to deliver a speech, every president since Woodrow Wilson has made at least one State of the Union report as a speech delivered before a joint session of Congress. Before that time, most presidents delivered the State of the Union as a written report.
 What began as a communication between the President and Congress has become a communication between the President and the people of the United States. Since the advent of radio, and then television, the speech has been broadcast live on most networks. To reach the largest television audience, the speech, once given during the day, is now typically given in the evening during primetime.
 George Washington delivered the first regular annual message before a joint session of Congress on January 8, 1790, in New York City, then the provisional U.S. capital. In 1801, Thomas Jefferson discontinued the practice of delivering the address in person, regarding it as too monarchical (but I believe it was because he was an awful orator!) Instead, the address was written and then sent to Congress to be read by a clerk until 1913 when Woodrow Wilson re-established the practice despite some initial controversy. However, there have been exceptions to this rule. Presidents during the latter half of the 20th century have sent written State of the Union addresses. The last President to do this was Jimmy Carter in 1981.
 For many years, the speech was referred to as “the President’s Annual Message to Congress”. The actual term “State of the Union” first emerged in 1934 when Franklin D. Roosevelt used the phrase, becoming its generally accepted name since 1947. Calvin Coolidge’s 1923 speech was the first to be broadcast on radio. Harry S. Truman’s 1947 address was the first to be broadcast on television. Bill Clinton’s 1997 address was the first broadcast available live on the World Wide Web. And since 1966, the speech has been followed on television by a response or rebuttal by a member of the political party opposing the President’s party. The response is typically broadcast from a studio with no audience.
 To watch the President’s address in its entire follow the link bellow:
 -TJ Lonergan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s