Last Tuesday, President Obama delivered his State of the Union address and called on Congress to help him make 2014 a “year of action.” UFCW members interacting on Twitter and Facebook agreed that their elected officials in Washington need to start addressing the important issues facing workers.
Growing income inequality featured prominently in President Obama’s speech.
“Corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher,” he said, “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.”
To that end, President Obama called on Congress to immediately reinstate emergency unemployment benefits, which expired at the end of last year, and to pass the Harkin-Miller bill, which would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.
There was a great effort throughout the speech, which numerous UFCW members agreed with, to push Congress to work together and do their job.
“For several years now, this town has been consumed by a rancorous argument over the proper size of the federal government. It’s an important debate — one that dates back to our very founding. But when that debate prevents us from carrying out even the most basic functions of our democracy — when our differences shut down government or threaten the full faith and credit of the United States — then we are not doing right by the American people.”
President Obama also made a strong push for comprehensive immigration reform.
“Finally, if we are serious about economic growth,” he said, “it is time to heed the call of business leaders, labor leaders, faith leaders, and law enforcement – and fix our broken immigration system.”
Overall, the State of the Union made it clear that President Obama wants to assist Americans who are struggling and need help. After being repeatedly obstructed by Congress in 2013, the President indicated that he would do everything within in his power to advance an agenda that aids working Americans and their families.
“America does not stand still, and neither will I,” he said. “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.”
UFCW members can read about the State of the Union and other legislative and political issues at www.ufcwaction.org.