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State of the Union Address prepares Americans for the final year of Obama administration

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Washington, D.C. – On Jan. 12, President Barack Obama delivered his eighth and final State of the Union Address.

“I don’t want to talk just about the next year. I want to focus on the next five years, 10 years and beyond,” Obama said. “I want to focus on our future.”

The President looked at four questions – how to give everyone a fair show at opportunity in the new economy, how to make technology work for us, how to keep America safe and how to make politics reflect what is best in the nation.

Inside the address

In his address, the President referenced a number of topics, several of which are relevant to the agriculture industry.

Obama touted the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which “opens markets, protects workers and the environment and advances American leadership,” noting that a “patient and disciplined strategy that uses every element of our national power” is a strong approach. He urged Congress to pass the agreement.

“It cuts 18,000 taxes on products made in America and supports more good jobs. With TPP, China doesn’t set the rules in that region, we do,” Obama said. “You want to show our strength in this century? Approve this agreement. Give us the tools to enforce it.”

From the House

After the address Wyoming Representative Cynthia Lummis, however, noted, “As this regime enters its final year, we can see light at the end of the tunnel at last.”

“Reviewing the executive’s past seven years of manufacturing regulations, designating land unilaterally, empowering Washington, killing energy jobs, burying agriculture under red tape and fiddling as the West burns shows President Obama and his Administration have utterly failed the West.”

Lummis also mentioned that the future of the U.S. is where opportunity can be found.

“The future holds the key. It holds the opportunity to enact the reforms that western members of Congress have been pushing these past seven years to open opportunity and enhance stewardship throughout the West and across the country,” Lummis noted.

New leadership will allow the potential for increased energy production on federal lands as well as multiple-use of public lands.

“We will finally have a chance to address the failed federal policies of management by abandonment that has left millions of acres of land throughout the West at the mercy of wildfire,” she added. “We can reinforce local control over our resources, especially our water, the lifeblood of the American West.”

Lummis continued, “Locally-driven policies of stewardship are the key to a prosperous America that will maintain and foster the health of our natural resources.”

Senate side

Senator Mike Enzi also noted that the challenges identified by the President in his address are of his own making. Enzi remarked changes during the Obama Administration increased the national debt, slowed job recovery, weakened the U.S. position on the world stage and empowered terrorism.

“We do have some big challenges ahead, but we need a new direction and a new president with a different vision to lead us to a better future,” he commented.

Enzi also noted that, over the last year, Congress has begun to show what true leadership looks like in the passage of a balanced budget, highway bill, education reform, trade promotion and more.

“The President talks about hope and confidence in the American people. His actions, however, put the power in the hands of the Environmental Protection Agency, Internal Revenue Service, Health and Human Services and the administrators of federal programs and new rules,” he added, noting that Americans should be through with the federal government’s overreach. “America is better off when Americans are making their own decisions about what’s best for their families.”

More division

“Consistent with the past seven years, the President’s final State of the Union Address was long on promises and short on solutions,” emphasized Senator John Barrasso following the speech. “He missed a real opportunity tonight to talk about the things that unite us. Instead, he was more divisive than ever on health care, energy, our economy and even national security.”

Barrasso echoed Enzi in saying that Obama has left the country with a fragile economy, non-functional healthcare law and unsafe world.

“Americans are now looking toward the future. Republicans are ready to show the American people what we can do,” Barrasso said. “We’re committed to solving major challenges with proven solutions to make our economy more competitive, create jobs, strengthen health care for all Americans and increase the safety and security of our country.”

Positivity from the President

With suggestions to improve the future, Obama commented, “This is the country we love – clear-eyed and big-hearted, optimistic that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. That is what makes me so hopeful about our future.”

“I believe in you,” Obama added. “That’s why I stand here confident that the State of our Union in strong. Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.”

Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at

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