On January 12, 2016, President Barack Obama delivered his eighth and final State of Union address. In my opinion, it was one of Obama’s best crafted speeches for the State of the Union. It has certainly been a long arduous road for our first black President, but I couldn’t be more proud of Mr. Obama’s accomplishments. His poise in the face of such racism and hatred is remarkable. This speech was reminiscent of candidate Obama in its style and tone. The President, once again, touched on themes of hope. He urged Americans not to listen to voices of division and ignorance that seek to pit Americans one against the other. It was appropriate that he concluded the speech with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King. Cheers to you Mr. Obama! You continue to inspire many Americans and people around the world.
“This country faces enormous problems in terms of jobs, global warming, health care, campaign finance reform, deficit reduction and many other important issues. The Senate has been blocked from considering many of these and other major issues of our day by a stubborn minority’s abuse of a rule originally designed to guarantee debate, not silence it,” Sanders said.
Boehner retains his role as Speaker of the House with a total vote of 220, and 192 votes for House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi. A total of 15 “other” votes were cast for members of the House including Cantor (3) and former Rep. Allen West (1). There was much speculation regarding whether or not John Boehner would retain his Speakership, but it appears that he has survived the storm that was the fiscal cliff and the 112th Congress. I am actually in favor of Boehner retaining his Speakership. The thought of Eric Cantor being elevated was disturbing. As they say, “better the devil you know…” Having said that let me be clear that I’m no fan of Boehner either, but at least we know that he is an establishment Republican and not a Tea Party fanatic. The games of the 113th Congress are now afoot with the Speaker and House-elect being sworn in a little after 2 p.m. today.
The Fifteenth Amendment assigns Congress — not the Supreme Court — the responsibility of ensuring that no citizens are denied their right to vote. Section 5 has faced at least two constitutional challenges in the past, and survived both of them.
Read my latest blog post under Salient Points entitled Fiscal Cliff Afterthoughts
If Republicans hate the fiscal cliff deal, the Republican House has no one to blame but itself. Speaker John Boehner had no control of his caucus, clearly demonstrated an inability to negotiate a deal (he essentially had no followers in his caucus) and then offered a bogus plan B solution that he couldn’t even bring to a vote.
Congratulations to Representatives Cleaver and Yoder on receiving the Concensus Civility Award. Maybe the Republicans negotiating with the President regarding the Fiscal Cliff (Austerity for those that know) will take a lesson from these members of Congress. See the full post under Congress.