State of the Union | KERA News

State of the Union

President Obama Delivers His Final State Of The Union Address

Jan 12, 2016
Carlos Barria / Reuters

President Barack Obama says one of the few regrets of his presidency is that too many Americans feel their voice doesn't matter in democracy.

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President Obama gave his State of the Union address tonight. The Republican response followed, featuring Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa. We aired the address and the response here on KERANews.org, as well as on KERA 90.1 FM and KERA-TV (Channel 13).

Delivering his sixth State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama faced a Congress that's now controlled by his Republican opponents. His speech included possible areas of cooperation — and a threat to use his veto power.

Tax proposals that would boost middle-class families were in the president's speech; so were calls for a new approach to immigration and a push for free education at community colleges.

Obama also called on Congress to pass a resolution to authorize using military force against the extremist group ISIS.

President Obama delivers his State of the Union address tonight and is expected to focus on the state of the economy and its impact on the middle class.

Even in the era of declining television audiences, President Obama's State of the Union address is still the biggest audience he'll have all year. Historically, seventh-year State of the Union speeches have a short shelf life. Every one of the five lame-duck presidents (that is, presidents constitutionally barred from running again — Eisenhower, Reagan, Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama) has had opposition congresses, making the prospects for passing major parts of the president's agenda slim to none.

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President Obama delivered his State of the Union address Tuesday night. We carried live coverage on KERA-13, KERA 90.1 FM and here at keranews.org. If you missed the speech, or want to watch it again, scroll down. We've also posted the Republican response.

NPR has a list of five things to expect from the president in his fifth State of the Union speech.

With the country slowly digging itself out of recession, some of his legislative priorities buried under Washington's partisanship and his approval ratings at some of their lowest levels, President Obama called for "a year of action" during his fifth State of the Union address on Tuesday.

President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address tonight. He’s expected to make a big deal about economic mobility and reducing income inequality in the U.S.

But the challenges are substantial when it comes to narrowing the divide. Texas has the eighth highest level of income inequality,  based on 2010 Census data.

"In terms of Texas, we have a lot of upper end income inequality," says Mark Frank, an economics professor at Sam Houston State University. "We have a lot of income inequality because we have the top 1 percent or .01 percent."

Viewership is declining. Washington seems increasingly dysfunctional and irrelevant to the daily lives of Americans. The presidency isn't the bully pulpit it used to be.

In an age of social media and divided audiences, the annual, constitutionally mandated State of the Union speech is beginning to look like a stuffy relic from a bygone era.

It's an institution in need of a makeover, which is precisely what the White House intends to do Tuesday night.

United We Dream

When the President stands before Congress for his State of the Union address, an undocumented immigrant from Texas will be sitting in the audience. 

Each member of Congress can invite one guest to sit in the House gallery during the speech. 

Rep. Marc Veasey, a Fort Worth Democrat, chose Julieta Garibay.   She was with her parents when they crossed the U.S.-Mexico border and entered Texas two decades ago. 

Photo by Susan Sterner

The President’s State of the Union address is tonight. One North Texas professor and political author says it’ll be a campaign speech this year – listing past accomplishments and goals. But as KERA’s BJ Austin reports, it’s the “present” that’s on most peoples’ minds.