World / US and Canada

Obama elevates climate-change issue

By CHEN WEIHUA in Washington (China Daily USA) Updated: 2015-01-21 15:32

Despite standing for the first time in front of Congress with both chambers controlled by Republicans, US President Barack Obama spoke with great optimism in his sixth State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

Mentioning the two prolonged and costly wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the financial crisis, Obama claimed "but tonight, we turn the page."

The US president said "the State of the Union is strong."

"At this moment – with a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry and booming energy production – we have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth. It's now up to us to choose who we want to be over the next 15 years, and for decades to come," Obama said.

Obama outlined his vision for "middle-class economics" and pledged to "restore the link between hard work and growing opportunity for every American."

Obama promised to veto any congressional proposals that would undermine his major legislative achievements to date.

He has proposed tax increases on the wealthy that would help finance tax breaks for middle-income Americans, a move that has drawn sharp opposition from the Republicans. Obama also has pushed for more paid sick leave and a free community education.

He asked Congress to formally authorize the use of force against the Middle Eastern terror group ISIS.

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