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You are watching: Era of big government is over

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president Clinton"s 1996 State the the Union resolve as delivered

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PRESIDENT william JEFFERSON CLINTONSTATE that THE UNION ADDRESSU.S. CAPITOLJANUARY 23, 1996Mr. Speaker, Mr. Evil President, members the the 104th Congress, identified guests, my fellow Americans all across our land: allow me begin tonight by saying to our men and also women in uniform approximately the world, and especially those helping tranquility take source in Bosnia and to their families, I thank you. America is very, an extremely proud the you. My duty tonight is come report ~ above the state the the Union -- not the state of our government, but of ours American community; and also to set forth ours responsibilities, in the indigenous of ours Founders, to type a much more perfect union. The state that the Union is strong. Our economy is the healthiest the has been in three decades. We have actually the lowest merged rates of unemployment and inflation in 27 years. We have created virtually 8 million brand-new jobs, over a million of them in straightforward industries, choose construction and automobiles. America is selling much more cars than Japan because that the an initial time because the 1970s. And also for 3 years in a row, us have had a document number of brand-new businesses began in ours country. Our management in the human being is likewise strong, bringing hope for new peace. And also perhaps many important, us are gaining ground in restoring our fundamental values. The crime rate, the welfare and also food stamp rolls, the poor rate and also the teenager pregnancy price are all down. And as they go down, prospects for America"s future go up. We live in an er of possibility. A hundred years back we relocated from farm to factory. Now we relocate to an er of technology, information, and global competition. These transforms have opened up vast brand-new opportunities because that our people, but they have likewise presented them v stiff challenges. While much more Americans space living better, too countless of our fellow citizens room working harder just to store up, and they room rightly concerned about the security of their families. We must answer right here three fundamental questions: First, exactly how do we make the American Dream of opportunity for every a reality for all Americans who room willing to occupational for it? Second, how do we keep our old and also enduring values as us move right into the future? And, third, exactly how do we fulfill these obstacles together, together one America? us know huge government walk not have all the answers. We recognize there"s not a routine for every problem. Us have functioned to give the American civilization a smaller, less bureaucratic government in Washington. And we have to offer the American civilization one that lives within that means. The era of large government is over. Yet we cannot go earlier to the time as soon as our citizens were left to fend for themselves. Instead, we must go forward together one America, one country working with each other to satisfy the difficulties we face together. Self-reliance and also teamwork space not the contrary virtues; us must have both. I believe our new, smaller federal government must job-related in one old-fashioned American way, together with all of our citizens with state and local governments, in the workplace, in religious, charitable and also civic associations. Ours goal must be to allow all our people to do the many of their very own lives -- with stronger families, an ext educational opportunity, economic security, safer streets, a cleaner atmosphere in a much safer world. To improve the state of our Union, we must ask more of ourselves, we should expect much more of every other, and also we must face our challenges together. Here, in this place, ours responsibility begins with balancing the budget plan in a method that is fair to every Americans. Over there is now broad bipartisan commitment that permanent deficit safety must come to an end. I compliment the Republican leadership and also the membership for the energy and determination friend have carried to this task of balancing the budget. And I say thanks to the Democrats for passing the largest deficit reduction plan in history in 1993, i m sorry has already cut the deficit almost in fifty percent in 3 years. Because 1993, we have all begun to see the services of deficit reduction. Reduced interest rates have actually made it much easier for businesses come borrow and to invest and also to create new jobs. Lower interest rates have carried down the cost of house mortgages, car payments and also credit card rates to simple citizens. Now, that is time to finish the job and also balance the budget. Though distinctions remain amongst us which space significant, the combined total the the suggest savings that are usual to both plan is more than enough, using the numbers from her Congressional spending plan Office come balance the spending plan in 7 years and to administer a modest taxation cut. This cuts room real. Castle will need sacrifice indigenous everyone. But these cuts do not threaten our fundamental obligations to our parents, our children, and our future, by endangering Medicare, or Medicaid, or education, or the environment, or by raising taxes on functioning families. I have said before, and also let me say again, many great ideas have actually come the end of our negotiations. I have actually learned a lot about the means both Republicans and also Democrats view the debate prior to us. I have actually learned a lot around the good ideas the we could all embrace. We ought to resolve our remaining differences. Ns am ready to work to fix them. Ns am ready to meet tomorrow. However I ask you to consider that we must at least enact this savings that both plans have actually in common and give the American civilization their balanced budget, a tax cut, lower interest rates, and also a brighter future. We have to do the now, and make irreversible deficits yesterday"s legacy. Currently it is time for united state to look likewise to the challenges of today and tomorrow, past the burdens of yesterday. The challenges are significant. Yet America was built on challenges, no promises. And also when we job-related together to satisfy them, we never ever fail. That is the crucial to a an ext perfect Union. Ours individual desires must be establish by our typical efforts.Tonight I want to speak come you about the difficulties we all challenge as a people. Ours first challenge is to cherish our children and strengthen America"s families. Family members is the structure of American life. If we have actually stronger families, we will have actually a more powerful America. Prior to I go on, i would favor to take just a moment to thank my own family, and to give thanks to the human being who has actually taught me much more than anyone rather over 25 years around the importance of families and children -- a exorbitant wife, a magnificent mother and a great first Lady. Say thanks to you, Hillary. All solid families begin with taking much more responsibility for our children. I have actually heard Mrs. Gore say the it"s tough to it is in a parental today, however it"s also harder to it is in a child. So every one of us, not simply as parents, but every one of us in our other roles -- our media, our schools, our teachers, our communities, our churches and synagogues, our businesses, our governments -- all of us have actually a duty to assist our youngsters to do it and also to make the many of their lives and their God-given capacities.To the media, ns say you should develop movies and CDs and television shows you"d want your very own children and also grandchildren come enjoy. I speak to on congress to pass the requirement for a V-chip in TV set so the parents can screen out programs they believe are inappropriate for their children. As soon as parents regulate what your young children see, that is no censorship; the is allowing parents come assume more personal responsibility for their children"s upbringing. And also I urge them to perform it. The V-chip necessity is component of the vital telecommunications bill now pending in this Congress. It has bipartisan support, and I advice you to pass it now. To do the V-chip work, I difficulty the broadcast market to carry out what movies have done -- to identify your programming in ways that assist parents to defend their children. And I invite the leader of major media corporations in the entertainment sector to involved the White residence next month to work-related with united state in a positive way on concrete means to improve what our youngsters see top top television. I am all set to work-related with you. Ns say come those who make and also market cigarettes: every year a million children take increase smoking, even though the is against the law. Three hundred thousand of castle will have actually their stays shortened as a result. Our management has taken procedures to prevent the substantial marketing campaigns that appeal to our children. We are simply saying: industry your products to adults, if you wish, however draw the heat on children. Ns say come those who are on welfare, and especially come those who have been trapped on welfare because that a long time: because that too long our welfare system has actually undermined the values of family and also work, instead of supporting them. The Congress and I space near commitment on sweeping welfare reform. Us agree ~ above time limits, challenging work requirements, and also the toughest feasible child support enforcement. But I believe we have to also carry out child treatment so that mothers that are required to walk to work deserve to do so there is no worrying around what is continue to your children. I an obstacle this congress to send me a bipartisan welfare reform bill that will really move human being from welfare to work and also do the best thing by our children. I will sign it immediately. Let united state be candid about this difficult problem. Happen a law, even the best possible law, is only a an initial step. The next step is to do it work. I an obstacle people top top welfare to make the most of this opportunity for independence. I difficulty American businesses to give human being on welfare the chance to move into the work-related force. Ns applaud the job-related of spiritual groups and also others who care for the poor. An ext than anyone rather in our society, they understand the true an obstacle of the task prior to us, and they room in a position to help. Every among us should join them. That is the only means we deserve to make real welfare reform a fact in the stays of the American people. To combine the family we have to do everything we can to store the teenager pregnancy rate going down. I am gratified, as I"m certain all americans are, the it has actually dropped for 2 years in a row. However we all understand it is still much too high.Tonight i am pleased come announce that a team of prominent Americans is responding to that challenge by forming an company that will support grass-roots community efforts all across our country in a national campaign versus teen pregnancy. And I difficulty all the us and every American to join their efforts. I contact on American men and also women in households to provide greater respect come one another. Us must end the deadly scourge of domestic violence in ours country. And I challenge America"s family members to work harder to continue to be together. For households who remain together not just do far better economically, their children do better as well. In particular, I difficulty the fathers of this nation to love and care for your children. If your family has separated, you must pay your child support. We"re doing much more than ever to make sure you do, and we"re walk to carry out more, but let"s all recognize something about that, too: A check will no substitute for a parent"s love and also guidance. And also only girlfriend -- only you can make the decision to assist raise your children. No matter who you are, exactly how low or high your station in life, that is the most an easy human duty of every American to carry out that project to the finest of his or her ability. Our second challenge is to carry out Americans v the educational avenues we will certainly all need for this brand-new century. In our schools, every classroom in America have to be connected to the details superhighway, with computers and great software, and well-trained teachers. We space working with the telecommunications industry, educators and parents to connect 20 percent the California"s classrooms by this spring, and every classroom and every library in the entire United states by the year 2000. Ns ask congress to support this education an innovation initiative so that we have the right to make sure this nationwide partnership succeeds.Every diploma chandelier to median something. I an obstacle every community, every school and also every state to embrace national criter of excellence; to measure up whether institutions are conference those standards; come cut administrative red tape so the schools and teachers have an ext flexibility for grass-roots reform; and also to organize them accountable for results. That"s what our purposes 2000 plan is all about.I challenge every state to provide all parental the right to pick which public college their youngsters will attend; and also to permit teachers kind new institutions with a charter they deserve to keep just if they carry out a great job. I difficulty all our schools to teach personality education, to teach good values and an excellent citizenship. And also if it means that adolescents will avoid killing each various other over designer jackets, climate our public schools should be able to require their students to wear school uniforms. I difficulty our parents to become their children"s first teachers. Turn off the TV. View that the homework is done. And also visit her children"s classroom. No program, no teacher, nobody else have the right to do the for you.My fellow Americans, higher education is more important today than ever before before. We"ve created a brand-new student loan routine that"s do it much easier to borrow and repay those loans, and we have actually dramatically reduced the college student loan default rate. That"s something we need to all it is in proud of, due to the fact that it to be unconscionably high simply a few years ago. With AmeriCorps, our national company program, this year 25,000 young world will earn college money through serving their local communities to enhance the stays of their friends and neighbors. These initiatives are ideal for America and we need to keep castle going. And also we should also work difficult to open the doors of college also wider. I an obstacle Congress to increase work-study and help one million young Americans job-related their way through college by the year 2000; to administer a $1000 merit scholarship because that the top five percent of graduates in every high institution in the united States; to increase Pell approve scholarships for deserving and needy students; and to comprise to $10,000 a year of university tuition taxation deductible. It"s a an excellent idea for America. Ours third difficulty is to aid every American that is ready to work for it, accomplish economic protection in this new age. Civilization who work difficult still need support to obtain ahead in the brand-new economy. They need education and training for a lifetime. Castle need much more support for households raising children. They require retirement security. They need accessibility to wellness care. An ext and more Americans are finding that the education and learning of your childhood just doesn"t critical a lifetime. Therefore I difficulty Congress to consolidate 70 overlapping, antiquated job-training programs right into a basic voucher worth $2,600 because that unemployed or underemployed employees to use as they you re welcome for community college tuition or various other training. This is a G.I. Bill for America"s employees we need to all be able to agree on. More and more Americans space working tough without a raise. Congress sets the minimum wage. Within a year, the minimum wage will loss to a 40-year short in to buy power. 4 dollars and also 25 cent an hour is no much longer a life wage, yet millions the Americans and also their youngsters are trying to live ~ above it. I challenge you to raise their minimum wage. In 1993, Congress cut the count of 15 million hard-pressed working family members to make sure that no parents who work permanent would need to raise their youngsters in poverty, and also to encourage people to relocate from welfare to work. This expanded earned income tax credit is now worth about $1,800 a year to a household of 4 living top top $20,000. The budget bill i vetoed would have actually reversed this accomplishment and raised taxes on nearly 8 million of this people. We should not carry out that. I also agree that the people who are helped under this initiative are not all those in our country who space working hard to do a great job increasing their children and at work. I agree the we require a tax credit because that working families with children. That"s one of the things most of united state in this Chamber, ns hope, have the right to agree on. I know it is strongly supported by the Republican majority. And also it should be part of any final budget agreement. I want to challenge every service that can possibly afford that to administer pensions for her employees. And also I challenge Congress to happen a proposal encourage by the White residence Conference on little Business that would certainly make it much easier for small businesses and also farmers to create their very own pension plans. That is something we must all agree on. We should additionally protect existing pension plans. 2 years ago, v bipartisan support that was virtually unanimous top top both sides of the aisle, we moved to protect the pensions that 8 million functioning people and also to stabilize the pensions that 32 million more. Congress have to not now let companies endanger those workers"s pension funds. I understand the proposal come liberalize the capability of labor to take money out of pension accumulation for other purposes would certainly raise money because that the treasury. However I believe it is false economy. Ns vetoed the proposal critical year, and I would have to do therefore again. Finally, if our working families are going to success in the brand-new economy, they must have the ability to buy wellness insurance plans that they execute not shed when they change jobs or when someone in their family members gets sick. Over the previous two years, over one million americans in working families have shed their health and wellness insurance. We have to do more to make health care accessible to every American. And Congress have to start by passing the bipartisan bill sponsored by city council Kennedy and Senator Kassebaum the would call for insurance companies to stop dropping civilization when they move jobs, and stop denying coverage because that preexisting conditions. Let"s all do that. And also even as we spread savings in these programs, us must have actually a common commitment to preserve the simple protections that Medicare and also Medicaid -- not just to the poor, yet to world in working families, including children, human being with disabilities, human being with AIDS, and an elderly citizens in parenting homes. In the previous three years, we"ve saved $15 billion just by fighting health treatment fraud and abuse. We have all agreed come save much more. We have actually all agreed come stabilize the Medicare trust Fund. However we have to not give up our fundamental obligations come the world who require Medicare and Medicaid. America cannot become stronger if they end up being weaker. The G.I. Invoice for workers, taxes relief for education and also child rearing, pension accessibility and protection, accessibility to health care, preservation of Medicare and also Medicaid -- this things, in addition to the Family and also Medical leave Act pass in 1993 -- these points will help responsible, hard-working American families to make the most of their very own lives. But employers and employees have to do your part, together well, together they room doing in so many of our finest companies -- functioning together, placing the permanent prosperity ahead of the temporary gain. As workers rise their hours and their productivity, employers must make sure they gain the an abilities they need and share the benefits of the an excellent years, as well as the burdens that the poor ones. Once companies and workers occupational as a team they execute better, and also so does America. Our fourth great an obstacle is to take it our streets back from crime and gangs and also drugs. At last we have started to discover a way to alleviate crime, forming ar partnerships with regional police pressures to capture criminals and prevent crime. This strategy, called neighborhood policing, is clearly working. Violent crime is coming down all throughout America. In brand-new York City murders are down 25 percent; in St. Louis, 18 percent; in Seattle, 32 percent. However we still have actually a long way to go before our roadways are safe and also our people are totally free from fear. The Crime bill of 1994 is an important to the success of ar policing. It gives funds because that 100,000 new police in neighborhoods of every sizes. We"re already a 3rd of the method there. And also I difficulty the congress to end up the job. Let us stick v a strategy that"s working and keep the crime price coming down. Neighborhood policing additionally requires bonds of trust in between citizens and police. I ask every Americans come respect and also support our regulation enforcement officers. And to ours police, i say, our youngsters need you as duty models and also heroes. Don"t permit them down.The Brady invoice has already stopped 44,000 civilization with criminal records from buying guns. The attack weapons ban is maintaining 19 type of assault weapons the end of the hand of violent gangs. I challenge the conference to save those legislations on the books. Our next step in the fight versus crime is to take it on gangs the means we as soon as took ~ above the mob. I"m directing the FBI and also other investigative agencies to target gangs that involve juveniles in violent crime, and to look for authority come prosecute as adults adolescents who maim and also kill prefer adults. And I challenge local housing authorities and tenant associations: Criminal gang members and also drug dealers are destroying the stays of kind tenants. From now on, the dominance for occupants who go crime and peddle drugs should be one strike and also you"re out. I difficulty every state to enhance federal plan to assure that severe violent criminals serve at least 85 percent of your sentence. More police and punishment are important, yet they"re no enough. Us have gained to keep an ext of our young civilization out of trouble, with avoidance strategies not dictated by Washington, but emerged in communities. I difficulty all of ours communities, all of our adults, to provide our children futures come say correctly to. And also I an obstacle Congress no to give up the Crime Bill"s support of these grass-roots prevention efforts. Finally, to mitigate crime and violence we need to reduce the medicine problem. The difficulty begins in our homes, through parents talking to their youngsters openly and also firmly. That embraces our churches and synagogues, our youth groups and our schools. I challenge Congress not to reduced our assistance for drug-free schools. Civilization like the D.A.R.E. Officers are do a real impression on great schoolchildren the will provide them the toughness to speak no as soon as the time comes. Meanwhile, we continue our initiatives to reduced the circulation of drugs into America. Because that the last two years, one guy in particular has to be on the prior lines of the effort. Tonight ns am nominating that -- a hero that the Persian Gulf War and also the commander in chef of the unified States armed forces Southern Command -- basic Barry McCaffrey, as America"s new Drug Czar. Basic McCaffrey has earned three Purple Hearts and two silver Stars fighting because that this country. Tonight ns ask that he command our nation"s battle versus drugs in ~ home and also abroad. Come succeed, he needs a force far larger 보다 he has ever before commanded before. He needs all of us. Every one of us has actually a function to pat on this team. Give thanks to you, basic McCaffrey, because that agreeing to offer your country one much more time. Our fifth challenge: to leaving our environment safe and also clean for the following generation. Since of a generation that bipartisan effort we do have cleaner water and also air, lead levels in children"s blood has been reduced by 70 percent, toxicity emissions from factories reduced in half. Lake Erie was dead, and also now it"s a flourishing resource. However 10 million children under 12 tho live within 4 miles of a toxic waste dump. A 3rd of united state breathe air that endangers our health. And also in too plenty of communities, the water is not safe come drink. Us still have much to do. Yet Congress has actually voted to reduced environmental enforcement by 25 percent. That method more toxicity chemicals in our water, much more smog in our air, more pesticides in our food. Lobbyists because that polluters have actually been enabled to write their very own loopholes right into bills to weaken legislations that protect the health and also safety of our children. Part say the the taxpayer should pick increase the tab for toxicity waste and let polluters who deserve to afford to resolve it turn off the hook. I difficulty Congress to reexamine those policies and also to reverse them. This concern has not been a partisan issue. The most significant environmental benefit in the critical 30 years were made under a autonomous Congress and President Richard Nixon. We have the right to work together. We have actually to believe some straightforward things. Perform you believe we can broaden the economic climate without hurting the environment? ns do. Execute you think we deserve to create an ext jobs over the lengthy run by cleaning the atmosphere up? I recognize we can. That need to be our commitment. Us must difficulty businesses and also communities to take more initiative in protecting the environment, and we need to make it less complicated for castle to execute it. Come businesses this management is saying: If friend can uncover a cheaper, an ext efficient way than government regulations require to meet challenging pollution standards, perform it -- as long as you do it right. To areas we say: We should strengthen community right-to-know laws requiring polluters come disclose your emissions, but you have to use the information to work-related with service to reduced pollution. World do have actually a right to know that your air and their water room safe. Our sixth difficulty is to maintain America"s leadership in the fight because that freedom and also peace transparent the world. Because of American leadership, much more people 보다 ever before live cost-free and at peace. And Americans have known 50 years of prosperity and security. Us owe thanks especially to our veterans of civilization War II. I would prefer to say come Senator Bob Dole and also to all others in this chamber who fought in civilization War II, and to all others top top both sides of the aisle who have fought bravely in all our disputes since: ns salute your service, and also so do the American people. Almost everywhere the world, also after the Cold War, world still look to us and trust us to help them seek the blessings of peace and also freedom. But as the Cold war fades into memory, voices the isolation say America should retreat from its responsibilities. Ns say they room wrong.The risks we face today as Americans respect no nation"s borders. Think of them: terrorism, the spread of weapons of massive destruction, organized crime, medicine trafficking, country and spiritual hatred, aggression by rogue states, ecological degradation. If us fail to address these dangers today, we will experience the aftermath in all our tomorrows. The course, us can"t be everywhere. The course, we can"t do everything. But where ours interests and also our values space at stake, and where we have the right to make a difference, America need to lead. We have to not be isolationist. We have to not it is in the world"s policeman. Yet we can and should it is in the world"s an extremely best peacemaker. By keeping our armed forces strong, by using diplomacy wherein we can and force whereby we must, by working v others to share the risk and the expense of our efforts, America is do a difference for people here and around the world. Because that the first time since the dawn the the nuclear age, there is no a solitary Russian missile pointed at America"s children. North Korea has actually now frozen its danger nuclear weapons program. In Haiti, the dictators are gone, democracy has actually a brand-new day, the flow of desperate refugees come our shores has subsided. V tougher trade deals because that America -- over 80 of them -- we have opened sectors abroad, and now exports room at an all-time high, farming faster 보다 imports and also creating great American jobs. Us stood with those taking threats for peace: In northern Ireland, whereby Catholic and Protestant kids now tell your parents, violence need to never return. In the center East, where Arabs and also Jews who as soon as seemed destined come fight forever currently share knowledge and also resources, and also even dreams. And we stood increase for peace in Bosnia. Mental the skeleton prisoners, the massive graves, the project to rape and also torture, the countless lines of refugees, the risk of a spreading war. All these threats, all these horrors have actually now started to give means to the promise the peace. Now, ours troops and also a strong NATO, together with our brand-new partners from central Europe and also elsewhere, space helping that tranquility to take hold. As all of you know, i was simply there with a bipartisan conference group, and also I to be so proud not just of what our troops to be doing, yet of the proud they evidenced in what they to be doing. They knew what America"s mission in this world is, and also they were proud to be moving it out. With these efforts, we have enhanced the defense of the American people. But make no mistake around it:important challenges remain. The begin II Treaty through Russia will cut our nuclear stockpiles by one more 25 percent. Ns urge the Senate to ratify that -- now. Us must finish the race to create brand-new nuclear tools by signing a truly comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty -- this year. Together we psychic what occurred in the Japanese subway, we deserve to outlaw poison gas forever if the Senate ratifies the Chemical weapons Convention -- this year. We have the right to intensify the fight versus terrorists and organized criminals at home and also abroad if Congress passes the anti-terrorism regulation I proposed ~ the Oklahoma City battle -- now. We deserve to help much more people move from hatred to expect all across the world in our own interest if Congress offers us the way to stay the world"s leader for peace. My fellow Americans, the six obstacles I have actually just discussed are for all of us. Ours seventh challenge is yes, really America"s challenge to those of united state in this hallowed hall tonight: to reinvent ours government and make our democracy work-related for them. Last year this Congress applied to itself the laws it uses to anyone else. This conference banned gifts and also meals native lobbyists. This Congress required lobbyists come disclose that pays them and also what legislation they are trying to pass or kill. This conference did that, and I applaud you because that it. Currently I difficulty Congress come go additional -- come curb distinct interest influence in politics by passing the an initial truly bipartisan project reform bill in a generation. You, Republicans and also Democrats alike, can show the American civilization that we deserve to limit spending and open the airwaves to every candidates. I additionally appeal to conference to pass the line-item veto girlfriend promised the American people. Our management is working hard to provide the American world a federal government that works much better and costs less. Many thanks to the work-related of Vice chairman Gore, we space eliminating 16,000 pages of unnecessary rules and also regulations, shifting an ext decision-making the end of Washington, ago to states and also local communities.As we move right into the era of well balanced budgets and smaller government, we have to work in brand-new ways to permit people to make the many of their very own lives. We room helping America"s communities, not with much more bureaucracy, however with an ext opportunities. V our effective Empowerment Zones and Community advance Banks, we space helping human being to discover jobs, to begin businesses. And with tax incentives for service providers that clean up abandoned industrial property, we can lug jobs earlier to areas that desperately, desperately need them.But there space some locations that the federal government should not leave and should address and resolve strongly. Among these locations is the trouble of illegal immigration. After years of neglect, this management has take away a strong stand to stiffen the defense of our borders. We are raising border controls by 50 percent. Us are raising inspections to protect against the hiring of illegal immigrants. And tonight, ns announce ns will authorize an executive, management order come deny federal contracts come businesses the hire illegal immigrants. Allow me be an extremely clear around this: We are still a country of immigrants; we should be proud of it. We need to honor every legitimate immigrant here, working tough to become a new citizen. But we are also a country of laws.I want to speak a one-of-a-kind word currently to those who occupational for our federal government. Today our federal government is 200,000 employees smaller than it was the day i took office as President. Ours federal federal government today is the the smallest it has been in 30 years, and it"s gaining smaller every day. Most of our other Americans more than likely don"t recognize that. And there is a great reason: The remaining federal work force is composed of Americans that are currently working harder and also working smarter than ever before before, come make sure the top quality of our solutions does not decline. I"d choose to provide you one example. His surname is Richard Dean. The is a 49 year-old Vietnam veteran who"s worked for the social Security management for 22 years now. Last year the was hard at work-related in the Federal structure in Oklahoma City when the blast killed 169 people and also brought the rubble down all approximately him. The reentered that building four times. He conserved the lives of three women. He"s below with united state this evening, and also I desire to acknowledge Richard and applaud both his public service and also his extraordinary personal heroism. Yet Richard Dean"s story doesn"t finish there. This last November, the was required out that his office when the federal government shut down. And also the 2nd time the federal government shut down he ongoing helping Social protection recipients, however he was functioning without pay. On instead of of Richard Dean and his family, and all the other world who space out there functioning every job doing a great job for the American people, I difficulty all of friend in this Chamber: Never, ever shut the federal federal government down again. On behalf of every Americans, especially those who require their Social defense payments at the start of March, i also an obstacle the congress to maintain the full faith and credit of the United states -- to respect the responsibilities of this great nation together we have for 220 years; come rise over partisanship and pass a straightforward expansion of the debt limit and show civilization America keeps its word. I know that this night I have asked a the majority of Congress, and even much more from America. Yet I am confident: once Americans job-related together in your homes, your schools, their churches, your synagogues, their public groups, your workplace, they can meet any type of challenge. I say again, the era of large government is over. Yet we can"t go earlier to the era the fending because that yourself. We need to go front to the era the working together as a community, together a team, together one America, with all of us reaching throughout these lines that divide us -- the division, the discrimination, the rancor -- we have to reach across it to find typical ground. Us have obtained to occupational together if we want America to work.I desire you to accomplish two more people tonight who do just that. Lucius light is a teacher in the Jackson, Mississippi, public institution system. A Vietnam veteran, that has developed groups to help inner-city youngsters turn far from gangs and also build futures castle can think in. Sergeant Jennifer Rodgers is a police officer in Oklahoma City. Like Richard Dean, she helped to traction her fellow citizens the end of the rubble and address that awful tragedy. She reminds united state that in their an answer to the atrocity the civilization of Oklahoma City lifted all of us v their straightforward sense of decency and also community. Lucius Wright and Jennifer Rodgers room special Americans. And I have actually the honor to announcement tonight that they space the very an initial of number of thousand Americans who will be favored to carry the Olympic torch on its long journey indigenous Los Angeles to the centennial the the contemporary Olympics in Atlanta this summer -- not because they space star athletes, but since they space star citizens, neighborhood heroes conference America"s challenges. They room our real champions. Now, every of us must host high the torch of citizenship in our very own lives. None of united state can complete the gyeongju alone. We can only accomplish our destiny together -- one hand, one generation, one American connecting to another.There have constantly been points we could do with each other -- desires we might make real -- i beg your pardon we might never have actually done on our own. We Americans have actually forged our identity, our very union, indigenous every suggest of view and also every suggest on the planet, every different opinion. Yet we must be bound with each other by a faith more powerful than any doctrine that divides us -- by our id in progress, our love the liberty, and our relentless find for usual ground. America has always sought and constantly risen to every challenge. Who would to speak that, having come so far together, we will not walk forward native here? that would say that this age of opportunity is not for all Americans? Our country is and always has to be a great and great nation. But the ideal is yet to come, if we all do our part. Give thanks to you, God bless you and God bless the United says of America. Thank you.

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