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President presses for jobs and stronger middle class

Feb 13, 2013 1:00 am
The Associated Press reports in his first State of the Union address of his second terms, President Barack Obama Tues., Feb. 12, urged Congress to embrace his plans to use government money to create jobs and strengthen the nation's middle class. Obama conceded economic revival is an "unfinished task," but he claimed clear progress and said he prepared to build on it as he embarks on four more years in office. Among the highlights of the proposals the president called for in the address:
Jobs: Partner with businesses and communities to invest in American-made technologies through a network of Manufacturing Innovation Institutes. Eliminate tax breaks that encourage companies to move jobs outside the U.S.
Minimum wage: Increase the federal minimum wage, currently $7.25 an hour, to $9 in stages by the end of 2015, and allow for automatic increases to keep pace with inflation.
Gun control: Ban assault weapons and ammunition magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds, require background checks for all firearms purchases and increase access to mental health services.
Afghanistan: Withdraw 34,000 U.S. military forces, just over half the 66,000 troops still there, within a year.
Immigration: Establish a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants in the country, and streamline the immigration system for families, workers and businesses.
Women: Renew the Violence Against Women Act to help protect victims of domestic violence and help law enforcement investigate and prosecute sexual assaults.
Education: Launch a competition to help redesign and modernize high schools, and create a corps of 10,000 of the nation’s brightest science and math teachers to improve instruction in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Work with states to provide access to a high-quality preschool for all 4-year-olds from families with low or moderate incomes.
Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.
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