- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
- Detroit porch shooting trial: Suspect says he didn’t know gun was loaded
Republicans say Obama can’t do much without them
Question of the Day
WASHINGTON (AP) - Congressional Republicans swiftly and sharply rejected President Barack Obama’s vow to act on his own if lawmakers won’t help him create jobs and narrow the nation’s yawning income gap, insisting he’ll accomplish little in a divided government without them.
“The authority he has doesn’t add up to much for those without opportunity in this economy,” House Speaker John Boehner said after Obama’s State of the Union address before a packed House chamber and a prime-time television audience.
“The real answer is for Obama to refocus his priorities and work with us on the things that we can achieve together to create jobs and promote greater opportunity,” he added.
Hoping to gain the political initiative, Obama summoned lawmakers to create jobs, overhaul immigration laws, combat climate change and more, and said he would act unilaterally where possible if they won’t compromise.
“America does not stand still, and neither will I,” the president declared. “So whatever and wherever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do.”
Vice President Joe Biden underscored that blunt message Wednesday as Obama prepared to take his pitch on the road, starting with visits to suburban Maryland to highlight his call for raising the minimum wage and to Pittsburgh to build support for improved retirement security.
“The president will take action where in fact he thinks it will spur action in the state or in Congress,” Biden said on “CBS This Morning. “We’re just not going to sit around and wait for the Congress if they choose not to act.”
For their part, House Republicans were departing for a two-day retreat on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Obama’s promise to wield his presidential power was certain to be part of the discussion - and so, too, ways to gain concessions from the White House in exchange for increasing the nation’s $17 trillion debt ceiling.
“Too many people are falling further and further behind because, right now, the president’s policies are making people’s lives harder,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said in the Republicans’ official response.
The State of the Union speech came at the beginning of the sixth year in Obama’s presidency and was replete with all the political pageantry that Washington can muster. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg opened her arms wide to give a grinning Obama a huge hug as he walked past her on the way to the speaker’s rostrum.
The galleries ringing the floor were crowded with guests, also part of the traditional setting. The evening’s longest - and most bipartisan - applause went to one of them. Army Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg, grievously injured by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, acknowledged the cheers from his seat next to first lady Michelle Obama.
By contrast, Obama’s mention of the health care law that bears his name brought cheers from Democrats and silence from Republicans, who have spent the past three years trying to repeal a program they loathe.
He said he didn’t expect Republicans to change their minds but challenged them to offer improvements. “If you have specific plans to cut costs, cover more people and increase choice - tell America what you’d do differently. Let’s see if the numbers add up.
TWT Video Picks
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- Obama's empty tough-talk: Gun prosecutions plummet on his watch
- House panel OKs resolution to sue president for Obamacare delays
- Conservative groups decry Democrats' 'war on women' tactic
- Obama says public not familiar enough with issues
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Astronaut shares 'saddest photo' from space: Bombs bursting over Israel, Gaza
- Doctor, 2 others shot at Pennsylvania hospital: reports
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq