State of the Union 2013: Immigration Reform, Gender Equity and Fair Pay
On comprehensive immigration reform, Obama wants bipartisan action that will provide opportunities for over 11 million undocumented immigrants to move on a path towards citizenship.
"Real reform means establishing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship - a path that includes passing a background check, paying taxes and a meaningful penalty, learning English, and going to the back of the line behind the folks trying to come here legally.
And real reform means fixing the legal immigration system to cut waiting periods, reduce bureaucracy, and attract the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers that will help create jobs and grow our economy.
In other words, we know what needs to be done. As we speak, bipartisan groups in both chambers are working diligently to draft a bill, and I applaud their efforts. Now let's get this done. Send me a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next few months, and I will sign it right away."
On gender equity, Obama gave a shout-out to VP Biden for his work with the Violence Against Women Act, urging Congress to pass the Act that the Senate passed earlier today:
"But we can't stop there. We know our economy is stronger when our wives, mothers, and daughters can live their lives free from discrimination in the workplace, and free from the fear of domestic violence. Today, the Senate passed the Violence Against Women Act that Joe Biden originally wrote almost 20 years ago. I urge the House to do the same. And I ask this Congress to declare that women should earn a living equal to their efforts, and finally pass the Paycheck Fairness Act this year."
Both Obama and Romney agreed on a minimum wage tied to the cost-of-living during the election season. Obama emphasized this idea, recommending the raise in the minimum wage to $9.00 to raise the income of millions of working families.