WASHINGTON, D.C.- The world is digesting an assertive State of the Union address by President Barack Obama on Tuesday night. He focused on bringing troops home, reducing the nation's deficit and changing gun laws in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting.
President Obama called on Congress to come together to find a solution, emphasizing his recovery programs won't add to the deficit. He also said it's not bigger government we need, just a smarter one. He said he'll bring nearly half of U.S. troops in Afghanistan home, by this time next year, around 34,000.
Gun laws, of course were a main theme. The president, along with victims of gun violence, said Congress owes them a gun bill.
"They deserve a vote. Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote," said President Obama.
In the Republican response, Florida Senator Marco Rubio cautioned against higher taxes.
"There's no realistic tax increase that could lower our deficits by almost $4 trillion. That's why I hope the president will abandon his obsession with raising taxes and instead work with us to achieve real growth in our economy," said R-Florida Senator Marco Rubio.
President Obama will take his message on the road with campaign-style appearances in three states, beginning Wednesday.
Central Coast News also decided to fact check the address through a conversation with Facebook friends. Thomas Jimenez asked us about the president's discussion on raising minimum wage: "Didn't he already raise the minimum wage? Or was it raised but not to $9?"
Here's part of what the president had to say on minimum wage:
"Since the last time this Congress raised the minimum wage, 19 states have chosen to bump theirs even higher. Tonight let's declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty," said President Obama.
The U.S. Department of Labor raised the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour in 2009. The president said he plans raise the national minimum to $9.00 an hour over the next three years. Right now, California's sits at $8.00 an hour. President Obama said it's part of a plan to boost the country's economy and cut the deficit.
Christian Alex Aparicio, said: "Why didn't he really speak about an immigration reform?"
Here's part of what the president had to say on immigration:
"Our economy is stronger when we harness the talents and ingenuity of striving, hopeful immigrants and right now leaders from the business, labor, law enforcement and faith communities agree," said President Obama.
President Obama said anyone who wants to take the responsible path to becoming an American citizen, deserves an expedited system, that doesn't make them wait years. He said encouraging immigrants to come here will improve our economy because if they find a job here, they'll spend money here. President Obama also said putting more law enforcement on the ground around the southern borders will prevent immigrants from coming over illegally.