President Bush Delivers State of the Union Address (2007)





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Published on Apr 10, 2012


January 23, 2007

The 2007 State of the Union address was a speech given by United States President George W. Bush on Tuesday, January 23, 2007, at 9:13 P.M. EST. The speech was given in front of a joint session of Congress, presided over by Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Dick Cheney in his capacity as President of the Senate. It was the first address to a Democratic-controlled Congress since 1994.

Furthermore, the speech marked the second time that a Democrat sat behind President Bush during a joint session of Congress and the first time at a State of the Union address. Traditionally, the Speaker of the House and the Vice President (the President of the Senate) are the only individuals on the rostrum with the President. However, in a joint session of Congress on September 20, 2001, following the September 11 attacks nine days earlier, president pro tempore Robert Byrd, a Democrat, took the place of Vice President Cheney, who was at an undisclosed location. As the first female Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi is also the first woman in American history to stand on the podium during a State of the Union address.

President Bush began his address by recognizing new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:
"And tonight I have a high privilege and distinct honor of my own as the first president to begin the State of the Union message with these words: Madam Speaker."

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was not present because traditionally a member of the President's cabinet, a designated survivor, does not attend in order to ensure presidential succession in the event of an emergency. Only four Supreme Court Justices attended the speech: Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito, and Anthony Kennedy. Senator Tim Johnson and Congressman Charlie Norwood were not present because of serious health problems, but were acknowledged with applause. Johnson recovered and returned to work by September, while Norwood died on February 13, 2007.

Bush placed emphasis on balancing the federal budget, eliminating excessive earmarks, changing the tax code to replace the existing business tax exemption to workers health insurance premiums with a new personal health insurance deduction, providing health care for needy individuals, and expanding health savings accounts. Bush supported "laws that are fair and borders that are secure" in regards to immigration, suggesting a temporary worker program, stating that, "[a]s a result, they won't have to try to sneak in." He suggested resolving the status of current illegal residents "without animosity and without amnesty."

Bush said the United States has been dependent on foreign oil for too long, and that this chances placing it in hostile situations. Bush asked Congress to work to reduce gasoline usage in the U.S. by 20 percent over the next ten years, and recommended research into alternative fuels. He asked Congress to "double the current capacity" of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. In what appears to be a change of stance, Bush made a connection between energy policy and climate change: "America is on the verge of technological breakthroughs that will enable us to live our lives less dependent on oil. And these technologies will help us be better stewards of the environment, and they will help us to confront the serious challenge of global climate change." Bush specifically named plug-in hybrid vehicles as part of his "advanced energy initiative" to help end the U.S. "addiction to oil."

Bush asked Congress to give future federal court nominees a "fair hearing", and a "prompt up-or-down vote on the Senate floor."

In the realm of education, he asked Congress to renew the No Child Left Behind Act and consider school vouchers, although he never mentioned vouchers by name.


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