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Soldier’s Story Moves President, Schneider

President Obama brought Congress to its feet with the tale of a wounded warrior at the end of his State of the Union address, but the members lauded the soldier before the President arrived.

Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Deerfield) with his guest for the State of the Union Address Estefania Garcia of Highwood, in his Washington office before leaving to hear the President's speech. Photo courtesy of Office of Congressman Brad Schneider.
Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Deerfield) with his guest for the State of the Union Address Estefania Garcia of Highwood, in his Washington office before leaving to hear the President's speech. Photo courtesy of Office of Congressman Brad Schneider.

After offering an agenda to boost the middle class in his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama brought a joint session of Congress to its collective feet today in Washington with the story of an Army Ranger severely wounded in Afghanistan.

The President first called on Congress to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour after promising an executive order to the same where he could. He implored the members of pay women equally as men for the same work. He asked for job training so people can have skilled jobs to lift them out of poverty.

Applause did not come from all members when he made those suggestions as well as talking about people helped by the Affordable Care Act, but when he told the story of Sgt. First Class Cory Remsburg, everyone exploded in unison with respect to the soldier’s embodiment of American values.

“Cory Remsburg never gives up and he does not quit,” the President said. “Men and women like Cory remind us that America has never come easy. Sometimes we stumble; we make mistakes; we get frustrated or discouraged.  But for more than two hundred years, we have put those things aside and placed our collective shoulder to the wheel of progress – to create and build and expand the possibilities of individual achievement.”

Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Deerfield) was one of the people cheering when the President finished praising Remsburg’s grit. That was not the first time of the evening Schneider and his colleagues gave Remsburg a standing ovation.

“When we saw him enter the room, even before the President was there, he got a standing ovation, before anyone knew his story,” Schneider said. Seeing a wounded member of the military was enough.

The North Shore Congressman felt Remsburg personified much of the President’s call to action. “It’s going to take hard work to fix the economy or pass immigration reform,” Schneider said. “If we can find common ground we can make a lot of progress.”

When the President asked Congress to increase the minimum wage, he made a simple argument. “No one who works full time should ever have to raise a family in poverty,” he said. He challenged the members on wage earned by women as well. “They (women) still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns.”

Schneider voted in favor of raising the minimum wage and is a cosponsor and supporter of legislation to ensure paycheck fairness. He echoed the President’s reasoning on the minimum wage and equal pay for equal work. “Two people doing the same work should receive the same wage and pay,” Schneider said.

The President also called for job training which will help Americans find higher paying employment. “I’ve asked Vice President (Joe) Biden to lead an across-the-board reform of America’s training programs to make sure they have one mission: train Americans with the skills employers need, and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now,” the President said.

When it comes to job training to prepare people to move into the middle class with skilled jobs, Schneider has already introduced legislation to foster that effort with his America Works Act and  Learning Education Achieving and Retraining for the Nation Act (LEARN). He is thrilled Biden will be leading the effort and hopes he can help build support of both Republicans and Democrats.

“They (his two bills) have bipartisan support,” Schneider said. “I’ve been working very hard with Republicans to build support and I will continue to do that.” He considers passing legislation to spur the economy and with it job growth along with immigration reform key issues for the rest of the Congressional session.

Sal January 29, 2014 at 03:54 AM
Obey the Constitution.
McCloud January 29, 2014 at 01:46 PM
Can't wait to see that spur in the economy after passing LEARN in a bi-partisan fashion. The only problem is the spur will be located right up the taxpayer's a$$.
Pat Craig January 29, 2014 at 03:24 PM
More offensive and inexcusable than anything else in this year’s SOTU, Obama used the courage and sacrifice of a wounded warrior, Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg, as a metaphor for his political agenda. In doing so, he disgraced every current and former American Patriot. Government creates nothing, it just takes away from those who do.
Dan Cox January 29, 2014 at 04:07 PM
Schneider praise those who fight and sacrifice, then goes to work on destroying the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. While or men and women fight and die to preserve and protect our Constitution, this bureacrat is hard at work to dismantle it, pioece by piece! Only the socialist minded Northshore residents could elect such a two-face politician! Just like their Rep. Scott Drury and Senator Julie Morrison. Tyrannical minded bureacrats unworthy of the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform.
Mary Beth January 29, 2014 at 04:53 PM
I see the party of no, obstructionism & fear mongering has come out in force. I was going to add inaction but just last night NY Repub Congressman Grimm threatened to kill a reporter on camera for asking about campaign finances. Kind of embodies that angry in your face defiance and the law be damned. Sgt 1st Class Remsburg knows the meaning of honor & integrity, something the GOP is sadly lacking.
Dan Cox January 29, 2014 at 04:57 PM
Mary Beth, No mention of Schneider having honor or integrity... Hmmm.
McCloud January 29, 2014 at 05:23 PM
Didn't see the speech last night. Did he brag about the 7% unemployment rate as a possible legacy? Did he win the war on women?
Sal January 29, 2014 at 06:38 PM
Defenders of the last 6 years are the real danger to our nation. Only a fool or a traitor would condone let alone praise our current leadership. Shame in you Mary beth. You and the DNC are the problem and will be stopped.
Carl Castrogiovanni January 29, 2014 at 06:39 PM
Mary Beth, Pot. Kettle. Black. Obama and the Dems had a super-majority for two years, but they squandered it on the epic fail that is ObamaCare. The Repubs don't have the power to thwart the Dems, so you guys need to get some new material - this "party of no" meme is really stale. Reagan got things done with an opposition Democrat Congress because he actually knew how to lead. Everything Obama, Reid, Pelosi do and say is divisive. You Dems own your failures - stop making excuses.
Sal January 29, 2014 at 06:44 PM
Obama as well as all individuals in power anywhere need to begin obeying our Constitution immediately or they will be removed from officd. You have a pen and a phone...we have tar and feathers.
Thomas Breyfogle January 29, 2014 at 08:52 PM
Congressman Grimm stole the show when he threatened to throw a reporter off the balcony. Also, his ex-girlfriend was arrested for campaign finance fraud: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/14/michael-grimm-diana-durand_n_4595691.html
RC January 29, 2014 at 10:56 PM
WOW we have found the one person that actually watches MSNBC. Congratulations Mary Beth
Sal January 30, 2014 at 08:06 AM
No politician is above our Constitution. Democrat, Republican, Independent. All sides have failed America. Unfortunately Dems picked up where Bush left off and fast forwarded the spiral downward. Don't deflect, deny, and don't try to defend Obama's failed policies. We have had enough. Everyone needs to read the Constitution and demand those in office obey it to the letter.
Sean G. January 30, 2014 at 08:08 AM
The only thing that moves these two Constitution trampling baboons is the ultimate war on women with late term abortions.
Sean G. January 30, 2014 at 08:19 AM
Pffft. Honor and integrity Mary Beth? You mean like Mr. Obama honoring our vets by closing down and barricading the WWII open park memorial? Integrity, like Mr. Obama's repeated statements over years of you like your health insurance you can keep your health insurance period. As Ronald Reagan said - it isn't so much that Mary Beth is ignorant, it just that she knows so many things that just aren't so.
Thomas Breyfogle January 30, 2014 at 12:51 PM
"As Ronald Reagan said - it isn't so much that Mary Beth is ignorant, it just that she knows so many things that just aren't so." How about some more integrity with your citations, bro.

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