President Obama Gives Final State of the Union Address

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President Obama Primarily Used the Address to Take on his Critics

President Barack Obama gave his 8th and final State of the Union address, and attacked the Republicans running for president numerous times, saying anyone who said America’s economy was in decline was “peddling fiction”.  He went on to say, “The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth. Period.  It’s not even close.”

Overall, the speech took 58 minutes 44 seconds, the second shortest of his speeches.  Among the guests present were presidential candidates Bernie Sanders, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul, a community college student and the CEO of Microsoft.  It was also Paul Ryan’s first State of the Union address as Speaker of the House.

House of Representatives Votes to Restrict Syrian Refugees

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The House of Representatives has voted 289-137 for a bill that will restrict refugees coming into the United States from Syria and Iraq.  The White House has vowed to veto any bill, but the margin the vote passed by is wide enough to override any potential veto.  However, the bill still has to pass the Senate.

The bill is the first legislative response to the Paris attacks.  Fears of a terrorist attack by an ISIS militant posing as a refugee to enter the country have caused reluctance to accept refugees into the United States.  47 Democrats sided against the White House and voted for the bill.

Paul Ryan Elected Speaker of the House

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Paul Ryan Receives the Gavel From Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

John Boehner unsurprisingly cried through his last speech on the House floor as Speaker of the House, before Paul Ryan was elected his successor.  Ryan received 236 votes, 18 more than was necessary.  Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi finished second with 184 votes, while Florida Congressman Daniel Webster was the runner-up among Republicans with 9 votes.

After Ryan was announced as the new Speaker, a swearing-in ceremony soon took place.  Ryan’s 2012 running-mate, former Republican nominee Mitt Romney was in attendance.  In his speech, Ryan paid tribute to Boehner, who is leaving Congress after 24 years.

Paul Ryan Says He’ll Be Speaker, But Only On His Terms

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Rep. Paul Ryan Also Heads the House Ways and Means Committee

Representative Paul Ryan, a former Vice-President candidate in 2012, has announced that he will consider taking the job of Speaker of the House.  However, he said it would be on his terms and only if he had assurance that the caucus would united behind him.

Before his announcement, Rep. Ryan met with House Freedom Caucus, the group that helped push John Boehner out of the Speaker position and caused Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to give up on succeeding him.  According to members who were present, the meeting ended without any definite commitments.

Romney Announces Paul Ryan As VP

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Paul Ryan Was Elected To The House Of Representatives At Only 28

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has unveiled Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential candidate.  Ryan is famous for being an economic whiz, and is the chairman of the House of Representatives budget committee.  At only 42, Ryan would be among the youngest vice-presidents of all time if the campaign is successful.

Not long after Romney announced Ryan was his choice as running mate in front of a large in Virginia, the attacks began.  The Obama campaign said Ryan stood for “flawed” economic ideas, and would only repeat “catastrophic” mistakes.  Conservatives praised the choice as a bold and wise decision.