President Obama Tells Congress: You Are Either a Help or a Hindrance

January 29, 2014

Last night, President Barack Obama delivered his fifth State of the Union, discussing three key elements needed to make America more prosperous: opportunity, action and optimism. Touching upon unemployment, our broken immigration system and equality for women, Obama delivered a powerful speech with some choice words for Congress and their delay tactics.

SEE: Obama’s 2014 State of the Union Address (The Washington Post)

Obama recognized that America is thriving because of her citizenry; yet, in a divided Congress, government continues to hinder, not help Americans. The opportunity for Americans to thrive and succeed is at a pivotal moment with the lowest unemployment rate in years and a deficit cut by more than half. Business leaders are once again declaring America as being the best place to invest in rather than China.

This is indeed a year of actions; however, with a rancorous argument over the size of government and the congressional clash succumbing to a shutdown, our government did not do right by the American people.

This nation was built on principles that hard work and responsibility can open the door for opportunity for all Americans. However, inequality has deepened and upward mobility has stalled. Like the President stated, it is good for America when a woman’s salary equals that of a man’s, and when we focus on fixing a broken immigration and health care system. Comprehensive immigration reform will increase our economy by $1.4 trillion and shrink our deficit. Our efforts to improve this country at a faster rate have been exhausted with a divided Congress that hinders opportunities for prosperity for the American people.

Where there is opportunity, there is action. American citizens can do well and rebuild this country if our government backs efforts based on the ideals of our Founding Fathers. One of those ideals is maintaining our privacy while upholding national security. We are committed to working with the President on reforming current surveillance programs that violate Americans’ privacy and erode trust in government.

This State of the Union was an honest self-critique of our dependence on military force. For too long, we have focused on the power of our military; now is the time to ensure our strong diplomatic and civilian corps acts as an example to the international community.

It was with our diplomacy that Iran has halted progress on their nuclear program, that the Israeli-Palestinian peace process can be reignited to find a just solution to the conflict and that Syrians will usher in a new era free from a dictator and terror. In a rare moment for U.S. contemporary politics, a sitting President of the United States declared in the State of the Union address that there must be a Palestinian state. For U.S. credibility to be regained in the international arena, we must give diplomacy a chance here at home and work together to urge Congress to lift restrictions on Guantanamo Bay prisoner transfers and close the military facility.

The President was optimistic and hopeful that these issues, and more, will be taken care of. While all Americans are working hard to be part of the solution for a better America, let us not forget that our nation’s strength lies in its diversity. American Muslims are heavily invested in working for a better America in all industries from technology to entrepreneurship to active citizenship. By next year’s State of the Union, we too are optimistic and would also like to see more American Muslims sitting around the policy-making table and in high-level political positions to ensure a better, more well-rounded America.



View All


Help us continue our work with a quick
one-time or monthly donation.