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Archives for January 1995

President Bill Clinton’s 1995 State Of The Union Address

President Bill Clinton delivered his second State of the Union Address to a joint sitting of Congress on January 24, 1995.

Following the 1994 mid-term elections, the Congress was controlled by the Republican Party for the first time since 1954. Newt Gingrich had assumed the position of Speaker of the House.

Clinton’s speech is widely regarded as one of the most conservative ever delivered by a Democratic president. It came in the aftermath of the failed attempt to reform health care, a program that the First Lady, Hillary Clinton, had overseen.

  • Listen to Clinton’s Address (88m)
  • Watch Clinton’s Address (88m)

Twenty-Two Years Later…

February 5, 2017: Over two decades after Clinton delivered this speech, it was seized upon by the Trump administration and its supporters to justify the new president’s immigration policies. They drew upon one paragraph of the speech:

  • Listen to Clinton’s comments on immigration (1m)

“All Americans, not only in the states most heavily affected but in every place in this country, are rightly disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering our country. The jobs they hold might otherwise be held by citizens or legal immigrants. The public service they use impose burdens on our taxpayers. That’s why our administration has moved aggressively to secure our borders more by hiring a record number of new border guards, by deporting twice as many criminal aliens as ever before, by cracking down on illegal hiring, by barring welfare benefits to illegal aliens. In the budget I will present to you, we will try to do more to speed the deportation of illegal aliens who are arrested for crimes, to better identify illegal aliens in the workplace as recommended by the commission headed by former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. We are a nation of immigrants. But we are also a nation of laws. It is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws we have seen in recent years, and we must do more to stop it.”

Prepared transcript of President Bill Clinton’s 1995 State of the Union Address.

Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, members of the 104th Congress, my fellow Americans: Again we are here in the sanctuary of democracy, and once again our democracy has spoken. So let me begin by congratulating all of you here in the 104th Congress and congratulating you, Mr. Speaker. [Read more…]