Democrats applaud Obama's call for equal pay for women, as do most of the women in the House chamber. Republican women in the chamber lean down trying to get their Republican male colleagues to stand and applaud (they didn't).
"That’s why this Congress still needs to pass a law that makes sure a woman is paid the same as a man for doing the same work. " President Obama is referring to the Paycheck Fairness Act, among other bills, which was blocked by Senate Republicans last year.
Obama will propose a new tax cut of up to $3,000 per child, per year to expand access to childcare for low and middle-income families.
" It’s not a nice-to-have - it’s a must-have," he said. "It’s time we stop treating childcare as a side issue, or a women’s issue, and treat it like the national economic priority that it is for all of us."
As Obama touts the Affordable Care Act the entire Republican side of the chamber sits still and expressionless as all the Democrats stand and applaud.
"Marriage" just got a stuttered applause line from those in attendance. As a newlywed, I concur.
FACT CHECK: Obama says, "Tonight, for the first time since 9/11, our combat mission in Afghanistan is over."
Worth reminding that 1,000 more troops remained in Afghanistan this year than planned, per the president's order in late December. And their mission has been broadened this year from solely training Afghans to still being able to fight extremists, such as the Taliban.
Obama goes straight to national security and defense issues at the top. Opening line: "We are 15 years into this new century. Fifteen years that dawned with terror touching our shores; that unfolded with a new generation fighting two long and costly wars..."
Political theater inside the Capitol chamber ahead of the speech:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY., looking very pleased about his new job.
Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., chatting with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Ma. (about 2016 and the new tax plan???)
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., getting praise from everyone ahead of her last session in Congress.
Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., absent and on the injured roster. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia absent because he's throwing shade at President Obama.