What the AP is saying
WASHINGTON (AP) — Here’s a little secret about the State of the Union address that President Barack Obama will deliver next week: He’ll give Congress a long list of requests but few likely will be approved. That’s just the reality of a politically divided government.
Congress was not in a giving mood, stalling or downright ignoring Obama legislative priorities such as gun legislation, immigration, a minimum wage hike and universal preschool. The president did better with his own to-do list, but even there the administration was still wrapping up some of his pledges just days before his 2014 State of the Union address.
Indeed, when Obama delivers his speech Tuesday before a joint session of Congress, it might sound familiar. Heavy on economic themes, the address will again appeal for action on immigration and the minimum wage, and in the event Congress once again balks, he’ll offer narrower programs that he could initiate on his own.
View from the Washington Post
President Obama will deliver his sixth State of the Union address on Jan. 28. Over the next week, The Fix is previewing Obama’s major themes and challenges in the speech, focusing on one issue a day leading up to Tuesday’s address. First up is health care.
When President Obama brings up health care during his State of the Union address on Jan. 28, he will make one issue clear (yet) again: He will defend the Affordable Care Act against any and all political attacks this year.
Unlike some other initiatives such as immigration, Obama will not ask Congress for anything, focusing instead on the law’s ongoing implementation as the top priority. While the Oct. 1 botched rollout of Healthcare.gov represented a significant blow to both the White House and Democrats more broadly (especially those on the ballot this November), the high-profile speech gives Obama the chance to tout the law’s benefits and shore up the political fortunes of the men and women who backed it.
Obama is likely to highlight the fact that more than 2.1 million Americans already have enrolled in state and federal marketplaces, as well as the expanded coverage they have now because of the law’s new requirements.
(Photo Credit: Flickr via DonkeyHotey)