Obama Will Challenge Congress In Ambitious ‘State Of The Union’ Address


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If history is any guide, President Barack Obama will reach for the stars during his State of the Union address Tuesday night. But in the end, reality will bring his plans back down to Earth.

Obama’s “blueprint” for 2012 may run into similar partisan roadblocks that trimmed his lofty hopes for last year.

Among the president’s unmet promises from last year’s address are pledges to increase investment in clean energy, take action on the status of illegal immigrants, fund new infrastructure projects, overhaul social security and let the Bush tax cuts on the highest income bracket expire.

The president submitted proposals to Congress addressing some of his 2011 pledges, including on infrastructure spending and the tax cuts , but Republicans promptly rejected those measures. On other issues, including entitlement reform, a simplification to the tax code, and addressing illegal immigration, no concrete plan from the White House ever reached Congress.

But the White House can point to some concrete achievements outlined in last year’s address. These include the passage of trade deals with South Korea, Panama and Colombia; an end to the war in Iraq; and a repeal of the “1099 provision” that was said to burden small businesses’ bookkeeping efforts relating to health care coverage.

Even before the president utters the first words of his carefully crafted 2012 speech, Republicans are sending loud signals that there will be little to applaud.



  1. “Challenge” isn’t really the word. He’s apparently planning to use the State of the Union as a kickoff for his reelection campaign, meaning that almost nothing will get done between now and November, suggest the need for a lame duck session of Congress immediately after the election to to basic things, such as pass a budget, or at least a continuing resolution.

    This makes one envy the Brits who can resolve impasses by holding a snap election on a few weeks notice, and get back to work.