Brace for an 'Exciting and Surprising' State of the Union Where 'Ambitious' Executive Action Takes Center Stage
“The first real answer to income inequality is to liberate the free enterprise system to create more good jobs, and that’s harder to do with the big, wet blanket of Obama administration regulations causing employers to reduce the number of jobs. During this year alone, Obamacare will cancel millions more health care policies and add new costs to employers that will cause the destruction of a great many jobs," Alexander said.
“The second real answer to income inequality is to give parents more freedom to choose a better school for their child. I’ll introduce legislation to do just that tomorrow.”
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said over the weekend that the White House is too focused on the areas in which Obama and Congress disagree.
"I'm the first to acknowledge the president and I don't agree on every issue," Paul said. "But if you took 10 issues, I think there are two or three that we agree on, and we may agree firmly on. And why don't we go after the issues that we agree on?"
Bipartisan proposals such as reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and more controversial bills such as raising the minimum wage and immigration reform could see movement this year as both parties give a little or a lot, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) predicted on MSNBC.
"There's a lot of bubbling on the Republican side, because they know if they continue to alienate the immigrant community, particularly Hispanics, but Asians and others, they'll never, never, never be the majority party. It's even gonna hurt them in taking back the Senate or keeping the House. So I think immigration has a very good chance of actually becoming law. It's not gonna be exactly everything I would want," Schumer said. "It's not gonna be everything John Boehner would want. But, on that one, I think we can make both sides happy."
He took issue with Blunt's pre-speech criticism of the president and his policies, though.
"If middle-class incomes keep declining over the next five or 10 years, we will have a different America that neither Roy Blunt nor Chuck Schumer will like," Schumer said. "So this is a very important speech, more important than most, because our whole -- the whole tectonic plates beneath our politics is pivoting.… It was the economy, stupid, in '92. It's the middle class, stupid, in 2014."
Republicans aren't the only ones wanting to hear certain things out of the president on Tuesday night.
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said Obama needs to focus on bringing jobs back to the manufacturing sector.
“This is about fighting for American workers,” Coons said. “Not just those who are long-term unemployed, who are a core concern, but those who are underemployed, and those who are working two jobs."
Coons told the Alliance for American Manufacturers on Monday that he met with Obama on Jan. 15 to make his case. “I took my five minutes to reference a great bill that Kay Hagan has dealing with skills certification; a bill that Al Franken has dealing with strengthening the role of community colleges; and sort of went around the caucus and said, ‘Mr. President, there is a bill here, a bill here, a bill here, and you’ve got real partners. These are bipartisan bills. You can elevate the visibility and trajectory of manufacturing and job creation in the State of the Union, and there is immediate progress that’s possible in this caucus and in the Senate.’ There were five different senators who spoke about manufacturing and urged the president to make some recognition of its importance.”
D.C.'s delegate to Congress wants to hear Obama give the same deferred enforcement status that he gave to DREAMers to every illegal immigrant in the country.
Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) joined five colleagues on a call with the media today to say that the administration's ongoing work in support of immigration reform is inconsistent with continuing deportations.
“The separation of families becomes even more tragic as they are ripped apart just before immigration reform,” said Norton. “Suspending deportations would equate to a cease fire just before permanent relief.”