WASHINGTON (KRON/AP) — For the first time in his presidency, President Barack Obama will speak to a Congress controlled by Republicans. But excerpts released ahead of his State of the Union address show that he has no plans to curtail his own agenda in favor of GOP priorities.
“It’s now up to us to choose who we want to be over the next fifteen years, and for decades to come,” Obama said in excerpts released ahead of his State of the Union address.
Instead, Obama is expected to propose higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans with the revenue to be used to pay for middle class tax credits and to make community college free. But key elements of the president’s economic proposals appear unlikely to pass Congress.
The president will also be using tonight’s address to focus on setting a tone for the 2016 election and selling the story of an economy now ready to move off austerity footing.
“The verdict is clear,” excerpts say. “Middle class economics works. Expanding opportunity works. And these policies will continue to work, as long as politics don’t get in the way.”
While the economy is expected to dominate the president’s address, he will also promote his recent decision to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba and to launch a military campaign against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. In two potential areas of compromise with Republicans, he was to call on Congress to pass cybersecurity legislation and a new authorization for military action in the Middle East.
“I call on this Congress to show the world that we are united in this mission by passing a resolution to authorize the use of force against ISIL,” Obama is expected to say.