Sunday, December 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Obama rushes to keep last year’s promises before State of Union

By
January 28, 2014 |

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama, leading up to Tuesday’s State of the Union speech, has vowed to make 2014 a “year of action.”

His main actions so far: rushing to check off items on the to-do list from last year’s address.

This month alone, Obama announced a manufacturing hub for North Carolina, designated enterprise zones in five cities struggling with unemployment and released a list of recommendations to streamline Election Day voting.

All three were promises from his 2013 speech. As executive actions, they also provided a window on how he plans to move forward after this year’s address. After coming into office five years ago vowing to bridge differences with Republicans yet finding that difficult to do, Obama confronts a politically divided Congress unlikely to advance much of his agenda as midterm elections approach.

“His speeches have hardened since his inaugural address” after he first won the White House, said Mitchell McKinney, co- editor of the book, “Communication in the 2008 U.S. Election” and director of University of Missouri’s Political Communication Institute. “He says he wants to work together, but doesn’t give the mechanism by which that can happen.”

Obama, like his predecessors, has used State of the Union speeches to outline a legislative agenda for the coming year and paint a broad vision for the country. In previous addresses, he has recounted the nation’s climb out of the recession and outlined hurdles ahead; called for changes to U.S. immigration law; and cited China as a benchmark for academic achievement, mass transit, revamping the economy, or developing clean energy.

Obama still will be asking Congress to act. He is continuing to push for legislation to write new immigration laws, raise the minimum wage, provide universal pre-kindergarten programs and enact some of the changes he’s proposed to limit National Security Agency surveillance. His main theme will be on the economy and narrowing income inequality, which he has called the “defining challenge of our time.”

“You can expect him to be consistent with where he’s been in terms of describing his priorities,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said of speech, set for 9 p.m. Washington time on Jan. 28 to a joint session of Congress.

Republicans are honing their response by accusing Obama of breaking promises he made in past addresses and failing to acknowledge shortcomings, from the impact of the health-care law he championed to energy policy and the economy, particularly the gap between the rich and poor.

“He ought to practice his speech in the mirror and talk to himself about income inequality and look at his own horrible record,” National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in an interview.

Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state will deliver the party’s nationally televised response immediately following Obama’s speech.

Obama’s address will likely frame much of the debate for the November mid-term elections that will determine political control of Congress for his final two years in office and how much he can accomplish in his second term.

Republicans won the House majority in 2010, and the result was a stalling of the agenda Obama laid out in his State of the Union address earlier that year. After lawmakers compiled one of their least productive legislative records last year, Obama has vowed to act on his own when possible.

“Where Congress is debating things and hasn’t been able to pull the trigger on stuff, my administration is going to move forward,” Obama said Jan. 23 at the White House.
Earlier this month, Obama traveled to Raleigh, N.C., to announce the first of three “manufacturing hubs” that he proposed in last year’s speech.

Modeled on a project in Youngstown, Ohio, that transformed a shuttered warehouse into a 3-D printing lab, Obama said these hubs target towns “left behind by globalization” Competitions continue for the remaining two manufacturing institutes, which will be paid for out of existing funds.

Obama asked Congress to authorize 15 hubs, and lawmakers have yet to act on the bill.

At a separate event this month, Obama announced the designation of “promise zones” to spur development in San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Southeastern Kentucky and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, fulfilling another plan from the 2013 edition of the president’s annual address.

A third promise from last year was to start improving the voting after the 2012 election was marred by hours-long waits in Florida and other states. On Jan. 22, Obama received a report from the panel he assembled to suggest ways to shorten lines and fix other voting efficiencies.

The report supported the “steady trend” of online voter registration, said states should expand early voting and mail balloting, and urged the nation to update the certification process for new voting technology.

On the way to Raleigh for the announcement of the manufacturing hub, Carney said Obama wasn’t concerned that it has taken a year to get some of the initiatives off the ground.

“If we had announced everything in a week, you would have said it wasn’t very serious,” he said.

Bloomberg News

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Shining bright for all to see: Locals deck out yards, homes

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
The Salvation Army serves 1,000-plus across 2 days

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Blue Christmas service offers reflection, hope

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1

 
Time for annual Solano County quiz

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

State Fair scholarship applications available

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Bevy of holiday activities at Western Railway Museum

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Discovery Kingdom upgrades animal, marine mammal facilities

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Get tested, know your status

By Morgan Westfall | From Page: C4

 
 
New development fees start Jan. 1 in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

Free New Year’s celebration slated

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
A word of warning for Senator Warren

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

 
New technology chief will join McNaughton Newspapers

By Tanya Perez | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Sky-high price has VA rationing hep C drug

By Tom Philpott | From Page: B10

.

US / World

Air Force admits nuke flaws, but will fixes work?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
AP sources: Cops’ killer angry at chokehold death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Officials: Missing dog was dyed to deceive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Immigrants build document trails to remain in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California officer kills teen after machete attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
4 teens die in fiery head-on crash in Pennsylvania

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

2 dozen injured in southern Indiana bus crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Police brutality protesters rally at Mall of America

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Texas ranchers seeking alternative incomes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
North Korea proposes joint probe over Sony hacking

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

2 car bombs rock southern Sweden’s city of Malmo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Bombings kill 12 in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

US sends 4 Afghans back home from Guantanamo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Panama’s Noriega in prison 25 years post-invasion

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Burying the dead after Pakistan’s school massacre

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
A chance to breach divide for young in Cuba and US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
New school finance strategy lacks accountability

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

Season’s greetings from the Obamas

By Alexandra Petri | From Page: A8

 
Sound off for Dec. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Why celebrate Christmas?

By Noel Reese | From Page: C3

Vatican offers olive branch to US nuns

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Horoscopes: Dec. 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

Should I ask grandson why we weren’t included in wedding photos?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

Review: ‘Five’ by Ursula Archer is intriguing

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Publisher hopes to sell books through Twitter

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Chris Colfer has multi-book deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Jerry Lee Lewis: Sustained by brief blaze of glory

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Interim coaching jobs present challenges in bowls

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
49ers squander 21-point lead in 4th straight loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

New Giants 3B McGehee eager to play back home

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Eagles near elimination, fall 27-24 to Redskins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Raiders place cornerback Brown on injured reserve

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
No. 11 Lady Vols trounce No. 7 Stanford 59-40

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Big moves bring big hope for Chicago baseball

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
US skier Nyman wins Gardena downhill for 3rd time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Vonn wins women’s World Cup downhill in France

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
This date in sports history for Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Business

Your info has been hacked. Now what do you do?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
On the money: 4 ways to hold on to your cash when renting a car

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Recalls this week: Bean bag chairs, toy monkeys

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Scarecrows outnumber people in dying Japan town

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

.

Obituaries

Barbara Jean Bidstrup Braker

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Perry Michael Smetts

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Luzdivina B. Banks

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Arnold Howard Evans

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Anthony Hanson Elder

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Marian Kay Zutz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Bart Ferro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Dominic C. Scolaro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics