President Barack Obama during Wednesday evening’s State of the Union address is poised to refresh the themes of his 2008 campaign, while introducing a smattering of new programs aimed at middle-class voters and the unemployed, according to a White House “talking points— memorandum provided to Democratic Congressional staff.
Under the title “Rescue, Rebuild, Restore — A New Foundation for Prosperity,— the memo signals that Obama will continue to lay the blame for the nation’s economic difficulties and other challenges at the foot of former President George W. Bush, while vowing to bring the “change— to Washington “that the American people want and expect.—
“The President is going to talk directly to the American people about restoring security for middle class families after a lost decade of declining wages, eroding retirement security and escalating health care and tuition costs,— the memo reads.
“The President will also speak directly to the American people and to Congress about changing the way business is done in Washington so that the American people know that their interests always come before the special interests. He’ll call for more transparency so that the public is always aware of what’s being done on their behalf.—
Obama this evening will defend his economic record amid complaints that he has focused too much on health care reform as the national unemployment rate ballooned to 10 percent.
The president plans to reaffirm his commitment to health care reform generally, but he does not intend to demand or urge any particular path forward. Both chambers have approved health care bills, but final passage has stalled over intraparty disagreements and the loss of the Senate’s supermajority vote with Republican Scott Brown’s victory to succeed the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D) in last week’s Massachusetts special election.
But heeding the call of the voters and Congressional Democrats, Obama will urge the House and Senate to pass a jobs bill that “jumpstarts private sector job creation.— According to the memo, Obama wants the bill to focus on specific points, including: investments in small businesses, green jobs and clean energy, road, bridge, rail and port projects, and policies to spur more exports of American-manufactured products.
“The President will talk to the American people about meeting the challenges that have hurt middle class families, and those who aspire to it, by building a New Foundation of prosperity for American families and businesses,— the memo reads. “While they meet their responsibilities and play by the rules, they have seen the special interests and those with political access in Washington get farther and farther ahead.—
Additionally, the memo states, Obama will propose the following:
He’ll call on Congress to pass education reforms that transform families and strengthen the country.
He’ll call on Congress to pass meaningful financial reforms that hold Wall Street accountable, makes sure no bank is ever too big to fail and provides clear rules of the road that give the American consumer the information they need to make financial decisions.
He’ll call on Congress to enact energy reform that creates the jobs of tomorrow, increases our energy independence and reduces pollution.
He’ll call on Congress to enact fiscal reform that recognizes that the deficits and debt exploded the past decade before the president took office. He’ll propose measures to deal with the costs of bringing the economy back from the brink of a depression and call on Congress to engage in the bipartisan work required to address the debt that was accumulated in the past decade.
He’ll ask Congress, Democrats and Republicans, to continue the work on health care reform. He’ll remind all Members that premiums will continue to rise, businesses will continue to drop coverage and more families will deal with insurance company abuses if we don’t act.
Meanwhile, Obama will tout his foreign policy and national security credentials, including his effort to rehabilitate the U.S. image abroad, while unveiling new proposals to protect Americans from bioterrorism and infectious disease.
The president will discuss his effort to go after al-Qaida after “inheriting— two wars, and give a progress report of the military draw-down in Iraq and his strategy to “refocus— on Afghanistan.
“The President will talk about his efforts to better protect the American people,— the memo reads.