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Obama plans executive action on jobs, retirement security

Updated: Monday, January 27 2014, 09:48 AM EST
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Struggling to generate second-term momentum, President Obama will use Tuesday's State of the Union address to announce new executive actions on job training and retirement security, while prodding a divided Congress to work harder on expanding economic mobility for middle class Americans.
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Obama's broad themes – described by the White House as opportunity, action, and optimism – may find some support among Republicans, who also have picked up the inequality mantle in recent months. But as Congress barrels toward the midterm elections, there’s little indication the president will win over the GOP with his legislative policy prescriptions, including a renewed push to increase the minimum wage and expand access to early childhood education.

With its grand traditions and huge prime-time television audience, the State of the Union offers Obama an opportunity to start fresh after a year where his legislative agenda stalled, his signature health care law floundered and his approval rating tumbled. The president has cast 2014 as a “year of action” but has yet to show the public how he’ll ensure that’s more than just an empty promise. Previewing the president’s remarks, White House spokesman Jay Carney said, “He’ll certainly aim high. Presidents ought to aim high.”

In keeping with tradition, Obama will travel the country to promote his agenda in the days after the State of the Union address, with stops planned in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Tennessee.Obama plans executive action on jobs, retirement security


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