U.S. President Barack Obama will lay out a new go-it-alone approach in State of the Union address on Tuesday, in an effort to bypass congressional gridlock caused by political partisanship and the competition for voters’ approval.
Among the topics expected to be addressed by the president are expanding pre-kindergarten education, income inequality, unemployment, raising the minimum hourly wage of federal contracted employees, and immigration reform.
Reuters will have live video and blog with contributions from our Washington, DC bureau. You can watch the action starting in earnest at 8:00 p.m. ET, as lawmakers, family members, and other invited guests file in to take their seats and await the arrival of the president.
The SOTU address begins at 9:00 p.m. ET.
Photo: President Barack Obama gestures as he arrives to deliver his State of the Union Speech on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 12, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed
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Critics say the closures of lanes onto the George Washington Bridge were engineered by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s staff for political retribution against the mayor of Fort Lee because the mayor declined to endorse Christie’s re-election effort in 2013.
Deputy chief of staff to New Jersey Christie, Bridget Anne Kelly, wrote an email to a Port Authority executive in August: “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” The executive, David Wildstein, replied: “Got it.”
Christie said on Thursday that Kelly was terminated from her position. Shortly after a press conference Thursday morning (part of that conference is show in the above video), Wildstein appeared and refused to give testimony in front of a state assembly transportation committee hearing on Thursday. He was voted to be in contempt of that committee.
The U.S. attorney in New Jersey will open an inquiry into the closures.
Congress approved a deal to end a partial government shutdown and pull the world’s biggest economy back from the brink of a historic default that threatened financial calamity. http://reut.rs/1fDXYz2
Obama vowed to sign the bill and begin reopening the government “immediately.” The deal, however, offers only a temporary fix and does not resolve the fundamental issues of spending and deficits that divide Republicans and Democrats. It funds the government until January 15 and raises the debt ceiling until February 7, so Americans face the possibility of another government shutdown early next year.
Photo: U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) and President Barack Obama. Taken on October 16, 2013. Photos by Kevin Lamarque and Yuri Gripas.
U.S. Senator Harry Reid says a bipartisan compromise has been reached in the Senate to raise debt limit and reopen the federal government. Senator Ted Cruz, champion of Tea Party conservatives, says he does not intend to delay passage of the deal, saying that the timing of the Senate vote will not make a difference in the outcome “so I do not intend to delay the vote.”
A deal to turn the lights back on for the U.S. federal government seems nearer. As the Senate reconvenes, lawmakers announce a deal to end the shutdown.
Watch live: http://reut.rs/PoliticsLIVE
Photo: Statue of Grief and History stands in front of the Capitol Dome in Washington, DC. REUTERS/Joshua Robert