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Obama To Tell Congress Lifting Cuba Embargo Is The Right Thing To Do - Yahoo News

Leahy and Durbin - along with Sen Debbie Stabenow , D-Mich., Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse , D-R.I., Rep Christopher Van Hollen, D-Md., and Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt. - arrived Saturday to meet with Cuban officials, dissidents, and everyday citizens, and hear what they envision normalization to mean in their lives. After the State of the Union address, Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson arrives in Havana to negotiate the reopening of the U.S.
Source: http://news.yahoo.com/obama-tell-congress-lifting-cuba-embargo-thing-191329684.html

Obama's 'real' SOTU goal: Embarrass the Republicans - Yahoo News

Fifty percent say they approve of the job Obama's doing as president, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll released on Monday. That's the best Obama's fared since the spring of 2013, and it's the latest in a string of surveys showing Obama's ratings inching up, including a CNN/ORC poll from late December showing Obama at a 20-month approval high . Obama's State of the Union wades into 2016 Improving economic conditions have finally triggered more optimism in the country, the surveys show, though many Americans still say the nation's financial state is poor. Even as more people feel the benefits of a resurgent economy, there's still a persistent sense among Americans that it's not improving fast enough. The Washington Post/ABC poll out Monday showed 56% of Americans felt the country was on the wrong track - an improvement from the 70% who felt that way in 2013, but still reflective of a majority who aren't seeing much to crow about in the economic recovery. That gloom is part of the reason Democrats fared so poorly in November's midterm elections - and why Obama's address on Tuesday will be delivered to the first GOP-majority Congress of Obama's presidency.
Source: http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/19/politics/obama-popular-state-of-the-union/index.html

Obama's speech strategy: Put GOP on the back foot on taxes

The annual speech, the most important in the US political calendar, comes two years to the day of his scheduled departure from the White House in 2017, and the American president does not have an easy road ahead of him. Tuesday will mark the first time since his election in 2008 that Obama will address a Congress whose two houses are entirely controlled by his Republican adversaries. "Im not going to spend the next two years on defense; Im going to play offense," a defiant Obama told Senate Democrats, according to comments reported by the website Politico. His credo: It's time for Americans to benefit from the country's economic growth after years of decline. Unemployment has fallen below six percent, check this out the lowest numbers in over a decade.
Source: http://news.yahoo.com/obama-faces-republican-held-congress-state-union-064909657.html

Obama heads into State of the Union on ratings uptick - CNN.com

None of Obama's proposalsfrom a hike in the capital gains rate to a tax on the 100 largest banks to free community collegeis likely to become law in a GOP Congress. But they will put pressure on Republicans to address inequality through something other than just across-the-board tax cuts that also benefit the already very wealthy. How Republicans deal with this issue will be a major theme of the 114th Congress and the 2016 presidential campaign. There remains an outside shot that the two parties could agree on some form of corporate tax reform in 2015. But it will be hard for Republicans to push an overall cut in the top rate of 35 percent without adding elements that would benefit working families, particularly if Obama continues to gain ground politically with his latest populist push. Read More Progressive Democrats and the 2016 conundrum If Republicans decide they need to cut a deal, some of what Obama proposes Tuesday night could find its way into a tax reform package.
Source: http://www.cnbc.com/id/102350999

Obama aide: Our 'strong logic' for rich tax hikes

All youve done is really antagonize the Republicans who see this for what it is. And I think you even further diminish the chances of getting anything done in the next two years. It's not just about what the President will say tonight that will hamper Congress in 2015 and 2016. Valliere points to "divisions within both parties." The GOP is dealing with the Tea Party hardline. There are differences among Democrats as well, says Valliere, as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid have spoken out against a free trade deal that President Obama supports. Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App Of course, there is always a chance for some reaching-across-the-aisle rhetoric tonight. Valliere says the President may make a push for the "war on terror," for example, or cater to Republicans by discussing free trade. But don't expect that to extend very far - especially not to the realm of taxes. And that's not a good thing, as far as Valliere is concerned: This proposal from the President is so blatantly partisan.
Source: http://news.yahoo.com/-state-of-the-union--2016-campaign-starts-now-161616245.html

Obama faces Republican-held Congress for State of the Union - Yahoo News

He appeared on " Squawk Box " ahead of President Barack Obama's evening State of the Union addressin which the president plans to propose an increase in taxes on the wealthiest Americans and a fee on large, highly leveraged financial firms to pay for tax cuts for the middle class. Obama is expected to push a plan to increase taxes by $320 billion over 10 years on the wealthy by closing tax loopholes. The White House said the proposed fee on the biggest financial companies would make it more costly for them to borrow heavily. Read More Obama to focus on middle class in State of the Union "There's an awful lot of your viewers that over and over again said, 'If we'd only done Bowles-Simpson look at the shape we'd be in.' Bowles-Simpson proposed exactly these rates, exactly this structure on capital gains," Furman said. Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson unveiled a plan in late 2010 to cut the nation's ballooning budget deficit. It was never was implemented but often praised on both sides of the aisle.
Source: http://www.cnbc.com/id/102350604

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