Posted: 5:06 pm Monday, January 19th, 2015
By Jamie Dupree
As President Obama goes before Congress on Tuesday night for his annual State of the Union Address, most of what he says won’t be a big surprise, as the White House has aggressively laid out new plans in recent weeks, looking to put Republicans on the defensive with a variety of proposals.
” I’m going to focus on how we can build on the progress we’ve already made and help more Americans feel that resurgence in their daily lives, with higher wages, and rising incomes and growing our middle class,” the President said last week during a trip to Iowa.
Much has been made of the White House strategy of rolling out the basics of the President’s message before he even gives the speech.
“And I figured, why wait for the State of the Union?” the President said in a speech earlier this month. “Why stand on formalities; let’s get the ball rolling right now.”
The latest plan to be rolled out came this past weekend, as the White House released the basic details of a $320 billion tax plan, which raises taxes on the wealthy to pay for this series of new Obama initiatives.
As for Republicans, they were hoping for a President who would propose ideas with a chance of getting through the Congress – not what the GOP says are just political plans destined to go nowhere in 2015.
Many Republicans might cough a little about the title bestowed on the new tax plan by the White House: “A Simpler, Fairer Tax Code That Responsibly Invests in Middle Class Families.”
“It’s clear that President Obama and Democrats are focused on reducing the economic squeeze being felt by the middle class and those working hard to join the middle class,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).
But Republicans quickly poured cold water on the President’s tax ideas.
Has. POTUS even talked to Paul Ryan and Orrin Hatch, chairmen of tax committees, about his tax increase proposal? I didn't think so.
— JohnCornyn (@JohnCornyn) January 18, 2015
We’ll get more of the budget details about these plans in two weeks, when the President’s budget is delivered to Congress on February 2.
As for the speech, the White House also used social media this week to get out some ‘behind the scenes’ messaging directly from the President, issuing their own YouTube preview video.
It’s a reminder that not only has the State of the Union Address changed in how a President uses it, but also in how a White House can get their message out to the people – without any filter from the news media.
The President’s speech begins around 9:10 pm Eastern Time.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.