In his State of the Union address to the nation Tuesday, President Obama laid out an agenda for his second term. The President was back on the road bright and early the next morning, visiting U.S. towns to talk about the goals he set the night before. In Asheville, North Carolina, he spoke with factory workers about raising the minimum federal wage. In Decatur, Georgia, on Thursday, he visited a preschool classroom to discuss the need for early public education. These are the kind of trips the President made in his campaign, and we will likely see many more of these in coming weeks, as he gets to work on his second-term goals.
The big question after hearing President Obama’s address Tuesday is how he will go about juggling so many lofty goals. With Congress still deeply divided, and many issues to tackle, the President is facing a long road ahead. We will talk Sunday about the most pressing tasks Washington faces – here’s some of what we are looking at this week.
Hagel nomination up in the air: Following unsuccessful efforts to reach a compromise on Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel, members of the Senate voted Thursday afternoon to try and stop a filibuster on his nomination, but were unable to reach the 60 vote threshold. Republicans raised doubts over the nomination as questions surfaced on Hagel’s finances and the administration’s refusal to release details on the president’s actions the night of the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Hagel’s nomination will likely be put off until after the Senate’s recess next week, when only a simple majority of 51 votes will be required.
Pres. calls for raise in minimum wage: In his State of the Union address, Obama said he found “an idea that Governor Romney and I actually agreed on” – tying the minimum wage to the cost of living. He proposed raising the federal minimum wage to $9.00 per hour from the current rate of $7.25, a plan he says will help working families – especially those living below the poverty line. Some economists, however, argue that in our still-fragile economy, bumped-up wages could ultimately cut jobs for low-wage workers. For many families, this may bring more struggles instead of boosting their economic situation if the legislation were to go through.
Make sure to check back on Friday for our full Rundown and don’t forget to tune in Sunday at 9am & Noon ET.