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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student

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Obama’s speech to tout plans for boosting economy

In tonight’s State of the Union address, advisers say President Barack Obama doesn’t plan to reshape his agenda as much as better explain and defend it.

• He’ll map a way forward for mired health care legislation, facing several options for passage. With each option deeply problematic, White House advisers continued to wrestle with that portion of the speech in particular late Tuesday. Obama planned to acknowledge that the long, messy health care debate has soured many on the idea and try to make a far-reaching overhaul relevant and attractive again to voters. “We have to move forward in a way that recaptures that sense of opening things up more,” he told ABC.

• He’ll talk about why he thinks the nation’s future economic health also depends on reshaping financial industry regulations to place tighter rules on Wall Street, another immediate domestic priority. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama will detail “what he would find acceptable on that.”

• He’ll renew his call for immigration reform, a volatile issue once considered a first-year priority but lately sent to the back burner. Obama is expected to prod Congress to craft a plan to tighten the Mexican border, crack down on businesses exploiting undocumented workers and resolve the status of roughly 12 million illegal immigrants.

• He will give specifics on how he believes Washington’s combative, partisan, gridlocked ways can be changed.

Other issues expected to get a mention are:

•A record $8.8 billion in federal funding in the next fiscal year to help military families with child care, counseling, financial services and other programs, a top priority for first lady Michelle Obama.

•The president’s campaign promise, as yet unfulfilled, to lift the ban on gays serving openly in the military.

•A new plan for a better and quicker response to bioterrorism threats.

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