President Obama will unveil a set of concrete proposals in his State of the Union speech Tuesday, and as in his inaugural address last month, he's expected to sound pretty liberal. Instead of emphasizing bipartisan cooperation, as he has in speeches past, this one will be more aggressive, with a source close to the speech quoting Sun Tzu to Politico's Glenn Thrush: "Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across." This year, the speech will be written by former Ted Kennedy speechwriter Cody Keenan, who "is known for a more emotive, visceral approach" than Obama's departing speechwriter Jon Favreau. Here are some of the specific policies Obama will be emoting Tuesday night:
Fewer nukes. Obama will call for a large cut in America's number of nuclear weapons, The New York Times' David E. Sanger reports. Obama won't say a number in the speech, but the administration is considering reducing the number of deployed weapons from 1,700 to just over 1,000. A treaty with Russia that takes effect in 2018 would cut the number to 1,550, but Obama "believes that we can make pretty radical reductions — and save a lot of money — without compromising American security in the second term," a White House official said.
More pollution control. Obama will talk about reducing greenhouse gas emissions by proposing the Environmental Protection Agency regulate existing coal plants, The Wall Street Journal's Peter Nicholas and Keith Johnson report. The EPA regulates how much toxic stuff, like mercury and particulate matter, those plants dump in the air. But this would be the first time carbon emissions are regulated.
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Gun control. This will be the first time in more than 10 years that a State of the Union speech mentions gun control, Roll Call's Eliza Newlin Carney reports. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will bring a little girl and her mom from Newtown.
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Executive actions on housing, gays, hackers, and energy efficiency. Obama might mention a set of executive actions he's considering taking this week, The Washington Post's Zachary A. Goldfarb reports. These proposals would make it easier for homeowners to refinance if they have privately-backed mortgages, allow government contractors who are gay to get protections, create new standards for businesses to secure their computers from hackers, and hire federal employees to make old government buildings more energy efficient.