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Obama Looking to Boost Popularity in State of Union Speech





U.S. President Barack Obama is looking to make a fresh start for 2014 during Tuesday night's annual State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress and the American people.

The president's approval rating has dropped to less than 50 percent with the electorate in a pessimistic mood over the economy and gridlock in Congress.

Mr. Obama is trying to bounce back from a number of controversies last year, including news about National Security Agency spying, the disastrous introduction of his health care website, and the 16-day government shutdown over the budget standoff.



The president is expected to use Tuesday's address to again ask Congress to raise the minimum wage. He plans to announce his intention to sign an executive order -- one without congressional approval -- to boost the minimum hourly pay for government contractors.

Mr. Obama also will urge the full Congress to approve an immigration reform measure that passed in the Senate last year. The bill stalled in the House of Representatives under intense opposition from conservatives.

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