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Obama on the Road With 'State of the Union' Goals

After outlining his goals for the coming year in his State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama is on the road to promote his policy ideas.

The president began the day in suburban Washington, speaking about his call for a higher minimum wage for all American workers. He again pledged to advance his economic agenda, even without Congressional support, as he did Tuesday before Congress.



"But America does not stand still, and neither will I. So whenever and wherever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that is what I am going to do."



Mr. Obama said no one who works full time should ever have to raise a child in poverty.

Later, he travels to Pittsburgh with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, to tell steel workers about his idea for a new federally backed retirement savings account.

On Thursday, President Obama will visit a gas-engine facility near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and speak to high school students in Nashville, Tennessee.



It is a tradition for presidents to travel after delivering their annual address to Congress, pitching their legislative goals for the year ahead. Mr. Obama will explain his ideas to reform the tax code, create jobs, improve education opportunities and fund innovation.

During his speech Tuesday, the president noted an international agreement on Iran's nuclear program, saying diplomacy backed by pressure has reversed parts of the program for the first time in a decade. He emphasized he did not want lawmakers to put forth new sanctions that could derail the process.



"But let me be clear: if this Congress sends me a new sanctions bill now that threatens to derail these talks, I will veto it. For the sake of our national security, we must give diplomacy a chance to succeed. "



He also discussed the ongoing talks with the Afghan government over the future of U.S. troops beyond the 2014 planned withdrawal of international forces.



"If the Afghan government signs a security agreement that we have negotiated, a small force of Americans could remain in Afghanistan with NATO allies to carry out two narrow missions: training and assisting Afghan forces, and counterterrorism operations to pursue any remnants of al-Qaida."



Mr.Obama also urged approval of an immigration reform measure that passed in the Senate last year. The bill stalled in the House of Representatives under intense opposition from conservatives.



"Independent economists say immigration reform will grow our economy and shrink our deficits by almost $1 trillion in the next two decades. And for good reason: when people come here to fulfill their dreams - to study, to invent and contribute to our culture - they make our country a more attractive place for businesses to locate and create jobs for everyone. So let's get immigration reform done this year."



In the Republican response to Mr. Obama's speech, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state blamed the administration's policies for widening the gap between where people's lives stand now and where they want to be.

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