Obama’s 2013 State of the Union proposals: What flopped and what succeeded

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from The Washington Post,

Every president announces a slew of initiatives in his State of the Union address. Here, in order of delivery, is a summary of the key proposals, pledges or priorities announced by President Obama a year ago — and what happened to them.

In general, Obama’s success rate has been relatively poor since Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in 2011. In 2013, Obama had only four wins out of 23 proposals checked, for a batting average of .174. (If we exclude the five “in the works” proposals, the batting average rises to .222.) To see how Obama has fared in previous years, click these links: 2012, 2011, 2010.

Obama:Let’s set party interests aside and work to pass a budget that replaces reckless cuts with smart savings and wise investments in our future. And let’s do it without the brinksmanship that stresses consumers and scares off investors.

Completed: Congress finally passed a budget plan and then an annual spending bill — although it took one more round of brinkmanship. The government shut down for 16 days in an impasse over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The experience so scarred lawmakers in both parties that they were able to come together and soften some of the automatic spending cuts in the sequester. We’ll rate this as completed, although it certainly did not happen as smoothly as the president had wished.

Obama:I urge this Congress to get together, pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago. But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will.

Completed: No legislative action was taken, but the Environmental Protection Agency did propose new limits on greenhouse gas emissions at new power plants, and pledged to propose rules for existing power plants in 2014. He also ordered the federal government to triple its use of renewable sources of energy by 2020. So we will mark this as completed.

Obama:Today, the Senate passed the Violence Against Women Act that Joe Biden originally wrote almost 20 years ago. And I now urge the House to do the same.

Completed: Two weeks after the State of the Union speech, the House, in a 286 to 138 vote, adopted a re-authorization and expansion of the law that brought gays, lesbians and transgender people, Native Americans and immigrants under its protections.

Obama:I’m announcing a nonpartisan commission to improve the voting experience in America. And it definitely needs improvement. I’m asking two long-time experts in the field — who, by the way, recently served as the top attorneys for my campaign and for Governor Romney’s campaign — to lead it. We can fix this, and we will. The American people demand it, and so does our democracy.

Completed: The commission delivered its report just last week, so we will count that as completed.

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