Last night, President Barack Obama delivered his sixth State of the Union Address before a joint session of the 114th Congress. Given six years to the day of his first Inaugural Address, this was his first address to a Congress under Republican control. Arguing that the “shadow of crisis has passed,” he focused the bulk of his speech on his domestic agenda for his last two years in office. As he has done in recent weeks, the President again called on Congress to find common ground on a host of issues that would help create jobs and boost wages for middle-class Americans.
Speaking on behalf of the Republican Party in the GOP address following the President’s address, Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) said there is much that can be achieved by the President and the new Republican-led Congress to create jobs, boost American manufacturing, and increase wages if the two parties work together. Bipartisan support exists in Congress for removing trade barriers, reforming the tax code, and building the Keystone pipeline, Senator Ernst noted, calling on the President to work with the new Congress to make them happen.
In this analysis, we explore three areas of potential compromise that would have significant, long-term value for the country: taxes, trade, and transportation. Seven deadlines requiring congressional action will undoubtedly have an impact on the willingness of Members to work within their own caucuses and across the aisle. We look first at the political environment in which the debate will occur, and then review those looming dates on the calendar.