Obama to Present Final Agenda

Obama to Present Final Agenda

President Barack Obama will present an agenda for his final year in office and beyond on Tuesday in his last State of the Union address, aimed at generating support for a Pacific trade pact, tighter gun laws and closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison.
Scheduled for 9 p.m. (0200 GMT on Wednesday), the speech to a joint session of Congress will be one of Obama's few remaining chances to capture and hold the attention of millions of Americans before he is eclipsed by his would-be successors, Reuters reported.
Politics will loom over the address. He is expected to stick to legacy themes and steer clear of new legislative proposals that his fellow Democrats on the presidential campaign trail are laying out.
Aides said he would offer a more optimistic view of the US standing, compared with the dire assessments put forth by Republican presidential hopefuls.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest on Monday blamed an "avalanche of negativity" from Republican candidates for polls that show many Americans see the country as on the wrong track.
"The president sees this as an opportunity to talk to the country bluntly about the challenges that we face and the opportunities that are there for the taking," Earnest said.
Obama is likely to tout the Iran nuclear deal and improved US-Cuba relations as achievements, while urging Congress to back criminal justice reform, support the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact and close the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
He will also likely discuss the US fight against the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group, which has generated criticism from Republicans as being too meager.

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