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2012 State of the Union

Executive Actions That Might Follow State of the Union

photo of Julia Edwards
January 24, 2012

President Obama is revealing his wish list in tonight’s State of the Union Address. Republican opposition will see that most of the president’s proposals never come to fruition, but some can be enacted without Congressional approval. Pushing policy without a vote is not a new policy to Obama—he has already announced a slew of executive orders and initiatives under his “We Can’t Wait” strategy. We took a look through the goals Obama laid out in his State of the Union Address and found several actions the president may soon take alone.

Veterans Working in Public Jobs: The first lady’s “Joining Forces” initiative as well as many of the president’s own orders have been directed at curbing unemployment among veterans. A new proposal will soon connect veterans to public jobs in cities and national parks.

Community College Partnerships: Obama has long championed community colleges and commended job training programs for getting the unemployed the skills they need to get back to work. A new goal will be to place 2 million skilled workers back on the job through new partnerships between community colleges and businesses.

 

Innovation and Research Investment: In a past executive order, Obama called on specific government agencies to speed up the grant process they use to approve private firms and universities in need of government funds. While he can’t allocate more money for grants without a Congressionally-approved budget, he can continue to take burdens off the current system.

Gender-Based Wage Gap Closure: The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, already signed into law, helps women recover their pay if they receive less than their male counterparts. Obama can strengthen the law by  boosting the Equal Pay Task Force Agency. According to the White House, women still make 23 cents less on every dollar earned than their male counterparts, on average.

Resources for the Unemployed: Creating one website to address one problem is a tactic the administration has taken in many of its recent executive orders. Obama will now propose a site to connect unemployed Americans with job training opportunities and information on the insurance they may qualify for—should Congress chose to extend their benefits.

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