Politics

Obama to head SOTU sans Beyoncé

Obama to head SOTU sans Beyoncé

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will deliver the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress that is likely to mirror his inauguration show minus the lip-syncing performance of Beyoncé.

Gun control, amnesty for illegal immigrants and a Christmas wish list of new spending proposals are expected to top the president’s agenda.

Republican leaders have chosen Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) to deliver the Republican address to the nation following the president, which will be available in English and Spanish.

The president’s list of new choices to head key agencies continues to grow: The confirmation vote of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) to be Defense secretary hit a snag last week in committee and is not expected to move forward until some new document requests from Republicans are met. Also still pending are the confirmation votes for Jacob J. Lew to replace Timothy F. Geithner as Treasury secretary, John O. Brennan to serve as CIA chief, and last week’s nomination for Sally Jewell to lead the Interior Department.

The Senate Budget Committee will turn its attention to hearings Tuesday and Wednesday on the economic outlook, and the Energy and Natural Resources Committee will examine the exportation of liquefied natural gas.

A Senate Judiciary subcommittee will examine proposals to reduce gun violence and a separate subcommittee will examine proposals for immigration reform.

Meanwhile in the House, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) says he will bring a bill for a vote to continue a two-year freeze of federal worker salaries. The bill effectively blocks Obama’s executive order awarding a 0.5 percent cost of living increase.

The House Veterans Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on honoring the commitment to veterans with mental health needs.

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