State of the Union 2015


State of the Union 2015

Information about President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday, Jan. 20, as well as the local traffic and events surrounding the speech.

  • Analysis: Obama seizes on recovery, bets on staying power

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address marked a sweet spot in his presidency when economic signs and his own personal approval are on the rise. He made sure to capitalize, taking credit for policies he said raised the country out of its recession.

    But sweet spots are by definition fleeting — moments in time that can just as quickly sour.

    Tuesday’s speech capped a remarkably activist 11 weeks since Obama suffered the humiliation of Democratic losses that gave Republicans control of both chambers of Congress. But this was not a lessons-learned address. Instead, Obama drew lines in the sand that cautioned against Republican overreach. And while he offered a nod to bipartisanship on issues such as trade, he pushed a traditional Democratic economic agenda of tax increases for the rich, expanded paid leave for workers and increased aid for education.


  • The text of the Republican response in English as delivered by Sen. Joni Ernst, and a video of the Spanish-language response by Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida, here.
  • The White House has released the prepared text of the State of the Union Address, and in a reversal of custom, they have allowed the media to disseminate it freely.

    Read the full text here.
  • 8 who wrote Obama letters to attend State of Union

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Who says it doesn’t pay to send a letter to the president of the United States?

    It paid off for eight people from around the country who shared with President Barack Obama stories of how his policies helped them overcome personal hardship. The White House invited all eight to sit with first lady Michelle Obama when Obama delivers the State of the Union address Tuesday night.

    They are among 22 people the White House invited to attend the speech.


  • There’s a State of the Union Watch Party for almost all political stripes

    WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address to Congress at 9 p.m. Tuesday, and if you're looking for a State of the Union watch party, we've put together a list.

  • For those keeping score at home: SOTU bingo!

    WASHINGTON — If you’d like to stay at home to watch the State of the Union, there’s still a way to create a feeling of community.

    Let’s face it — in some ways, the addresses are rarely terribly different from year to year, even president to president. So a few groups and publications have put together their own version of State of the Union bingo. Some have even turned the exercise of tracking down the inevitable clichés into a drinking game.

    Get the links for bingo and drinking games on

  • Road closures ahead of State of the Union

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address on Jan. 20 will create some road closures and restricted areas.

    On Tuesday, U.S. Capitol Police will have closures starting at 7 p.m. ahead of the 9 p.m. address. Get the full list of road closures and emergency parking enforcement on

    Courtesy USCP 
  • In State of the Union, Obama aims to influence 2016 debate

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Key elements of the economic proposals President Barack Obama will outline in his State of the Union address Tuesday appear to be aimed at driving the debate in the 2016 election on income inequality and middle-class economic issues, rather than setting a realistic agenda for Congress.

    Obama’s calls for increasing taxes on the wealthy, making community college free for many students and expanding paid leave for workers stand little chance of winning approval from the new Republican majority on Capitol Hill. But the debate over middle-class economics is looking critical for the coming campaign.

    “Inequality_and especially the growing opportunity gap_have become the top litmus test of seriousness for 2016,” said Robert Putnam, a Harvard political scientist who has discussed inequality issues with the president and his advisers. “The entry ticket for the presidential sweepstakes is that you have a policy — some policy — for dealing with this issue.


  • WTOP's Michelle Basch goes to a State of the Union Watch Party at the National Press Club.

  • Obama challenges Republicans in State of Union speech

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says it’s time to turn the page after years of economic hardship at home and wars overseas. But Republicans in charge of Congress say the voters already took care of that last November — and they’re the proof.

    “Much of what he did tonight … new taxes, new spending is sort of the same old thing that we’ve heard over the last six years,” said newly installed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, not long after the president wrapped up a State of the Union speech studded with veto threats and challenges to newly empowered congressional Republicans.


  • State of the Union: Highlights from Obama’s address

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama called for higher taxes on wealthy Americans and new initiatives to boost the middle class as he urged Americans to turn the page on years of economic woes and hard-fought wars in his sixth State of the Union address before Congress. Some highlights from Obama’s proposals on

  • Quotes, reaction to Obama’s State of the Union speech

    “Finding common ground is what the American people sent us here to do, but you wouldn’t know it from the president’s speech tonight. While veto threats and unserious proposals may make for good political theater, they will not distract this new American Congress from our focus on the people’s priorities.” — House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.


  • FACT CHECK: Obama claims credit for an incomplete recovery

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. may not have “risen from recession” quite as rousingly as President Barack Obama suggested in his State of the Union speech Tuesday night. Seven years after that severe downturn began, household income hasn’t recovered and healthy job growth is complicated by the poor quality, and pay, of many of those jobs.

    It’s always problematic when a president takes credit for an improving economy, just as it is when he’s blamed for things going bad. A leader can only do so much, for better or worse, and there are two sides to every economy. But after an election in which Obama largely held off on chest-beating, he claimed credit in bold terms for what is going right.


  • State of the Union: Obama goes off script after applause dig (Video)

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama had the last laugh during an off-script moment in his State of the Union address Tuesday evening.

    Toward the end of his speech, Obama said he has “no more campaigns to run” — a comment that drew some scattered applause from the GOP-controlled Congress.

    When the president realized the dig, he turned it around with a smirk.

    “I know because I won both of them,” he said, referring to his two victorious presidential elections.

    Read more and watch the video on

  • Nancy Cordes, CBS News Congressional correspondent, says a theme of SOTU was the needs of the middle class.

  • Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va) says he wanted the president to lay out more than just tax increases. Also, he says there needs to be a refocus to match the jobs with the skills of the workers.

  • Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md) says the president connected with the American people when he said he will work across party lines and with a GOP-controlled Congress to get things achieved.

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