Stepping into a background briefing shortly, where I'll learn more about the speech than I'll be able to share until much later. So before I do that, here's what we've learned about the policy President Obama will announce in the speech, ranked in rough order of political importance.
1. The budget freeze; 3 years; discretionary spending; the president will present this as a gesture that will set a baseline not only for this Congress but for future presidents.
2. Tax cuts and goodies targeted at small businesses, including several items on the NFIB's wish list; The package of middle class family tax adjustments and credits, including special help for families with children and families caring for both children and eldery adults.
3. Several billion dollars worth of new education funding as part of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Schools Act.
4. Call for a repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Not known yet: whether the president will, in addition to his asking Congress to end the practice, announce any affirmative steps to prepare the DoD for integrration.
5. Ask Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform by the end of the year ... hopefully having been put on a pathway to passage before the end of the year.
6. Push Congress to pass his package of financial service industry reforms.
7. Salary freezes in the White House; bonus freezes for all political appointees.
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