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Obama’s 2013 State of the Union proposals: What flopped and what succeeded

(Charles Dharapak/Pool via European Pressphoto Agency)

This column has been updated

Every president announces a slew of initiatives in his State of the Union address. Here, in order of delivery, is a summary of the key proposals, pledges or priorities announced by President Obama a year ago — and what happened to them.

In general, Obama’s success rate has been relatively poor since Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in 2011. In 2013, Obama had only five wins out of 24 proposals checked, for a batting average of  .208. (If we exclude the six “in the works” proposals, the batting average rises to .277.) To see how Obama has fared in previous years, click these links:  2012, 2011, 2010.

The Proposals

Obama: “On Medicare, I’m prepared to enact reforms that will achieve the same amount of health-care savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission.”

Obama: “To hit the rest of our deficit reduction target, we should do what leaders in both parties have already suggested, and save hundreds of billions of dollars by getting rid of tax loopholes and deductions for the well-off and the well-connected.”

Obama: “Now is our best chance for bipartisan, comprehensive tax reform that encourages job creation and helps bring down the deficit.”

Obama: “Let’s set party interests aside and work to pass a budget that replaces reckless cuts with smart savings and wise investments in our future.  And let’s do it without the brinksmanship that stresses consumers and scares off investors.”

Obama: “A year and a half ago, I put forward an American Jobs Act that independent economists said would create more than 1 million new jobs.  And I thank the last Congress for passing some of that agenda.  I urge this Congress to pass the rest.”

Obama: “So tonight, I’m announcing the launch of three more of these manufacturing hubs, where businesses will partner with the Department of Defense and Energy to turn regions left behind by globalization into global centers of high-tech jobs.”

Obama: “And I ask this Congress to help create a network of 15 of these hubs and guarantee that the next revolution in manufacturing is made right here in America.”

Obama: “I urge this Congress to get together, pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago.  But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will.”

Obama: “I propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good.”

Obama: “I propose a ‘Fix-It-First’ program to put people to work as soon as possible on our most urgent repairs, like the nearly 70,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country.”

Obama: “And to make sure taxpayers don’t shoulder the whole burden, I’m also proposing a Partnership to Rebuild America that attracts private capital to upgrade what our businesses need most:  modern ports to move our goods, modern pipelines to withstand a storm, modern schools worthy of our children.”

Obama: “Right now, there’s a bill in this Congress that would give every responsible homeowner in America the chance to save $3,000 a year by refinancing at today’s rates.  Democrats and Republicans have supported it before, so what are we waiting for? Take a vote, and send me that bill.”

Obama: “I propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every single child in America.”

Obama: “I’m announcing a new challenge to redesign America’s high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy.  And we’ll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering and math — the skills today’s employers are looking for to fill the jobs that are there right now and will be there in the future.”

Obama: “Send me a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next few months, and I will sign it right away.”

Obama: “Today, the Senate passed the Violence Against Women Act that Joe Biden originally wrote almost 20 years ago.  And I now urge the House to do the same.”

Obama: “I ask this Congress to declare that women should earn a living equal to their efforts, and finally pass the Paycheck Fairness Act this year.”

Obama: “Tonight, let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour.”

x No action has been taken. President Obama has since backed legislation proposed by Democrats that would boost the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, from the current level of $7.25. The White House said that in tonight’s speech the president will announce that, via executive order, he is boosting the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2015 for workers on new federal contracts; he also will renew his call for a national increase.

Obama: “This year, my administration will begin to partner with 20 of the hardest-hit towns in America to get these communities back on their feet.”

Obama: “The leaders of Iran must recognize that now is the time for a diplomatic solution, because a coalition stands united in demanding that they meet their obligations, and we will do what is necessary to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon.”

Obama: “To boost American exports, support American jobs and level the playing field in the growing markets of Asia, we intend to complete negotiations on a Trans-Pacific Partnership.”

Obama: “We’ll keep the pressure on a Syrian regime that has murdered its own people, and support opposition leaders that respect the rights of every Syrian.”

Obama:  “I’m announcing a nonpartisan commission to improve the voting experience in America.  And it definitely needs improvement.  I’m asking two long-time experts in the field — who, by the way, recently served as the top attorneys for my campaign and for Governor Romney’s campaign — to lead it.  We can fix this, and we will.  The American people demand it, and so does our democracy.”

check The commission delivered its report just last week, so we will count that as completed.

Obama: “Overwhelming majorities of Americans — Americans who believe in the Second Amendment — have come together around common-sense reform, like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun.  Senators of both parties are working together on tough new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals.  Police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets, because these police chiefs, they’re tired of seeing their guys and gals being outgunned.  Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress. Now, if you want to vote no, that’s your choice.  But these proposals deserve a vote.”

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