ByÂ Susan Crabtree-The Washington Times
Senate Democrats plan to vote Monday on a bill to prevent members ofÂ CongressÂ from profiting from inside knowledge gained from their officials duties â€” a swift response to PresidentÂ Obamaâ€™s State of the Union directive.
Mr. Obamaâ€™s call to action to prohibit members ofCongressÂ from using insider knowledge for personal financial investments was one of the few lines of Tuesday eveningâ€™s address that drew Republican and Democratic applause and may well be one of the only areas of complete bipartisan agreement in bitterly divided Washington all year.
Both SpeakerÂ John BoehnerÂ and Senate Minority LeaderÂ Mitch McConnellÂ on Sunday said they expected to pass a payroll tax extension for the rest of the year by the end of February â€” a major priority of the presidentâ€™s, but theÂ GOPÂ leaders said they remain at odds with Democrats and the president in figuring out how to pay for it.
AlthoughÂ Mr. ObamaÂ began his annual address by calling for Washington to use the militaryâ€™s dependence on selfless teamwork as the best example for public service, he quickly pivoted to a call for increased taxes on the wealthy to pay Americaâ€™s bills and finance new investments, urgingÂ CongressÂ to act but warning that he was prepared to go it alone if they failed.
Nearly a week after the speech, reviews of his performance and subsequent three-day swing through five battleground election states, have been mixed, with analysts agreeing that its combative tone and go-it-alone threat marked the beginning of a re-election campaign shifting into high gear.
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