ByÂ Kate Ackley,Â Roll Call Staff
The White House has been reaching out to unions, interest groups and other downtown stakeholders for the past few weeks, soliciting data points and political feedback as it puts the finishing touches on Tuesdayâ€™s State of the Union address.
At the same time, industry groups pushing their agendas have filled up the presidentâ€™s inbox with plenty of unsolicited proposals. After all, what lobbyist wouldnâ€™t want to take a red pen to the State of the Union?
Getting a mention of a signature cause can catapult the issue to the top of the agenda. The State of the Union will help set the debate in Congress this year and has far-reaching political ramifications for the upcoming elections.
â€œWeâ€™ve had a number of meetings with various White House officials over the course of the last couple weeks,â€ said Chuck Loveless, director of legislation for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. â€œThey wanted to hear what we have to say.â€
Some K Streeters said they were reluctant to discuss publicly what issues they were pressing the White House on for fear of setting them up for failure if President Barack Obama does not mention it Tuesday. Others, however, were eager to share the agenda items they want the president to press for.
Terry Oâ€™Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, said sheâ€™s hopeful that, because the White House reached out to womenâ€™s organizations in advance of the speech, Obama will touch on some of the issues NOW cares about, such as unemployment and poverty, reproductive health and a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
â€œWe are under no illusions,â€ she said. â€œI donâ€™t expect him to be perfect on our issues.â€
NOW plans to compare an open letter it sent to the president with the text of the address as part of a â€œmassive voter education and voter awareness and mobilization effort for 2012,â€ she said. â€œIf we support someone whoâ€™s not perfect, we can take a step toward achieving our goals.â€
Don’t let the MSM censor your news as America becomes Great Again. Over 500,000 Americans receive our daily dose of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness along with Breaking News direct to their inbox—and you can too. Sign up to receive news and views from The 1776Coalition!
We know how important your privacy is and your information is SAFE with us. We’ll never sell
your email address and you can unsubscribe at any time directly from your inbox.