Obama Seeks Elusive Health Care Victory By Months’ End
President Barack Obama has plenty of reasons to hope Congress has completed its health overhaul debate by the end of the month, including: the just-scheduled State of the Union address on Jan. 27, a Feb. 1 deadline for submitting the 2011 federal budget to Congress, and flagging poll numbers.
Bloomberg reports the President will deliver his first State of the Union address to Congress this month as lawmakers work to finish health-care legislation and the nation's unemployment rate remains at 10 percent." The speech will "lay out his vision for the country in an election year with 37 seats in the Senate at stake as well as all 435 in the House of Representatives" (Johnston and Funningen, 1/19).
Politico: Then, by Feb. 1, Obama "will have to submit a budget outlining his spending priorities for the next fiscal year, but the uncertain future of health care reform leaves a big question mark in that spending outline." The White House would not comment on how they're preparing for their possible last-minute predicament (Frates, 1/19).
Reuters has a factbox detailing how President Obama has fared in his first year, this report concludes "[a] year after taking office, some promises have been kept, others broken and still others subjected to compromise or delay." The goal of having a health overhaul bill on his desk by the end of 2009 "proved overly ambitious, but Congress is edging closer to legislation to meet one of his biggest promises" (Spetalnick, 1/17).
Politifact/St. Petersburg Times has an "Obameter," keeping track of the fate of more than 500 promises made by Obama during the campaign and when he took office (1/19).
ABC News: However, "a year into his term, Americans' confidence in Obama is shrinking and more feel negatively about the country's direction, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll. Fifty-three percent of those polled approved of the job Obama is doing, considerably lower than the 68 percent job approval rating he enjoyed right after taking office" (Khan, 1/19).