New political times, new presidential rhetoric — but there were still signs Wednesday of the same old friction between President Obama’s White House and congressional Republicans.
Obama didn’t even mention the new Republican Congress during his first stump speech of the year, instead telling members of the resurgent auto industry that the American economy is back on track.
“The auto industry has proved that any comeback is possible,” Obama said at a Ford plant near Detroit.
Republicans pointed out that the Obama administration has issued two veto threats during the first two days of the GOP-run Congress, one involving a proposed oil pipeline and the other involving a change to the health care law.
“It seems with every new day, we have a new veto threat from the president,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R- Ky. “The president is not going to set the agenda for us here in the Senate.”
Obama’s visit to the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant kicked off three days of national travel, partly to promote his economic policies and partly to preview his State of the Union address Jan. 20.
That prime-time speech will emphasize “building on the progress that we’ve already made,” Obama told the Ford employees.
The president is scheduled to discuss housing policy Thursday in Phoenix, announcing an order to lower the premium the Federal Housing Administration charges on mortgage insurance by 0.5 percentage points.
Education and manufacturing policy are on the agenda Friday when Obama (and Vice President Biden) visit eastern Tennessee.
This is Obama’s first extended trip since the elections Nov. 4 that brought Republicans control of the U.S. Senate and expanded the party’s majority in the U.S. House.
SOURCE: David Jackson