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Highlights of Obama's State of the Union address

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The Associated Press









Highlights of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Wednesday night to a joint session of Congress:






ECONOMY/JOBS






--Urged the Senate to follow the House and pass a second jobs bill as its first order of business this year.






--Proposed using $30 billion repaid by Wall Street banks to help community banks lend money to small businesses so they can stay afloat.






--Proposed new tax credit for small business that hire workers or raise the wages of current employees.






--Proposed eliminating all capital gains taxes on small-business investment and providing tax incentives for all businesses to invest in new plants and equipment.






--Said it's time to slash tax breaks for companies that move jobs overseas and extend them to companies that create jobs in the U.S.






--Set a goal of doubling exports over the next five years, contending it will support 2 million jobs at home. Announced an initiative to help farmers and small businesses increase their exports. Promised to reform export rules.






FINANCIAL OVERHAUL






--Urged Senate to follow the House and pass a financial overhaul bill to protect consumers from industry abuses and make sure they have the information they need to make decisions about what to do with their money.






HEALTH CARE






--Urged Democrats dispirited by the loss of their 60-vote Senate majority not to abandon the yearlong effort to overhaul the health care system.






FEDERAL SPENDING






--Proposed a three-year freeze on most domestic spending, beginning in 2011. Spending on national security, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security would be exempt.






--Announced he will issue an executive order creating a bipartisan task force to recommend ways to reduce the deficit. The Senate recently blocked a similar proposal.






OPEN GOVERNMENT






--Called for requiring lobbyists to report each contact with his administration or Congress.






--Called for 'strict limits' on lobbyist contributions to candidates for federal office.






--Urged lawmakers to pass a bill to undo a recent Supreme Court ruling that allows companies and labor unions to spend freely on campaign ads that promote or target particular candidates by name.






--Called on Congress to publish on one Web site all special-interest spending known as "earmarks" before bills are voted on.






IRAQ






--Reiterated pledge to remove all U.S. combat troops from Iraq by the end of August.






GAYS IN THE MILITARY






--Pledged to work with Congress and the military to allow gays to serve openly in the military.






EDUCATION






--Urged Congress to eliminate taxpayer subsidies for banks that provide student loans.






--Proposed $10,000 tax credit for four years of college, along with higher Pell Grants.






--Proposed capping student loan repayments at 10 percent of income and forgiving all student loan debt after 20 years, or after 10 years if the student enters public service.






IMMIGRATION






--Said the government should continue working to fix a broken system by securing borders and enforcing laws.






ENERGY






--Urged Senate passage of comprehensive energy and climate legislation to help the country shift toward cleaner energy sources and help create jobs.






BIPARTISANSHIP






--Proposed monthly meetings with both the Democratic and Republican leadership in Congress.






Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.



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