Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 2:35 pm
As President Obama prepares to deliver his State of the Union speech Tuesday evening, he does it against a backdrop of some of the lowest voter-approval ratings of his presidency, with a divided Congress that has largely stalled his second-term agenda and with Washington's collective focus starting to shift toward the midterm elections and beyond.
Here are five things to expect from the president in his fifth State of the Union speech:
During President Obama's speech Tuesday night, Sen. Carl Levin will be doing what he's done at every State of the Union for decades: sitting with his older brother and fellow Michigan Democrat Rep. Sandy Levin.
No two siblings in the nation's history have served longer than the 32 years the brothers Levin have been together in Congress. Both have held powerful committee chairmanships.
But this will be their last State of the Union together. Carl, who was first elected to Congress four years before his brother, has decided to retire at the end of the year.
An effort by the international coalition in Afghanistan to teach Afghan security forces to read and write has had limited success and has been plagued by problems, a new report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction finds.
The $200 million effort was funded by the U.S. and after more than three years of the program, the report found that about half of the members of the Afghan National Police are still illiterate.