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State of the Union: Obama warns to sidestep lawmakers, addresses domestic, foreign issues

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Updated: 1/28 11:43 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has used his fifth State of the Union address to tell lawmakers that he's still willing to work with Congress. But Obama said he'll sidestep obstructionist lawmakers "whenever and wherever" necessary to reduce the wage gap between rich and poor.

One executive action he'll take is to increase the minimum wage for some federal contract workers to a minimum of $10.10.

The president called on Democrats and Republicans in the House to follow the Senate's lead and approve an overhaul of immigration laws. He called on them to pass legislation this year.

He also addressed foreign policy. He said any U.S. troops that remain in Afghanistan after 2014 will only help continue to train Afghan forces and carry out counterterror operations against extremists.

Obama also said negotiations to limit Iran's nuclear program will be difficult and may not succeed. But he warned Congress that any new economic sanctions against Tehran while the discussions are ongoing will be vetoed.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

GOP focuses on empowering Americans, not gov't

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The highest-ranking Republican woman in Congress says the GOP is working to close the gap between where Americans are and where they want to be.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state will deliver the Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address. In excerpts of her remarks, she says the Republican vision is to empower Americans, not the government.

She says Obama's policies are making life hard for Americans. She focuses on his economic plans and the number of Americans who have stopped looking for work.

She also highlights the impact of his health care law.

McMorris Rodgers is fourth in the House leadership. She also heads the House Republican Conference.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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