What Obama can and can't do by executive order

In his State of the Union address, President Obama unveiled policies he can implement by executive order, as well as several needing congressional approval. Among them:

Executive actions:

• Create a retirement savings program for lower-income workers. The “starter” investment plan would be made available to millions of private-sector employees who do not currently have access to a 401(k) or pension.

• Boost the minimum wage for workers hired by firms with federal contracts to $10.10 per hour.

• Protect environmentally sensitive federal lands from development for energy production.

• Launch partnerships with major tech and communication companies to get 15,000 schools access to the latest broadband and wireless technology.

Proposals needing congressional approval:

• Increase the earned income tax credit for workers without children, and make it available to more of them.

• Raise the minimum wage nationwide to $10.10 per hour.

• Renew the recently expired unemployment benefits for people who have been without jobs for more than 26 weeks.

• Create a new tax credit to promote production of the next generation of clean-burning cars, as well as renew the recently expired credit for production of advanced fuels made from grasses and other plant matter.

• Launch new incentives to encourage the use of trucks that run on alternative fuels.


Twitter: @evanhalper

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