"I didn't want to wait for the State of the Union to talk about all the things that make this country great and how we can make it better, so I thought I'd get started this week," Obama said Wednesday in Michigan, where he discussed a rebounding U.S. auto industry. "I figured, why wait? It's like opening your Christmas presents a little early."
The proposals include steps Obama can take unilaterally a practice he used frequently last year that irritated Republicans. Other proposals will require collaboration with Congress, which Republicans now control. They reacted coolly to Obama's announcements.
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Obama will use a Monday event at the Federal Trade Commission to lay out the next steps of a plan to tackle identity theft and improve consumer and student privacy. It follows a plan Obama announced last October to tighten security for the debit cards that transmit federal benefits to millions of Americans.
After holding his first meeting of the new year with the top leaders in Congress on Tuesday, Obama will discuss cybersecurity, including ways of getting the private sector and federal government to voluntarily share more cybersecurity information. He'll do so at the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, a part of the Department of Homeland Security that shares information among the public and private sectors.