Barack Obama

The heart of the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan is now on hold, after the Supreme Court granted a stay request that blocks the EPA from moving ahead with rules that would lower carbon emissions from the nation's power plants.

The case is scheduled to be argued in June, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. But a decision could be long in coming, particularly if the case winds up in the Supreme Court — meaning that the rules' fate might not be determined before a new presidential administration comes into power in 2017.

President Obama unveils his 2017 budget proposal today. It's an aspirational blueprint that details how he would set priorities if he controlled the government's checkbook ... which he doesn't.

"This budget is not about looking back at the road we have traveled," Obama said. "It is about looking forward."

But congressional Republicans are looking past the president. House Speaker Paul Ryan dismissed the budget as "a progressive manual for growing the federal government at the expense of hardworking Americans."

President Obama delivered remarks at a mosque in Baltimore on Wednesday afternoon, in the first visit to an American mosque he's made during his presidency.

His visit, which also included a roundtable with Muslim community members, ws intended to "reaffirm the importance of religious freedom" to life in America, the White House says.

He opened by thanking Muslim-Americans for their service to their communities, before declaring the importance of religious tolerance in America.

Every day in America more than 50 people die from an overdose of prescription pain medication. Some people who start out abusing pain pills later turn to heroin, which claims another 29 lives each day.

President Obama plans to ask lawmakers for hundreds of millions of dollars to combat this epidemic of opioid abuse when he releases his budget next week.

It's a challenge making sure that low-income children who get free- and reduced-priced meals during the school year continue to get fed during the summer.

Government meal programs served 3.8 million children on an average summer day last year — far fewer than the 22 million children who got subsidized meals during the school year.

President Obama has increased college aid by over $50 billion since coming into office. And he's trying to do more.

Acting Education Secretary John King announced two new proposals today that would expand the Pell Grant program, the biggest pot of federal money for students with financial need:

  • Year-round Pell. Currently, students are only eligible for two semesters of Pell grants in a school year. Today's proposal would allow students to get extra money to cover a third session of, say, summer courses.

It was perhaps fitting that the most memorable passage of President Obama's final State of the Union speech should come near its end.

After nearly an hour on the podium, Obama paused and slipped into a mode more suited to a pulpit. In the next few minutes, the president tried to address the state not of the American union but of American politics.

Joe Moore stood near a sign reading: "Authorized Personnel Only."

"I used to be authorized," he said.

Moore is a coal miner. The sign was at the entrance to the mine that had laid him off the previous day. The Alliance Coal facility had closed — a symptom of the coal industry's rapid decline.

When President Obama first took the oath of office seven years ago this month, the U.S. economy was so battered that many economists were pondering the possibility of another Great Depression.

The fears were real: Employers were cutting 796,000 jobs; the auto industry was facing bankruptcy; private foreclosures and public debts were soaring.

On Tuesday night, President Obama will give his final State of the Union address. It's the last big speech many Americans will watch him deliver, and he wants to leave a good impression.

Here are five things to watch for.

1. How different will this speech be from his past State of the Union addresses?

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