During his remarks in April at the White House Correspondents Association, President Obama humorously previewed the “fourth quarter” of his presidency.
“After the midterm elections, my advisors asked me ‘Mr. President, do you have a bucket list?'” he said. “And I said, ‘Well, I have something that rhymes with bucket list.'”
Now that the legal case for Obamacare is solidified and his dramatic trade authorities have been granted by Republicans, Obama is continuing to move forward on the more politically difficult elements of his “bucket list” (or his f*cket list?) which included executive action on immigration reform and climate regulations.
Today, he plans to announce the opening of embassies in Cuba and the United States to boost diplomatic ties between the two countries and yesterday he announced a change to overtime pay rules.
During a press conference yesterday, Obama boasted that he had earned a boost in political capitol, even though Republicans are in the majority in both houses of Congress.
“How am I going to spend whatever political capital that I’ve built up?” he mused. “The list is long. And my instructions to my team and my instructions to myself have always been that we are going to squeeze every last ounce of progress that we can make when I have the privilege — as long as I have the privilege of holding this office.”
He detailed a few items that were still on his list:
1. Expanding Medicaid in states where it was blocked
2. Iran Nuclear deal
3. Major infrastructure spending bill
4. Reforming criminal justice system
5. Two years of free community college
Other items on Obama’s list include closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, renewing the Export-Import Bank, a major cyber security bill, paid sick leave, and free universal pre-K.
“The list is long,” admitted. “And what we’re going to do is just keep on hammering away at all the issues that I think are going to have an impact on the American people. Some of them will be left undone. But we’re going to try to make progress on every single one of them.”