Obama Plans Jobs Push Amid Health Care Delays
President expects debate to stretch into February
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2009 2:35 PM CST
President Barack Obama makes a statement on health care reform after meeting with senators, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2009, at the White House.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(Newser) – Barack Obama wants to switch gears and focus on jobs, energy, and deficit reduction, but he’s being hamstrung by a health care debate that he expects to stretch into February. Obama’s been told that disputes, particularly over abortion, will delay the eventual health care deal between the House and Senate, administration insiders tell Politico. After that, Obama’s planning for a “very hard pivot” towards a job bill.

Jobs and deficit reduction will be major themes in Obama’s first State of the Union address, which will likely take place either Jan. 26 or Feb. 2. Obama and his party want to keep moderates out of the line of fire this year, but think a jobs bill and deficit reductions are necessary. And look for Obama to be less hands-off this time—an aide says he’ll be “very prescriptive” about what he wants.