President Obama Prepares to Give His Final State of the Union Address Next, Setting the Stage for His Last Days in Office

US President Barack Obama will deliver his final State of the Union address on Tuesday, January 12, where he will look back on his time in the Oval Office and present what he’ll seek to accomplish before his term ends. Given the proximity of the Paris climate agreement at COP21 and the importance of his Clean Power Plan, it would be no surprise if President Obama discussed climate change and the need for environmental stewardship. The question is, since the buildings sector figures prominently in many of the President’s energy and climate plans, will he mention high performance buildings?

Congressional Democrats, Republicans to Plan Strategy at January Retreats

House and Senate Republicans will gather in Baltimore, Maryland this week for a retreat where they will piece together the major portions of their 2016 legislative agenda. Issues that are expected to be in the spotlight include: federal spending, tax reform, healthcare, climate change, gun control, and energy policy.

Democrats will hold their own retreat from January 27 to 29, where they will discuss their own legislative priorities.

The 2016 legislative calendar is expected be front-loaded and packed with a dense amount of activity – although perhaps little legislation being enacted into law given the politics of the moment and upcoming elections. Energy legislation, budget, appropriations, FAA reauthorization, and the National Defense Authorization Act are among the issues that are, at this point, expected to dominate House and Senate floor time.