Morning Must Reads: January 28

In the news: Obama to give 2014 State of the Union; congressional negotiators reach an agreement on a farm bill; House Republican leadership will call for a path to legal status for illegal immigrants; Obama to raise minimum wage for federal contractors; folk legend Pete Seeger dies at the age of 94

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Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

  • “Democrats consider President Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday a launching point for a year of sustained assault on Republicans over a populist economic agenda, part of an effort to focus more on bread-and-butter issues and less on ­income inequality.” [WashPost]
    • “President Obama plans to sign an executive order requiring that janitors, construction workers and others working for federal contractors be paid at least $10.10 an hour, using his own power to enact a more limited version of a policy that he has yet to push through Congress.” [NYT]
    • “On eve of Obama’s State of the Union address, I’m going with the conventional wisdom: Obama and the Democrats are in deep trouble.” [New Republic]
    • “Unless the situation changes in the last hours before President Barack Obama arrives at the Capitol on Tuesday, spotting crossover seatmates in the House chamber looks to be a genuinely difficult task this year.” [Roll Call]
  • “House-Senate negotiators reached agreement and filed a new farm bill late Monday, a nearly 960-page measure that combines a landmark rewrite of commodity programs together with bipartisan reforms and savings from food stamps.” [Politico]
    • How Republicans lost the farm [Atlantic]
  • “The House Republican leadership’s broad framework for overhauling the nation’s immigration laws will call this week for a path to legal status — but not citizenship — for many of the 11 million adult immigrants who are in the country illegally, according to aides who have seen the party’s statement of principles. For immigrants brought to the United States illegally as young children, the Republicans would offer a path to citizenship.” [NYT]
  • A Republican plan to replace ObamaCare, cover pre-existing conditions and lower costs [Fox]
  • “President Hamid Karzai has frequently lashed out at the U.S. military for causing civilian casualties in its raids. But behind the scenes, he has been building a far broader case against the Americans, suggesting that they may have aided or conducted shadowy insurgent-style attacks to undermine his government…” [WashPost]
  • Pete Seeger, Folk Legend, Dead at 94 [Rolling Stone]