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As for nuclear energy, two days after the president said he wanted to move on the issue, he effectively pushed back the deadline for any decisions by two years by creating a blue-ribbon commission to study nuclear energy and nuclear waste storage.

The one area Mr. LaBolt mentioned for bipartisan cooperation with Congress was on climate change. Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, has been working with Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, to craft a bill.

Mr. Graham is also the lynchpin Republican as Democrats search for bipartisan agreement on immigration. He has been working with Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, to write a bill.

Mr. Obama is facing some pressure within his own party to push back against liberal Democrats.

Last week, while Mr. Obama was addressing Senate Democrats at their annual policy retreat, Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas told the president he needs “to push back on our own party and look for that common ground that we need to work with Republicans.”

Minutes later, Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana asked Mr. Obama to prove that the Democratic Party can be trusted on bringing down the deficit and controlling spending.

Mr. Obama turned both questions into attacks on Republicans, arguing that they want to return to policies that led to the 2008 financial breakdown and are pushing “to make sure that we continue the tax breaks for wealthiest Americans.”

On free trade, it’s Democrats who are pushing the door closed.

“I am still skeptical when the administration talks about increasing trade without first having a conversation about how to make trade work better for American companies and workers,” said Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, New York Democrat and chairman of the House Rules Committee.

Rep. David Dreier, California Republican and Mrs. Slaughter’s counterpart on the Rules Committee, said as he left the chamber after the State of the Union address he asked Mr. Obama’s economic adviser, Lawrence H. Summers, when they might expect Mr. Obama to push for agreements. All Mr. Summers would tell him is “soon,” Mr. Dreier said.