State of the Union or 2016 stump speech?
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That’s what Washington’s financial regulatory watchers are wondering as they review the tax policy plan President Obama will formally unveil on Tuesday during his State of the Union address.

While Obama won’t be on the ballot in 2016, his policy proposal comes at a time the Democratic Party is weighing how to handle a new GOP-controlled Congress and in which direction — left or center — to take the party heading into the new election cycle.

A senior White House official said late Saturday that Obama’s State of the Union address will include a tax plan that gives tax credits to some lower-income Americans while raising taxes on Americans earning more than $500,000 annually. The plan would help finance $235 billion in funding for new government programs and initiatives, such as offering free tuition for qualifying students who apply to two-year community college programs.