By Steve Holland and Jeff Mason WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will challenge a skeptical Republican-led Congress on Tuesday to back tax increases on the wealthy to help lift up middle-class Americans, saying in a State of the Union speech it is time to “turn the page” from recession and war. On foreign policy, Obama will call on lawmakers to pass a new authorization of military force against Islamic State militants to replace powers that were given to President George W. Bush to prosecute the Iraq war. Obama’s appeal for a new force authorization for Washington’s five-month campaign of air strikes in Iraq and Syria may be one of the few items he proposes on Tuesday that will gain congressional approval, as Republicans cast a dim view on his call for tax hikes. Obama will credit his “middle-class economics” for a surge in the U.S. economy and say it is time to “turn the page” from recession and war and to focus on growth for the middle class, according to excerpts of his 9 p.m. EST (0200 GMT Wednesday) televised speech released by the White House.
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