President Barack Obama is expected to stress job growth and his plan to tackle the nation’s mounting debt in his second State of the Union Address tonight.
In a tradition dating back to George Washington’s presidency, Obama will appear before a joint-session of Congress to outline his plan for the coming year.
Obama’s State of the Union has been titled “Winning the Future” and will focus on innovation through the strengthening of the education and economic sectors.
In a press briefing yesterday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs outlined Obama’s focus on the creation of jobs both now and in the future.
“You’ll hear the President … spend most of his time talking about the economy, talking about the challenges that we face both in the short term in terms of doing whatever we can to help create jobs, in the medium and long term to continue working on issues like competitiveness and innovation and ensuring that in the medium and the long term we get our fiscal house in order,” Gibbs said.
In addressing the nation’s $14 trillion debt, Obama will most likely reject his debt commission’s recommendation to raise the retirement age and reduce Social Security benefits.
Obama will also continue to promote businesses, especially after naming William Daley, the former Midwest Chairman of J.P. Morgan Chase, as the new White House of Chief of Staff, and Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric, as head of a new economic advisory committee.
Obama will request additional funding for education, and to strike a balance with Republicans, he will discuss teacher tenure and teacher evaluations.
In the wake of the Tucson shooting and intensified partisan divide in politics, congressional members will not sit by party, as they traditionally do, but rather next to members of the opposite party.
The Republicans’ response will be delivered by Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, who is presumed to highlight the Republicans’ plan to curtail U.S. debt, including drastic cuts in Social Security and the eventual elimination of Medicare.
The Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics and the USC Annenberg Center on Community Leadership and Policy will be hosting a panel discussion and live broadcast of Obama’s State of the Union address tonight in the Annenberg East Lobby.