WASHINGTON -- President Obama will deliver the first State of the Union address of his second term tonight at 6 p.m. PST / 9 p.m. EST, looking to set into motion his agenda for the next four years.
Urging Republicans and Democrats to work together to resolve the nation’s ills, Obama will call on the nation to “reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth – a rising, thriving middle class.”
Additionally, Obama will lay out a number of proposals “that are fully paid for,” pledging that nothing he outlines will increase the deficit “by a single dime,” according to excerpts released by the White House.
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One specific part of Obama’s speech, his declaration that U.S. troop numbers in Afghanistan will be halved over the next year, has already been leaked to the news media. But many other specifics about the speech remain undisclosed, including what Obama will say about climate change, gay rights and proposals to change voting procedures to eliminate long lines at the polls.
Obama worked with new chief White House speechwriter Cody Keenan on the speech. His longtime speechwriter, Jon Favreau, is leaving the administration.
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida will lead the Republican Party’s response to Obama, in a speech delivered in English and Spanish. According to excerpts released by Rubio’s office, he will call for Obama to “abandon his obsession with raising taxes” and warn that, if the parties do not work together, “we will forever be known as the generation responsible for America’s decline.”
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