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Bush to Call for Cut in Fuel Consumption


VOANews.com will carry the president's address LIVE beginning at 0200 UTC Wednesday.

President Bush plans to call for a 20 percent cut in U.S. gasoline consumption in his State of the Union address Tuesday.

According to highlights of the speech released by the White House, Mr. Bush will argue his goal can be reached in ten years through improved fuel economy standards in cars, and increased use of alternative and renewable fuels like ethanol.

The president will call for comprehensive immigration reform and announce proposals to make health care insurance affordable for more Americans.

Mr. Bush will also ask Congress for authority to increase the size of the Army and the Marine Corps by a total of 92,000 troops.

He is expected to speak about his new strategy for Iraq, which has been met with deep skepticism from the opposition Democratic Party as well as some in the president's own Republican Party.

This speech will be the first time in his presidency Mr. Bush will address a joint session of Congress controlled by the Democrats.

Following the address, newly-elected Democratic Senator Jim Webb of the state of Virginia will give his party's response. Webb is an outspoken critic of Mr. Bush's Iraq policies and has a son serving in the war-torn country.

Nearly every high-level official of the U.S government will attend Mr. Bush's speech at the U.S. Capitol, including cabinet members, senators and house members, and members of the Supreme Court.

However, due to security concerns, several members of each branch of government stay away and are taken to a safe, undisclosed location outside of Washington.

The president's speech will be broadcast live by the major U.S. television networks and by Voice of America. VOA coverage will include a videostream over the Internet at www.voanews.com.

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