News / USA

Obama to Deliver State of the Union Address Tuesday

President Barack Obama works at his desk in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Jan. 27, 2014, ahead of Tuesday night's State of the Union speech.
President Barack Obama works at his desk in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Jan. 27, 2014, ahead of Tuesday night's State of the Union speech.
Michael Bowman
Later Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama will seek to advance his agenda when he delivers his annual State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress.

The White House is touting themes the president will mention in the nationally televised speech, but is providing few specifics on domestic and foreign policy matters.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the speech was still being worked on late Monday, and that Obama is eager to make his case to lawmakers and the nation as a whole.

“The president will offer in his address his vision and his agenda for moving the country forward, and the steps we can take to expand opportunity for all Americans, and the things we can do here to make sure that in America hard work is rewarded, responsibility is rewarded, and that everyone gets a shot at the opportunity that this country offers,” he said.

President Obama's Previous State of the Union Addresses

  • 2009:  Not technically a State of the Union, Obama said years of irresponsibility and short-term thinking had brought a "day of reckoning."  
  • 2010:  Obama urged Americans to work together to solve the damaged economy and pledged to remove U.S. combat troops from Iraq.
  • 2011:  Obama proposed a partial government spending freeze and said the U.S. stands with the people of Tunisia, whose protests drove their president out of the country at the start of the Arab Spring.
  • 2012:  Obama outlined a new economic blueprint and highlighted progress in Afghanistan and the killing of Osama bin Laden.
  • 2013:  Obama detailed the drawdown of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
Obama is expected to call for action to combat the growing gap between rich and poor Americans, and to expand and protect the middle class. To that end, the president will urge compromise and bipartisanship in a politically divided Congress, but also is expected to highlight his ability to act on his own through executive order.

Already, Republicans are casting Obama’s agenda as the cause of, not the solution to, America’s economic woes.

The Republican response to the State of the Union address will be delivered by Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers. She is expected to restate her party’s contention that it is the president’s signature health care law, the federal government’s over-regulation of business, and Washington’s fiscal woes that are inhibiting job creation and economic progress.

On Monday, Jay Carney declined to provide any specific foreign policy items in Obama’s speech. Republican Senator Susan Collins told VOA there is one global concern in particular she wants the president to discuss.

“Iran is probably number one on my list, given the threat that a nuclear-armed Iran poses to the security, not only of the Middle East, but to our security as well," she said. "I am very concerned about the direction of the negotiations that the administration has undertaken, because it appears it would allow the Iranians to continue to enrich uranium.”

Domestic viewership of the State of the Union address has steadily declined in recent years, but White House spokesman Carney described the speech as “an enormous opportunity” for any president to talk to legislators and millions of Americans.

The speech and the Republican response likely will set the tone in Washington for 2014 - an election year in which all House seats and one-third of the Senate will be up for grabs.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid