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Obama Schedules First State of the Union Address

U.S. President Barack Obama plans to deliver his first State of the Union address on January 27.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the president will speak to both houses of Congress next Wednesday evening. The address will be televised and streamed live on the White House's Web site,

After one year in office, Mr. Obama will be expected to outline his legislative agenda and national priorities to Congress and the nation. His administration has been struggling to cope with a dismal economy, two wars, a contentious debate over health care, and the crisis in Haiti.

Mr. Obama had wanted to finalize a sweeping health care bill before his address, but lawmakers negotiating the final version of the bill have yet to settle key differences.

The annual address is based upon tradition and a clause in the U.S. Constitution that requires the president to keep Congress informed from time to time on the state of the nation.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.