Obama's 'State of Union' Set for Feb. 12
President Barack Obama will give his annual "State of the Union" address to Congress on February 12, the White House announced Friday.
The administration agreed to the formal invitation of House Speaker John Boehner for the president to address both chambers of Congress barely three weeks after Obama was sworn in to begin his second term in the White House.
"Our nation continues to face immense challenges, and the American people expect us to work together in the new year to find meaningful solutions," Boehner wrote in his letter to Obama.
"This will require a willingness to seek common ground as well as presidential leadership. For that reason, the Congress and the nation would welcome an opportunity to hear your plan and specific solutions for addressing America's great challenges."
The address is set to focus primarily on the economy and is expected to warn of the danger of automatic spending cuts known as the sequester pose. The president is also expected to prioritize issues such as immigration and gun control.
“Our single biggest remaining challenge is to get our economy in a place where the middle class is feeling less squeezed, where incomes sustain families,” a senior administration official told The Washington Post on condition of anonymity.
The country will hit its $16.4 trillion borrowing limit around the end of February, the same time Congress must also come up with a way to avoid more than $100 billion in federal spending cuts that are set to kick in.
Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has accused Obama of a "massive spending addiction" and has threatened to use the debt ceiling as leverage in Republican efforts to cut government expenditure, while the president has warned against such "dangerous" brinkmanship.