President Barack Obama is set to address the nation at 6 p.m. tonight in his annual State of the Union address.
A working plan to create more jobs is what Republican Congressman Jeff Denham is looking for in tonight's State of the Union address. The Central Valley's high unemployment and economic problems are big priorities for the Turlock legislator.
In excerpts released ahead of tonight's State of the Union address, Obama called job creation his "North Star" and implored a divided Congress to center its work on attracting more jobs to the U.S., equipping Americans to compete for those positions and making sure hard work leads to a decent living.
"It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country — the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love," Obama said.
The president said his proposals to increase spending on manufacturing, infrastructure and clean-energy technologies would be fully paid for, though he did not specify in the excerpts how he would offset the cost of his proposals.
"Nothing I'm proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime," Obama said. "It's not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth."
Denham will be looking for Obama to stick to his word about not increasing the deficit.
"Certainly, the president realizes that big spending is a problem and the deficit is out of control. I'm expecting him to recognize it and have a plan to address it," Denham said hours before the president's address.
Another priority Denham hopes to see Obama address in the State of the Union is immigration reform.
"We've got to come up with a plan that really fixes the situation. There are 11 million undocumented workers. I hear it every day throughout the Central Valley," Denham said.
Denham is also hoping the president will take the lead in creating a more bi-partisan atmosphere going into the next year.
"In the past the president was quicker to draw a line in the sand rather than pull the two parties together," he said.
The State of the Union address can be viewed live at http://www.turlockjournal.com/live/sotu/ or through the White House mobile apps for iPhone, Android and iPad.
Immediately following the President's speech, there will be an “Open for Questions” panel with senior White House staff, live from the White House. Ask questions on Twitter with the hashtag #WHChat or on the White House facebook or Google+ pages.
On Thursday, President Obama will join the latest in a series of "Fireside Hangouts" – a 21st century take on FDR’s famous radio addresses – to talk about his State of the Union Address. During a completely virtual conversation hosted by Google, the president will answer questions from Americans across the country about the issues and policies laid out in the speech. Anyone can submit a question for the president and vote on favorites on the White House YouTube channel. Then, be sure to watch the hangout live at 1:30 p.m. Thursday on WhiteHouse.gov, the White House Google+ page, and YouTube.com/whitehouse.