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Obama To Lay Out Economic Growth Plan In State Of Union Speech

posted 11 Feb 2013, 12:20 by Mpelembe   [ updated 11 Feb 2013, 12:20 ]

U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to offer proposals for investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, and clean energy in his State of the Union Address.

WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (JANUARY 24, 2012) (POOL) - U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to outline his plan for spurring the economy in his State of the Union address on Tuesday (February 12), offering proposals for investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, clean energy and education, according to administration officials.

Americans are eager to hear Obama address both the U.S. economy and the federal deficit, with more than half still convinced the nation is in a recession, according to a poll released Monday.

In the annual presidential address to Congress, Obama plans to show he has not lost sight of the economic woes of middle-class Americans - issues that dominated the 2012 election campaign but have been overshadowed recently by efforts to cut the deficit, overhaul immigration laws and curb gun violence.

"He is basically trying to restore in the public mind, the importance of government in helping the country get its economy growing, and new jobs created," said political analyst Thomas Mann, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

There were no details on the new initiatives for infrastructure, manufacturing, clean energy and education, elements first reported by the New York Times.

But any new spending will face tough opposition from Republicans in Congress who are focused on cutting spending and reducing the deficit.

"I think the president is going to be tough and clear and invite their cooperation, but frankly, I do not expect they will do anything out of anything other than political fear," Mann said.

Gun policy and healthcare are also top concerns Americans want the president to address, according to a survey by Quinnipiac University.

The nationwide poll found 35 percent of U.S. voters said the economy was a top concern, while 20 percent pointed to the federal deficit. It also showed 53 percent said the U.S. economy is still in a recession even though economists have said the downturn that began in late 2007 officially ended in July 2009.

Fifteen percent said the nation's gun policies was a top priority.

Foreign policy is not a top concern for Americans, but the President is expected to address the winding down in Afghanistan as well as the future of American warfare.

"We are talking about the longest war in American history and there is no decisive victory at the end," Mann said. "I think he is going to use that as an opportunity to talk about the new challenges that we face. And it is going to take new strategies and a new conception of how we best protect our security and our interests around the world," Mann said.

Two-thirds of respondents said they were likely to watch the speech, with more women than men saying they would tune in, the poll also found.