Tags: Obama | State | Union | Budget

Obama State of Union Set for Jan. 27, Budget Feb. 1

Tuesday, 19 Jan 2010 06:47 AM

President Barack Obama will deliver his first State of the Union address on Jan. 27 and his budget plan on Feb. 1, setting the tone for a second year in office marked by a long list of economic and foreign policy challenges.

In a televised speech to the American public, Obama will have a chance to outline his policy priorities, from combating double-digit unemployment to overhauling healthcare, and try to boost his sagging job approval rating.

His performance could also lay the groundwork for his Democratic party's bid to keep control of Congress in the November mid-term elections.

The White House said on Monday that Obama would give his 2010 State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress, an annual rite of U.S. politics, at 9 p.m. Eastern standard time on Jan. 27. Five days later, he will unveil his proposed federal budget for fiscal 2011, a senior administration official said.

The date of Obama's speech to Congress had been closely guarded as he worked with congressional Democrats on a healthcare revamp, which he had hoped to have finalized before his State of the Union speech.

With key issues unresolved on the healthcare front, it remained uncertain whether a bill would be done by then.

Obama's top legislative priority and the rest of his domestic agenda could depend on whether a struggling Massachusetts Democratic candidate for the Senate wins a special election on Tuesday, preserving a 60-seat Democratic majority the president needs to push through key bills.

The closer-than-expected race to elect a successor to the late Senator Edward Kennedy has underscored the difficulties Obama has faced in selling healthcare reform to many skeptical Americans.

The speech, which will come one year and one week after Obama took office, will also be a chance for Obama to try to rally support for his foreign policy, including his shifting of focus to Afghanistan from the war in Iraq and twin nuclear challenges with Iran and North Korea.

But both his speech and his budget proposal will put the strongest spotlight on bolstering a fragile economic recovery that so far has failed to generate new jobs.

Obama will be seeking to persuade Americans of his dedication to reducing unemployment, which remains at 10 percent.

He can also be expected to lay out his spending priorities ahead of his annual budget submission while assuring Americans he is determined to impose fiscal discipline after inheriting and building on record budget deficits.

Obama will have to walk a fine line between bolstering the economy while trying to avoid adding to yawing budget deficits. The government ran a staggering $2.4 trillion shortfall in fiscal 2009 and is likely to have a similar gap in the current fiscal year, ending on Sept. 30, 2010.


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President Barack Obama will deliver his first State of the Union address on Jan. 27 and his budget plan on Feb. 1, setting the tone for a second year in office marked by a long list of economic and foreign policy challenges. In a televised speech to the American public,...
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2010-47-19
Tuesday, 19 Jan 2010 06:47 AM
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