President Obama will address the 113th Congress as well as the nation in the annual State of the Union Address. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) invited the president in a formal letter to come speak to a joint session of congress on February 12. Many wonder which topics will be spotlighted, and his second inauguration is a good indication of what will come in a few weeks.
In Boehner's letter to the president, he addressed the need for compromise between the executive and both houses. But his positive attitude seemed to sugar coat the current divided government.
"Our nation continues to face immense challenges, and the American people expect us to work together in the New Year to find meaningful solutions. This will require a willingness to seek common ground as well as presidential leadership," Speaker Boehner wrote.
In last year’s address, Obama focused attention on job creation. The president his administrations accomplishments of finding and killing Osama Bin Laden while discussing his ambitious plans of strengthening the American auto industry. However this year's address will most likely have different themes.
In his Second Inaugural Address on January 20, the president was not shy about expressing his partisanship. Obama discussed several topics that dominate the liberal community such as immigration reform, gay rights, and climate change. Obama also went on to mention his wishes to reform Medicare and Medicaid programs. However, the speech was poorly received by Republicans.
"For now decisions are upon us and we cannot afford delay. We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate," Obama said.
According to prominent GOP members, Obama's speech felt more like an intimidation. Statements such as the one above were interpreted as being unwilling to work with the opposition. On a radio show shortly after inauguration day, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie criticized Obama's bold statements.
"Instead of trying to bring people together it was a manifesto for, 'Hey, it's my way or the highway,'" Christie said.
But Regardless of the discontent from Republicans, those topics will probably make their way into the State of the Union address. President Obama will tackle the gun control debate, as he released a proposal on the issue on January 16. The nation's infrastructure problems may also be mentioned. All of these topics will contribute to Obama's overarching burden of restoring the nation's economy and jobs. For a preview of the issues Obama will challenge, looking back at his second inaugural address will paint a very clear picture.