State Of the Union Address 2013: 5 Topics Obama Will Discuss
While President Obama will primarily focus on discussing the economy and jobs for Americans, here are five hot topics you can expect President Obama to address in his annual State of the Union address.
With immigration reform picking up major traction, Obama will likely encourage continued bipartisan action to move towards comprehensive immigration reform. Current proposals by the "Gang of Eight" would bring about tough and fair reform for over 11 million undocumented immigrants to move towards citizenship. In 2007, the Congressional Budget Office rated the plan as generating $48 billion in additional revenue over 10 years, while costing about $23 billion in additional welfare and health care payments.
2. Foreign policy:
From the security of U.S. diplomatic posts to the U.S. policy towards Syria, Obama should have lot to say about the country's foreign policy agenda. It will be interesting to see if Obama'a speechwriters will address the recent breaking news out of North Korea, where a successful third nuclear test was reported. President Obama called the action a "highly provocative act" that demands "swift and credible action by the international community" against North Korea. Of note are quick condemnations from Russia, Britain, South Korea and the United Nations. Will Obama use primetime to address the recent actions? Is the Iranian nuclear program of greater concern than North Korea?
Obama's drone program came under fire since last week's Senate hearing regarding counterterrorism adviser John Brennan's nomination to become director of the CIA. Will Obama use tme to justify the administration's policy of deploying unmanned drones to kill Americans suspected of being Al-Qaeda allies?
4. Gun violence:
Background checks have picked up significant momentum across party lines and Obama is well on his way to pushing for comprehensive gun control and gun violence prevention. The NRA has been very vocal about Second Amendment rights, and recent events have pushed gun violence into national spotlight. Is this issue big enough to address in his primetime address? Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, mother of slain Chicago teen Hadiya Pendleton, and a young girl from Newtown, Connecticut will be present inside the Chamber when Obama delivers his address.
5. Climate Change:
Obama came out strong during his January inaugural speech on addresssing climate change. He expressed the need to deal with the "threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations." However, his address tonight will likely cover climate change as it relates to energy technology, new industries, and economic growth.
With all these issues that need to be addressed, you can expect some mention of the above. Count his words and see how many times Obama addresses the above topics. But expect it all to be overshadowed by the big issue that has carried through Obama's tenure as president - the economy, jobs and economic recovery.
Follow Adam's LIVE coverage of the State of the Union here.