(02/12/13) - President Barack Obama is putting the finishing touches on his State of the Union Address - one that promises to focus on his second term agenda , without much applause from Republicans.
Tuesday night's speech will focus on the economy, reducing gun violence and revamping immigration.
The State of the Union is the biggest speech the president will make all year, and Tuesday, we expect him to set the tone not just for the year ahead, but for his second term.
There are some big issues on the agenda Tuesday.
There's always a foreign policy component, and earlier Tuesday, the president announced 34,000 more troops will be out of Afghanistan by this time next year. So, we'll hear about that.
On domestic issues, immigration reform is something both parties want to do, but they're waiting on the president to take the lead.
Then there's gun violence. Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head, will be in the audience - as will a teacher from Sandy Hook Elementary School who protected her students.
But the thing our lawmakers are looking for is for the President to talk about the economy.
The White House says the president will lay out a plan to make the economy work for the middle class.
"I hope he's aggressive in terms of a program, and I hope he lays out a vision for this country, which is a positive vision, a job-creating vision, a middle class vision. The middle class has taken a real hit," said Sen. Carl Levin.
"I'm looking for the President to continue his strong support of manufacturing and jobs. Everything I'm hearing is he's going to put manufacturing front and center, and that means Michigan will be front and center this evening," said Sen. Debbie Stabenow.
"What I'm hoping to hear is the president's path forward - to put some of the fights and battles of the last election, and of these current fiscal battles behind us, and focus on how we come together as a country to take on the big challenges that we face. And there are some serious problems," said Rep. Dan Kildee.
"I'm really hopeful that the president will lay out for the American people his blueprint, which is a budget for spending, and how he thinks we should be prioritizing spending and any kinds of cuts he might recommend. I'll just make note that he's passed the deadline to submit a budget to Congress for the fourth time in the last five years," said Rep. Candice Miller.
Senator Marco Rubio from Florida will be giving the Republican Response Tuesday night in English, and then for the first time in Spanish. This is clearly an attempt for the GOP to appeal to Hispanic voters, who overwhelmingly supported President Obama in the last election.
ABC12 Main Station