Obama's plan is to freeze all government spending other than national security and public insurance programs that are mandated by law — Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
The speech was delivered on the floor of the United States House of Representatives in the United States Capitol. The presiding officers of the Senate and the House of Representatives, Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi respectively sat behind the president.
It's a very trying time for so many Americans caught in the midst of the recession. The State of the Union Address was one that many Americans tuned into because there are so many questions as to when the economy will make at least a partial turn-around.
President Obama injected a bit of humor into his speech, perhaps to break the somber mood the country is in.
Obama referred to his struggles in getting a health care bill passed, "By now, it should be fairly obvious that I didn't take on health care because it was good politics."
The audience liked his quip but it was time for serious business. The laughs will be few when many begin reflecting on tonight's speech. Some feel that it's the same old patronizing and no action. Time will tell.
Highlights from the State of the Union Speech
Obama credited the creation of 2 million jobs with steps his administration has taken toward economic recovery. "We are on track to add another one and a half million jobs to this total by the end of the year."
The President's ideas for stimulating the economy included,"I'm proposing that we take $30 billion of the money Wall Street banks have repaid and use it to help community banks give small businesses the credit they need to stay afloat. I am also proposing a new small business tax credit ... While we're at it, let's also eliminate all capital gains taxes on small business investment; and provide a tax incentive for all businesses, large and small, to invest in new plants and equipment."
Obama's plead for more time on the healthcare issue. "On health care, Obama urges Congress not to walk away ... Not now. Not when we are so close. Let us find a way to come together and finish the job for the American people"
The President mentioned the need for restoring trust to the people. He called on Congress to publish all earmark requests on a single Web site before there's a vote "so that the American people can see how their money is being spent."
On the topic of nuclear weapons, Obama stated that they are, "perhaps the greatest danger to the American people."
The topic of gay people in the military was mentioned. Obama promised to work with Congress and the military to repeal "the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are."
President Obama ended his first State of the Union address at approximately 10:20pm. He called on Americans to "seize this moment -- to start anew, to carry the dream forward and to strengthen our union once more."
Written by Cheryl Phillips