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Obama to deliver State of the Union address Jan. 24


09:23, December 15, 2011

WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama will deliver his annual State of the Union address before a joint session of the Congress on Jan. 24, according to media reports on Wednesday.

House Speaker John Boehner formally invited the president to give the speech by letter earlier Wednesday, and multiple media reports said that the White House has accepted it.

"As we work together to end this legislative year by advancing initiatives to help Americans struggling in a difficult economy, we must also look ahead for new opportunities to put solutions before politics," Boehner wrote in the letter.

"In the coming year, Republicans will continue our efforts to create an environment for economic growth and job creation, and we welcome an opportunity to hear your new ideas for working with the Congress," he wrote.

By tradition, the president must be invited by the speaker to deliver the address, which not only reports on the condition of the nation but also allows the president to outline his legislative agenda and national priorities.

Obama is also expected to use the occasion to make the case for his re-election, probably by contrasting his policies with those of his Republican rivals.

Obama's delivered his last State of the Union address on Jan. 25, 2011. With a slogan of "winning the future," the speech outlined a package of initiatives the White House prioritized as remedy for the nation's economic woes -- promoting investment on infrastructure and innovation, reducing federal deficit and reforming the education system, among others.

However, with Republicans controlling the House, none of the initiatives was able to gain approval of the Congress, though the White House did manage to advance some small pieces either by legislation or executive power.

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