Some of Obama's job ideas will be repackaged versions of proposals he made during his first term, though aides say there will be some new initiatives, too. All of the economic proposals are expected to echo themes from Obama's re-election campaign, which focused on using increased spending to generate jobs, protecting programs to help the middle class, and bringing down the deficit, in part by culling more tax revenue from the wealthiest Americans.
Republicans have shown little sign of falling in line behind the president as he starts his second term, particularly when it comes to taxes.
"Clearly, the president wants more revenue for more government," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said in an interview. "He's gotten all the revenue he's going to get. Been there, done that."
The backdrop for Obama's address will be a March 1 deadline for averting automatic across-the-board spending cuts, known as the sequester. The president wants lawmakers to push that deadline back for a second time to create space for a larger deficit-reduction deal, one he hopes will include a balance of targeted cuts and increased tax revenue. Republicans want to offset the sequester with spending cuts alone.
As he addresses lawmakers and the American people, Obama is expected to say government entitlement programs should be on the table in deficit-reduction talks. But he will also make the case that programs that help the middle class, the poor, and the elderly must be protected.
In keeping with that approach, the White House said Monday that Obama would not consider increasing the Medicare eligibility age as a way to reduce spending.
Obama will also press Congress to support his proposals for overhauling the nation's immigration laws and tightening gun measures.
Foreign policy will take a backseat to domestic issues, though Obama may discuss next steps for drawing down U.S. troops from Afghanistan and reducing the nation's nuclear stockpile.
The president will follow up his State of the Union address with three-day tour around the country.