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Obama to deliver state of the union speech Feb. 12

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Fri, 11 Jan 2013 16:51 GMT
Author: Reuters
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WASHINGTON, Jan 11 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will deliver his annual state of the union speech to Congress on Feb. 12, just days before the Treasury could run out of funds to pay government bills.

Obama on Friday accepted the invitation from the top Republican lawmaker John Boehner to address a joint session of Congress, the White House said.

In his letter to Obama, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Boehner said Americans expected lawmakers and the White House to work together to find solutions.

The speech from the Democratic president will come in the middle of another set of difficult budget negotiations between Congress and the administration.

Lawmakers and Obama have locked horns over how to rein in the federal budget deficits, which have topped ${esc.dollar}1 trillion for the fourth consecutive year.

The most recent budget deal to avert the New Year's day fiscal cliff of severe spending cuts and tax hikes established another set of crucial fiscal deadlines.

Obama is expected to use his speech to outline his legislative agenda, including tighter gun control after last month's massacre at a Connecticut school.

But the president's plans to restrict guns and advance immigration reforms will not be a priority in Congress until lawmakers and the White House resolve the next round of fiscal battles, including raising the ${esc.dollar}16.4 trillion debt ceiling.

In the latter half of February, the Treasury will no longer be able to shuffle funds around to make required government payments.

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