Looking over his shoulder on the House rostrum will be Speaker
The president is certain to defend his honor somehow, and supporters wouldn't blame him for indulging in a little gloating over his pending exoneration in the
"Nobody's made achievements like we've made," he said.
But people familiar with
"The economy is doing so well, and the president's emphasis on continuing the policies that are lifting people from all walks of life — every age, background — that's unifying," said a senior administration official.
Aides say themes for the president's address can be found in his speech last month at the annual global economic forum in
"No one is benefiting more than America's middle class," the president said at the time. "Every decision we make — on taxes, trade, regulation, energy, immigration, education and more — is focused on improving the lives of everyday Americans. And we're determined to ensure that the working and middle class reap the largest gains.
"For the first time in decades, we are no longer simply concentrating wealth in the hands of a few. We're concentrating and creating the most inclusive economy ever to exist. We are lifting up Americans of every race, color, religion, and creed."
The president will talk about his successes on trade, fresh from agreements with
Among the priorities he will address are expanding school choice, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, and doubling down on immigration policies such as a travel ban for certain nations and bolstering security along the Mexican border.
On health care, the president is expected to call on
An end-of-year spending bill purposely set up the deadline, buying time for negotiation, though it's not clear if stakeholders can come together in an election year.
But the bill is a tough sell among some
Meanwhile, industry players have objected to aspects of the surprise-billing measures being considered.
He has proposed ways to match kidney donors with patients, and last year's State of the Union featured a push to end HIV/AIDS by 2030.