PA Lawmakers prepare for State of the Union Address - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

PA Lawmakers prepare for State of the Union Address

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (01/27/2014) - On Tuesday, January 28th, President Obama will deliver the annual State of the Union address.

He'll focus on issues like unemployment, job creation and immigration reform. But our Pennsylvania lawmakers, hope his main focus will be on the economy.

"He says things are improving, unfortunately we don't have enough participation in the labor force as we need," said Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) "We need to get people back to work."

Democratic Senator Bob Casey said he hopes to hear about how the President can bridge the gap between rich and poor.

"I think it will be mostly about the economy and this broader question of income inequality," he said. "And I think there are a lot of folks who think we're overdue on that kind of discussion."

"I guess that's what I'm hoping for – that the president really does zero in with problems that he comes with kind of a change of attitude to be collaborative and work.," said Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA)

2013 was a bitter, partisan year in Washington. But it ended with one of the biggest bi-partisan deals in recent history – the Ryan/Murray budget deal. 2014 started with another bi-partisan effort – the passing of the 1.1 trillion dollar spending plan. Our lawmakers hope the President will continue to focus on bringing both houses and both parties together.

"The president need folks to work with him.," said Casey. "If they focus on the economy and jobs I think we'll probably be on the same page."

Thompson agrees.

"You don't get everything you want but you have to come to some common ground and find what you can agree upon," he said.

Kelly said the President has a big task at hand.

"He needs to bring both parties together, he needs to bring all Americans together," he said. "Not as Republicans, not as Democrats but all Americans together to make a better country."

The speech is changing this year. You can get directly involved with a new interactive site sponsored by the White House. It will allow users to see charts and other links to more information about issues the President is discussing in real-time. And will open up the conversation on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

The White House says the State of the Union is not just a conversation with Congress but a conversation with the American public. And it's one that's expected to shape this new year on Capitol Hill.

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