* Speech to focus on middle-class jobs
* Could face stiff Republican opposition
By Jeff Mason and Mark Felsenthal
WASHINGTON, Feb 9 President Barack Obama will
describe his plan for spurring the economy in his State of the
Union address on Tuesday, offering proposals for investments in
infrastructure, manufacturing, clean energy and education, a
senior administration official said on Saturday.
In the annual presidential address to Congress, Obama plans
to show he has not lost sight of the economic woes of
middle-class Americans - issues that dominated the 2012 election
campaign but have been overshadowed recently by efforts to cut
the deficit, overhaul immigration laws and curb gun violence.
"The potential success of his second term is hugely
dependent on the rate at which the economy grows," said Ruy
Teixeira, a political scientist with the liberal-leaning Center
for American Progress.
"There's no problem the Democrats have that can't be solved
with faster growth. Conversely, there's not much they'll be able
to do if growth stays slow."
Obama previewed his economic growth plan in a speech to
House of Representatives Democrats this week, telling them he
would stress the importance of education, development of clean
energy, and infrastructure.
There were no details on the new initiatives for
infrastructure, manufacturing, clean energy and education,
elements first reported by the New York Times.
But any new spending will face tough opposition from
Republicans in Congress who are focused on cutting spending and
reducing the deficit.
Obama has urged Congress to take steps to postpone harsh
government spending cuts slated to take effect on March 1, and
the White House took pains on Friday to describe how the cuts
would affect ordinary Americans' lives.
Obama has said he is willing to cut a "big deal" with
Republicans to trim spending on the Medicare and Social Security
programs for the elderly, but has insisted in ending
long-standing tax breaks for oil companies, private equity firms
and corporate jet owners to create more revenue for government.