(CNN)–President Barack Obama is proposing a five-year freeze on non-security discretionary spending by the government. "This will reduce the deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade," Obama said in remarks prepared for delivery Tuesday night in his State of the Union speech.
"This freeze will require painful cuts," Obama said in the prepared remarks, adding that some in Congress have already proposed deeper cuts, "and I'm willing to eliminate whatever we can honestly afford to do without. But let's make sure we're not doing in on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens."
(CNN) – President Barack Obama Tuesday signaled his willingness to revise his administration's controversial health care law passed last year. "Let me be the first to say that anything can be improved," Obama said in remarks prepared for delivery in his State of the Union address.
Obama added "we can start right now" by revising bookkeeping regulations in the law that have "placed an unnecessary burden on small businesses." But he said, "What I'm not willing to do is go back to the days when insurance companies could deny someone coverage because of a pre-existing condition."
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10:53 p.m. ET - @JohnKingCNN: GOP's Ryan suggests Obama past suggests not credible on deficit. He promises big cuts, but not many specifics.
10:53 p.m. ET - @DanaBashCNN: Raul Labrador, new GOP congressman from idaho just told me Obama "sounded like a republican"
10:41 p.m. ET - Rep. Bachmann: "Instead of a leaner, smarter government, we bought a bureaucracy that tells us which light bulbs to buy, and which will put 16,500 IRS agents in charge of policing President Obama’s health care bill."
10:49 p.m. ET - Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann is now delivering her own response to the president's address. Read the full remarks here.
10:46 p.m. ET - Rep. Bachmann, who is delivering her own response to the president's State of the Union address is running late because she was stuck in traffic. CNN Political Producer Shannon Travis was told she was "barely moving" in her car. She was at the Capitol for the address and will deliver her remarks from the National Press Club.
10:37 p.m. ET - The president's motorcade departed the Capitol en route to the White House.
10:35 p.m. ET - Paul Begala summing up the president's address: He was plain-spoken, not professorial. He was specific, not airy-fairy. He was patriotic and positive and practical.
10:34 p.m. ET - CNN National Political Correspondent Jessica Yellin: Talked to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who said spending freeze is not enough. Senators Tim Scott, Alan West and Jeff Sessions said the same. They like idea of corporate tax reform. Senators Klobuchar and Sessions were dates and said they had a good time together and it felt better than sitting along party lines.
10:33 p.m. ET - Rep. Ryan: "Speaking candidly, as one citizen to another: We still have time… but not much time. If we continue down our current path, we know what our future will be. Just take a look at what’s happening to Greece, Ireland, the United Kingdom and other nations in Europe. They didn’t act soon enough; and now their governments have been forced to impose painful austerity measures: large benefit cuts to seniors and huge tax increases on everybody. Their day of reckoning has arrived. Ours is around the corner. That is why we must act now."
10:32 p.m. ET - Rep. Ryan: "It’s no coincidence that trust in government is at an all-time low now that the size of government is at an all-time high... The President and the Democratic Leadership have shown, by their actions, that they believe government needs to increase its size and its reach, its price tag and its power. Whether sold as “stimulus” or repackaged as “investment,” their actions show they want a federal government that controls too much; taxes too much; and spends too much in order to do too much."
10:25 p.m. ET - Rep. Paul Ryan begins his Republican response. Read the full remarks here.
10:23 p.m. ET - @DanaBashCNN: Hillary Clinton among the last here mingling. Making a point to shake hands with young senate pages
10:19 p.m. ET - @JohnKingCNN: GOP reax: strong "where's the beef" theme - gopers in house and senate say potus too vague on cuts/deficits.
As prepared for delivery:
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:
Tonight I want to begin by congratulating the men and women of the 112th Congress, as well as your new Speaker, John Boehner. And as we mark this occasion, we are also mindful of the empty chair in this Chamber, and pray for the health of our colleague – and our friend – Gabby Giffords.
Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama is calling on Democrats and Republicans to work together to seize what he calls America's "Sputnik" moment by focusing on research and innovation while reshaping priorities to ensure economic revival and future stability, according to excerpts from Tuesday's State of the Union speech.
Obama acknowledges in the excerpts released by the White House that election losses handed Democrats by Republicans in November changed the political reality in Washington, with the resulting GOP control of the House and a stronger Senate minority meaning both parties now share responsibility for moving the country forward.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - Should he decide to seek another term in 2012, Virginia Democratic Sen. Jim Webb has ruled out the possibility of running as an independent.
"I've been through a journey in my life on this. Daniel Patrick Moynihan's probably my role model. He was very comfortable serving in a Republican administration. I'm very proud to have served in the Reagan administration. But in terms of the political values – when they're implemented properly – the Democratic Party is the party that I identify with," Webb told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King Tuesday.
Washington (CNN) - Hours before the president was scheduled to give his State of the Union address, the new House Republican majority approved a resolution pledging to cut non-security federal spending to "2008 levels or less." GOP aides said that could mean about $60 billion in savings.
The vote was largely along party lines, 256-165. Seventeen House Democrats voted with the Republicans on the measure.
Houston (CNN) – Gabrielle Giffords watched an hour of television from her hospital bed, a development her husband Mark Kelly called "'exciting,' " said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a friend of Giffords who spoke to Kelly Tuesday.
"Last night or the night before she watched television - it was CNN in fact - and the fact that she was able to do that for about an hour, in terms of attention span, they were pretty excited about that," Wasserman said.FULL STORY
As Prepared for Delivery:
"With their votes, the American people determined that governing will now be a shared responsibility between parties. New laws will only pass with support from Democrats and Republicans. We will move forward together, or not at all – for the challenges we face are bigger than party, and bigger than politics.
Washington (CNN) - President Obama is planning to mention the Tucson shooting tragedy near the top of his State of the Union Address Tuesday in order to press members of Congress to "lower your tone and raise your sights" about the future, according to a senior administration official.
"I think the American people are screaming for that," said the senior administration official. "They want adult supervision."