President Barack Obama begins his speech by congratulating the newly elected 112th Congress. He then says they are reminded of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords by her empty seat.
His speech begins: A robost democracy demands debate. However, the Tucson tragedy gave the country pause. No matter who we are or where we come from, each of us is part of something greater.
"We are part of the American family."
We're still bound together, that all our dreams deserve a chance to be fulfilled.
Never miss a local story.
"That, too, sets us apart as a nation."
This won't usher in a new era of cooperation. That's determined by us. We can sit together tonight, but can we work together tomorrow?
We can and we must. That's what the people who sent us here expect of us. Governing is a shared experience between parties.
"We will move forward together, or not at all. The challenges we face are bigger than party, are bigger than politics."
What's at stake: Will new jobs come to America or elsewhere? We're poised for progress. Two years after the worst recession most have ever known, the stock market has roared back.
America wants us to work on helping small business owners thrive. We did that in December, because of the tax cut we passed. Steps like these will add to job growth.
These steps may have broken the recession's back, but we'll need to take on challenges decades old.
Many can remember that finding a job meant showing up at the nearby factory. Your competition was limited to your neighbors. If you worked hard, you'd have a job for life.
"That world has changed." For many, it's been painful. I've seen it in shuttered factories and once busy main streets. People have smaller paychecks, and people feel like the rules have been changed.
Technological revolutions have changed how we do business. People can sell products wherever there's an Internet connection. Other counties are educating their kids earlier and longer. They're investing in research and new technologies.
The world has changed and job competition is real. This shouldn't discourage us, but instead challenge us.
"America still has the largest, most prosperous economy in the world."
No workers are more productive than ours. We've got the best universities.
We're the first nation to be founded on the idea that we can shape our destiny.
"The future is ours to win." But we can't get there if we stand still. Each generation must sacrifice, and now it's our turn.
We must exceed other nations in innovation, education and other fields. We must take responsibility for our government.
Tonight, I'll talk about how we get there:
We must encourage American innovation. We can't know where the new jobs will come from, but we can spark the creativity of our nation. Innovation doesn't just change our lives, it's how we make our living.
Our free enterprise system drives innovation.
The Soviets beat us into space with Sputnik. We didn't know how we'd beat them to the moon. But we invested in better research and education. We passed the Soviets and unleashed innovations that created new jobs.
Two years ago, I said we needed to reach new heights of innovation. In a few weeks, I'll send a budget to Congress featuring clean energy technology. It'll protect our planet and strengthen security.
Americans have always reinvented themselves. We've started reinventing our energy policy. If the best minds are assembled and focused on the hardest problems, we'll fund it.
We can break our dependence on fossil fuels and get 1 million electric vehicles on the road.
We should eliminate billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies.
"They're doing just fine on their own."
Let's invest in tomorrow's energy instead of subsidizing today's.
By 2030, I want 20 percent of America's energy to come from clean sources. I urge both parties to make it happen.
If we want to win the future, jobs in America and not overseas, we must win the race in education.
Over the next 10 years, almost half of all jobs will require more than a high school education. And we've got about 25 percent of our students who don't finish high school.
The responsibility begins in our homes and communities. Only parents can ensure the TV is off and the homework is done.
We must celebrate the winner of the science fair, not just the Superbowl.
Success comes from hard work and discipline. Our schools share this responsibility. They should meet high standards. We shouldn't pour money into a bad system. That's why we created Race to the Top. If you show us a good system, we'll show you the money.
It's led over 40 states to raise their standards for teaching and learning. It was done by leaders of both parties.
We must replace No Child Left Behind by a better law that's better for our kids.
"We want good schools all across the country."
After parents, the teacher is the most important person in a child's education. We should treat them with the respect of a "nation builder."
We must improve technology and math. If you want to make a difference, become a teacher.
Higher education must be attainable by all Americans. I want Congress to make permanent our tuition tax credit. "It's the right thing to do."
People need to be able to train for jobs and careers. We're revising our country's community colleges.
If we raise expectations for every child, we'll reach the goal I set two years ago. By decade's end, we'll have the highest proportion of college graduation in the world.
Many kids in our schools aren't citizens, though some may be illegal. They'll get advanced degrees, and we then send them back home to compete with us.
I want to again take on the issue of illegal immigration, working across the aisle.
The debate will be difficult, but let's promise to have the debate.
We must rebuild America to have the fastest ways to move people and information.
"Our infrastructure used to be the best." Other countries invest more in their roads and infrastructure better than we do.
We built the railroad, the Interstate system. These developments came from local businesses who did the work.
"We'll put more Americans to work rebuilding crumbling roads and bridges."
Within 25 years, we want 80 percent of Americans to have access to high-speed rail. "For some trips, it'll be faster than flying, without the pat down."
Some routes are already underway. In five years, we'll make it possible for 98 percent of all Americans to have fast WiFi. Smaller business owners will be able to sell their products across the world.
All their investments will make America a better place to do business and create jobs. We must knock down barriers in the way of these successes.
Over the years, lobbyists have rigged the tax code. "It makes no sense, and it has to change."
Let's lower the corporate tax rate without increasing the deficit. It can happen.
I want to double exports by 2014. Already, our exports are up.
I've ordered a review of government regulations. When we find unnecessary burdens on businesses, we'll lessen them.
However, I'll enforce common sense safeguards to protect Americans. It's why our food, water and air are safe.
That's why we placed new rules on credit card companies, and stopped health care companies from exploiting their patients.
"I have heard rumors that a few of you still have concerns about our new health care law."
Anything can be improved. We can work together. There's an unfair bookkeeping burden on small businesses.
But I'm not willing to return to the days when insurance companies could deny someone coverage based on a pre-existing condition.
This law is making prescription drugs cheaper and allowing students to stay on their parents' insurance longer.
"Let's fix what needs fixing and let's move forward."
We must ensure we're not buried under a mountain of debt. The spending began about a decade ago. We did it to keep credit flowing.
But now the worst of the recession is over, we must see that America spends more than it takes in. It's not sustainable.
I propose we freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years. It would reduce the deficit by about 400 million dollars in the next 10 years. It'll require painful cuts, like community action programs.
I'm willing to eliminate anything we can honestly do without, but let's not do it on the backs of our most needy citizens.
Most of my suggested cuts only deal with annual domestic spending. We must also stop pretending that only cutting this spending is enough. It's not.
The bipartisan fiscal commission made this very clear. To tackle the deficit, excessive spending must be cut everywhere, including loopholes. We've got to look at Medicare and Medicaid.
The health care law addresses this. However, I'm willing to look at other ideas, including medical malpractice reform to reign in frivolous lawsuits.
We should also find a solution to strengthen Social Security, but we can't put retirees at risk. We can't tie retirement income to the stock market's whims.
We can't afford an extension of the tax cuts to the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.
We should ask millionaires to give up their tax break. It's about promoting America's success. We should simplify the individual tax code.
Members of both parties have expressed an interest, and I'm willing to look at it.
"Now is the time to act."
We must forge a compromise that gets the job done.
We must give our people a government that's more competent and efficient. The last major reorganization of the government happened when TV was black and white.
The Interior Department handles salmon when they're in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles them when they're in salt water.
"I hear it gets more complicated when they're smoked."
We'll reorganize the government, I'll submit it to Congress for a vote and we'll push to get it passed.
We'll also push to rebuild people's faith in their government. There will be a website where you can get that information.
If a bill comes to my desk with earmarks, I'll veto it.
The 21st century government must be open and competent, with an economy driven by new skills and ideas. We must have innovation. We must look at foreign affairs differently.
"No single wall separates East and West."
We must defeat enemies no matter where they are.
Combat patrols in Iraq have ended and violence is down. We'll start bringing our troops home. The Iraq war is coming to an end. Al-Qaeda continues to plan attacks, though we thwart them.
American muslims are a part of our American family.
We've taken the fight to al-Qaeda. Our purpose is clear: to stop the Taliban from creating a safe haven.
Tough fighting will be ahead, and Afghanistan must have better governance. We'll work with some 50 countries, and this July, we'll start to bring our troops home.
In Pakistan, their leaders are under serious pressure.
Iran must meet its obligations. They face tougher sanctions.
We stand with South Korea, and North Korea must abandon nuclear weapons.
We've built new and stronger alliances with other countries.
Sudan has voted for independence. We saw the same desire in Tunisia. America stands with them, and stands with the democratic aspirations of all people.
We must not forget that what we struggled for lives in people's hearts everywhere. We must honor those who serve our country.
Let us speak with one voice, and say we support the armed forces. Starting this year, no one will be punished for serving the country they love because of who they love.
I want all college campuses to open their doors to recruiters and ROTC.
None of our tasks - energy, the economy - are easy. We'll argue about everything. Some countries don't have this problem. If they don't want bad press, it doesn't happen.
But even though our democracy is messy, no one here would trade places with any other nation on Earth.
We've got differences in policy, but we all believe in our rights in the Constitution. We've got different backgrounds, but we all think that anything is possible in America. A vice president and House Speaker can come from modest backgrounds to the highest levels of power.
America is a country where someone may not have much money, but they have a great idea. They might come from a family without anyone who's a college graduate, but they can graduate from college.
"We do big things. Our destiny remains our choice."
It's because of our people that the state of our union is strong.
"Thank you, God bless you and God bless the United States of America."