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Limited Library services on Thursday, December 14 due to necessary hardware and software updates. Details

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Government

State of the Union 2011

"The President shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient."
-- Article II, Sec. 3, U.S. Constitution

The Speech

In 1790 George Washington delivered the first "Annual Message" to Congress. Now, over 220 years later, the tradition continues. President Barack Obama gave the annual State of the Union address to Congress and the American people on January 25, 2011.

In a press release, the White House gave the following overview of this year's address: "In his State of the Union, President Obama spoke of the need to maintain America’s leadership in a rapidly changing world so that our economy is competitive – growing and working for all Americans. To do so, he is putting forward a plan to help the United States win the future by out-innovating, out-educating, and out-building our global competition. At the same time, the President understands the need to reform the way our government does business and take responsibility for our deficit – by investing in what makes America stronger and cutting what doesn’t."

President Obama's full State of the Union Address is available online: [transcript][video]

The Response

Each year the State of the Union address is followed by a response from the opposition party. This year it was Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan who delivered the response.  View his full response to President Obama's State of the Union address on YouTube. There were also responses from the Tea Party Movement, the Libertarian Party, and the Socialist Party

Fact Check

As with Presidents before him, President Obama made many large statements in his annual address.  How do these statements hold up to fact? Various agencies have checked the validity of many of the statements made in the 2011 State of the Union address, see how the facts stack up: Associated Press, PolitiFact, FactCheck.org, National Public Radio, and ABC News.

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