The topic for this week's address is the upcoming sequestration, across the board cuts that threaten various programs near and dear to the hearts of Republicans and Democrats in Washington. The President gave his preference in addressing the issue:
"Over the last few years, Democrats and Republicans have come together and cut our deficit by more than $2.5 trillion through a balanced mix of spending cuts and higher tax rates for the wealthiest Americans. That's more than halfway towards the $4 trillion in deficit reductions that economists and elected officials from both parties say we need to stabilize our debt.
I believe we can finish the job the same way we started it - with a balanced mix of more spending cuts and more tax reform. And the overwhelming majority of the American people agree - both Democrats and Republicans.
Now, my preference - and the preference of many Members of Congress is to do that in a balanced, comprehensive way, by making sensible changes to entitlement programs and reforming our tax code."
Restating his push for a balanced approach - tax reforms to go along with spending cuts - President Obama discussed the impact of sequestration on Americans:
"If the sequester is allowed to go forward, thousands of Americans who work in fields like national security, education or clean energy are likely to be laid off. Firefighters and food inspectors could also find themselves out of work - leaving our communities vulnerable. Programs like Head Start would be cut, and lifesaving research into diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's could be scaled back. Small businesses could be prevented from getting the resources and support they need to keep their doors open. People with disabilities who are waiting for their benefits could be forced to wait even longer. All our economic progress could be put at risk.
And then there's the impact on our military readiness. Already, the threat of deep cuts has forced the Navy to delay an aircraft carrier that was supposed to deploy to the Persian Gulf. As our military leaders have made clear, changes like this affect our ability to respond to threats in an unstable part of the world. And we'll be forced to make even more tough decisions in the weeks ahead if Congress fails to act."
President Obama's weekly address: