President Bush will defend his decision to send thousands more troops to Iraq during Tuesday's State of the Union address, saying the consequences of failure there would be "grievous and far-reaching."
This speech is the first time in his presidency Mr. Bush will address a joint session of Congress controlled by the Democratic Party, and comes amid skepticism from Democrats and a number of lawmakers from his own Republican party over his Iraq policy.
The latest CBS News opinion poll indicates Mr. Bush's overall job approval rating has fallen to a new low, with just 28 percent of Americans approving his performance. The same poll says two-thirds of Americans oppose his plan to send more troops to Iraq.
Much of the address will focus on the president's domestic agenda. According to highlights released in advance by the White House, Mr. Bush plans to call for a 20 percent cut in U.S. gasoline consumption over the next ten years.
He will argue his goal can be reached through improved fuel economy standards in cars, and increased use of alternative and renewable fuels like ethanol.
The president will call for comprehensive immigration reform and announce proposals to make health care insurance affordable for more Americans.
Mr. Bush will also ask Congress for authority to increase the size of the Army and the Marine Corps by a total of 92-thousand troops.
Following the address, newly-elected Democratic Senator Jim Webb of the state of Virginia will give his party's response. Webb is an outspoken critic of Mr. Bush's Iraq policies and has a son serving in the war-torn country.
Nearly every high-level official of the U.S government will attend Mr. Bush's speech at the U.S. Capitol -- including cabinet members, senators and house members, and members of the Supreme Court.
However, due to security concerns, several members of each branch of government stay away and are taken to a safe, undisclosed location outside of Washington.
The president's speech will be broadcast live by the major U.S. television networks and by Voice of America. VOA coverage will include a videostream over the Internet at www.voanews.com.