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Bush's Seventh State of the Union Address to Focus on Economy


President Bush is preparing to deliver his seventh State of the Union Address -- the annual speech before the U.S. Congress that outlines the president's policy agenda for the coming year.

White House aides say the president will focus on plans to keep the U.S. economy from slipping into a recession. He also is expected to announce a plan to cut in half special congressional spending initiatives, called earmarks, blamed for unnecessarily increasing the federal budget. Mr. Bush is also expected to discuss his hope for a peace deal that would outline the parameters of a Palestinian state. And he plans to discuss the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr. Bush is entering the final year of his presidency -- traditionally a time when a president's agenda-setting power weakens as the country prepares to elect his successor.

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