U.S. President Barack Obama has delivered his first State of the Union address, urging Americans to overcome a "deficit of trust" in the government and work together to solve a damaged economy.
Speaking to both houses of Congress Wednesday night, Mr. Obama said he knows that the country faces serious challenges and that some of his decisions have not been politically popular. But he stressed that change is not easy and he will continue to pursue it.
Mr. Obama urged Congress to send him a jobs bill "without delay" and said lawmakers must address the economic problems that Americans have faced for years. He vowed to keep fighting for a sweeping health care overhaul, warning that insurance costs will continue to rise and the U.S. deficit will grow if Congress does not act.
On international issues, President Obama again pledged to remove all combat troops from Iraq by the end of August and he expressed confidence that the U.S. will suceed in the war in Afghanistan.
In the Republican response to the speech, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell said the federal government is trying to do too much, and has increased the national debt for future generations.