President Barack Obama is making his first speech to a joint session of
Congress Tuesday, acknowledging difficult and uncertain economic times but
promising the country will rebuild and be stronger than ever.
In excerpts released by the White House before Tuesday night's (9pm local time) speech, Mr. Obama calls on Americans to "pull together" to confront challenges and take responsibility for the country's future.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is scheduled to give the Republican response. Excerpts from his comments call Mr. Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus package "irresponsible," saying it contains unnecessary spending that will drive up government debt.
Earlier Tuesday, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the U.S. economy is in a "severe" contraction, and he warned that the recession could continue into 2010 unless government policies are able to stabilize markets.