WASHINGTON — President Obama will invoke the space race with the Soviet Union to challenge Congress to tone down partisan rancor and work with him to usher in a new age of American innovation in his State of the Union address.
With Republican and Democratic senators and representatives planning to sit together in a symbolic gesture of solidarity in the wake of the Jan. 8 mass shooting in Tucson, Obama will push for investment in research and education as the key to keeping the nation competitive in the global economy.
“This is our generation’s Sputnik moment,” Obama will say, according to excerpts released by the White House, referring to the Soviet satellite that first orbited the earth in 1957 and startled the United States into a flurry of scientific breakthroughs.
Obama will make the case that breakthroughs in green energy, information technology and biomedical research will grow new jobs where the recession has washed them away and that he will be sending a budget to Congress that includes government investment in those areas.
Government investments to spur new technology could be a bone of contention between Obama and Republicans, many of whom were elected on a platform of reducing government as the best path to economic growth just a few months ago.
– By Capital News Service’s Andy Marso