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Obama urges Congress to make government work for 'the many'

Published on Feb 13, 2013 12:15 PM
US President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union speech before a joint session of Congress at the US Capitol Feb 12, 2013 in Washington, DC. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - President Barack Obama challenged a divided Congress to back his plans to create middle-class jobs on Tuesday in a State of the Union speech that put a renewed focus on the US economy and sought support for overhauling gun and immigration laws.

Looking to use momentum from his re-election victory last November, Obama vowed to turn much of his attention toward reducing the country's 7.9 per cent unemployment rate.

"It is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many, and not just the few," he said.

Obama spoke from the well of the House of Representatives for his address to a joint session of Congress in the midst of yet another bitter battle with Republicans over taxes and spending, and this tussle cast a heavy shadow over his appearance.

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