• President Barack Obama waves as he walks down the West Wing Colonnade of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, ahead of tonight's State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill.

    State of the Union will appeal for new spending and tax hikes to meet fiscal challenges, guaranteeing virulent Republican opposition.

    LAST UPDATE : Feb 12, 2013, 6:47 PM EST
  •  In this May 16, 2012 file photo, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. gestures during a committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington.

    Healthy majority for legislation that expands protection from women to gays and lesbians, but GOP-led House could be a stumbling block.

    LAST UPDATE : Feb 12, 2013, 4:07 PM EST
  • In this Jan. 24, 2012, file photo President Barack Obama reaches out to shake hands after giving his State of the Union address.

    State of the Union message expected to pressure polarized Congress into taking aggressive action on contentious agenda.

    LAST UPDATE : Feb 11, 2013, 6:23 PM EST
  • In this Jan. 31, 2103 file photo, former Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, President Obama's choice for defense secretary.

    Ducking Republican demands for more financial information on the former GOP Senator nominated by the president to helm the Pentagon.

    LAST UPDATE : Feb 11, 2013, 4:19 PM EST
  • Hopes to raise the pressure on Congress by spelling out in painful detail what across-the-board reductions would look like if not prevented.

    LAST UPDATE : Feb 09, 2013, 12:45 AM EST
  • Secretary of State John Kerry holds a bilateral meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013.

    New Secretary of State says U.S. still weighing options when it comes to new aid for the internationally recognized opposition movement.

    LAST UPDATE : Feb 09, 2013, 12:50 AM EST
  •  In this Feb. 6, 2013 file photo Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder announces an expansion of the state's Medicaid.

    Speaks to strapped state budgets and public sentiment that favors taking advantage of generous federal funding.

    LAST UPDATE : Feb 08, 2013, 5:57 PM EST