Jobs, budget battle, gun control among Obama's State of the Union topics

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President Obama will have a jam-packed speech Tuesday for his State of the Union address. He's expected to talk about his plans for growing the economy, the current budget battle in Congress, gun control and the latest nuclear test in North Korea.

Obama will have to address the immediate battles in Congress from the March 1st budget cuts known as sequestration to issues like the gun control debate. Aides say he hopes to move the conversation forward and talk about his vision for creating jobs.

Money will drive the president's thoughts during the State of the Union speech. White House aides say he'll continue the common theme of protecting the middle class.

"He will demonstrate concretely how we have to invest in manufacturing making the us a magnet for job growth preparing our workforce and making sure if you work hard you can earn a good living," said Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to the president.

Congress is facing another deadline of just over two weeks to reach a budget deal that cuts the deficit or face $85 billion in automatic spending cuts. The president is continuing an old argument for a "balanced approach" with more revenue.

Republicans want spending cuts.

"When you bring your budget to Congress, just tell us one thing. When does it balance?" said Rep. Tom Price (R-GA).

Obama is expected to discuss his hopes for immigration, which he addressed in a speech late last month. Among the steps President Obama wants to see is a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

Gun control is also on the agenda. House Democrats are bringing those affected by gun violence as their guests, including the mother of slain Chicago teen Hadiya Pendleton.

From domestic battles to international unrest, President Obama will have strong words for North Korea. Just this morning, the country conducted its third nuclear test. In a statement the president called it a "highly provocative act" and promised to pursue "firm action."

In Afghanistan, the president is expected to detail the end of the US-led war there, promising 34,000 troops will be home by this time next year.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union.

Following the president's speech, Obama leaves on a three-day tour to push his economic agenda. Similar to the budget battles late last year, the president is hoping to create enough public pressure to force a compromise on Capitol Hill.

Watch the State of the Union tonight on WTHR Channel 13 at 9:00 pm or on