POLITICS

2012 State of the Union scheduled for Jan. 24

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's State of the Union address is set for Jan. 24.

(Photo: Associated Press)

As tradition requires, House Speaker John Boehner invited the president to speak to a joint session of Congress. The White House accepted.

In a letter to the president, Boehner said Republicans "welcome the opportunity to hear your new ideas for working with Congress."

The invitation comes in the midst of a confrontational conclusion to the year's legislative work.

Obama and congressional Republicans right now are struggling to wrap up final business on spending bills and on an extension of a payroll tax cut before year's end.

Boehner said that as Congress and the White House try to accomplish all that, "we must also look ahead for new opportunities to put solutions before politics."

The speaker's office and the White House said they worked jointly to arrive at a date for the State of the Union speech. That contrasts with Obama's efforts in September to address Congress to pitch his jobs bill.

At the time, Obama publicly asked for one date and Boehner countered by proposing another, leading to a test-of-wills between the president and the speaker. In the end, the president spoke on the day proposed by Boehner.

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