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PA's elected leaders expect potpourri of hot topics

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Feb 11 2013 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 12 2013 05:58:24 PM CST

Expect a potpourri of political hot topics when President Obama delivers his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Expect a potpourri of political hot topics when President Obama delivers his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Jobs, gun control, troop levels, and infrastructure are all expected to be in the mix.
International security will also be a big issue.

Both Congressman Charlie Dent and Senator Bob Casey want to hear the president's plans for dealing with threats abroad and at home.

The news of a nuclear test by North Korea will make those working in the nation's capital listen to the president just a little closer during his state of the union address.

“We also have a challenge with regards to Iran's nuclear program," said U.S. Senator Bob Casey. "We have challenges in the Middle East. We're still at war in Afghanistan."

“North Korea just tested another nuclear device," added Congressman Charlie Dent. "So the world remains a dangerous place. The world is crying out for American leadership. I'm hoping the president stands up and talks about these threats that we are facing."

While many expect President Barack Obama to speak about bringing troops home from Afghanistan he is also expected to talk about how to protect the American people when it comes to controlling who has access to guns in our country.

Both Congressman Charlie Dent and Senator Bob Casey say the issue needs to be hammered out on the floor of Congress.

“Some members of Congress think it's a good idea to cut law enforcement," said Casey. "It's a really bad idea. We should fully fund the cops program, fully fund the bullet proof vest program, and fully fund the justice grant that goes right to prosecutors and courts.”

“Maybe we should look at Pennsylvania as a model to deal with mental health and criminal background checks for firearm purchases," added Dent. "That's something we can do.”

Some say the President will at least have a large driving force behind policies he proposes.

“He does have the push of public opinion on a number of proposals behind him," said professor Chris Borick at Muhlenberg College. "Things like mandatory background checks for all gun sales.”

It will be interesting to also see how Obama reaches out to Republicans.

Congressman Charlie Dent says he feels that is something Obama didn't do during his inaugural address.