WASHINGTON -- President Obama is putting the final touches on a State of the Union address in which he will offer to work with Congress, but also cite the possibility of executive action if necessary, aides said Tuesday.
While asking Congress for legislation on an immigration bill and a minimum wage hike, Obama will also announce a variety of executive orders -- including one to increase the minimum wage for federal contract workers, from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour.
"We'll look to work with Congress where we can," said White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, on CBS' This Morning. "But I think as we've seen over the last several years now, Congress sometimes is a little slow to action."
Obama also plans to discuss income inequality and to promote the idea that the federal government can help create economic opportunity through job training and college education programs. And he is expected to defend his embattled health care law.
In a brief video posted on the social website Vine, Obama said of his speech: "It's time to restore opportunity for all."
The president's annual address to Congress starts Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET.
Congressional Republicans said that Obama's spending and regulatory policies -- particularly the health care law -- have kept the economy slow. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Obama should use his speech to promote issues like free trade, the Keystone oil pipeline, and House GOP jobs bills that are pending in the Democratic-run Senate.
Boehner also warned Obama against executive overreach, saying that "we're just not going to sit here and let the president trample all over us."
After Obama's speech, the Republican response will be delivered by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash.
Hanging over this particular State of the Union speech: Congressional and state elections in less than 10 months.
Over the past year, Obama has seen his approval ratings fall to percentages in the low 40s in the wake of problems with health care and an uneven economic recovery.
As with previous State of the Union addresses, this one features guests invited to illustrate some of the president's polices, such as health care, immigration, gay rights and responses to national tragedies.
Obama's guests Tuesday include two survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings, openly gay basketball player Jason Collins, General Motors CEO Mary Barra, the governor of Kentucky, and an immigrant brought illegally to the United States as a child.
Congressional Republicans will also have guests, including some who say they have lost coverage or been forced to pay more because of the new health care law.
In the days ahead, Obama will follow up his speech with traditional post-State of the Union trips to try and sell the ideas he discusses.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the president will speak at a Costco store in Lanham, Md., near Washington, D.C.; a steel plant in West Mifflin, Pa., near Pittsburgh; a General Electric gas engine facility in Waukesha, Wis., near Milwaukee; and McGavock High School in Nashville, Tenn.