Obama to visit NC for economic event

President Obama will travel to North Carolina for an event on the economy next Wednesday, as part of an administration's push to highlight its economic programs before his State of the Union address.

The president will visit the Raleigh-Durham area. The White House did not announce the specific venue for Obama's event.

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The White House has devoted a significant amount of its energy since the beginning of the new year promoting the president's economic agenda, which White House aides say will be the centerpiece of his State of the Union address on Jan. 28.

On Tuesday, the president pleaded with Congress to pass legislation that would restore emergency unemployment benefits to 1.3 million Americans during a speech at the White House. The measure passed a crucial test vote in the Senate on Tuesday, with Obama personally calling several GOP senators, though a steep climb remains for final passage. 

The next day, the president marked the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Baines Johnson's “war on poverty” address with a statement crediting government programs like Social Security, Medicare and the Earned Income Tax Credit with lifting millions of Americans from poverty.

“These endeavors didn’t just make us a better country. They reaffirmed that we are a great country,” the president said in a statement. “They lived up to our best hopes as a people who value the dignity and potential of every human being.”

Later Thursday, Obama will name five impoverished communities as economic “promise zones.”

The areas — San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Southeastern Kentucky and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma — would benefit from a mix of federal and private spending designed to aid schools, police departments and businesses.  

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