Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., chair of the House Budget Committee, will give the Republican response following the president's address. Ryan's message will be clear -- increasing government spending will hurt job creation and pile up debt for future generations.
"Americans are skeptical of both political parties, and that skepticism is justified -- especially when it comes to spending," Ryan will say, according to an excerpt of his prepared remarks. "So hold all of us accountable. In this very room, the House will produce, debate, and advance a budget. Last year -- in an unprecedented failure -- Congress chose not to pass, or even propose a budget. The spending spree continued unchecked."
But Ryan is not the only Republican giving a response tonight. Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn., will give the Tea Party perspective in an online address after Ryan's.
Continuing a tradition that began under Ronald Reagan, the White House invited special guests to sit with first lady Michelle Obama in her box in the House Gallery tonight.
Some notable attendees included Daniel Hernandez, the intern credited with saving Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' life when the Arizona Democrat was shot in Tucson earlier this month; the family of Christina Taylor Green, who was killed in that shooting; Giffords' surgeon, Dr. Peter Rhee; and Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, who was recently awarded a Medal of Honor for his service in Afghanistan in 2007.
There was also an effort led by Reps. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-Fla., to distribute black-and-white ribbons for members of Congress to wear in honor of the victims of the Tucson tragedy.
ABC News' Matthew Jaffe contributed to this report.