House representatives from both parties overwhelmingly told ABC News that President Obama's State of the Union address tonight should focus on one central front: jobs and the economy.
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, imagined how he would write the State of the Union address if he were the president's chief speech writer.
"If the president would give the speech that I would write for him, he would acknowledge that this great Keynesian economics theory has been a mistake, and that he understands that we have to freeze our spending, stop the debt clock and get free enterprise back in play to the point where we can reduce the burden of the overall debt," King said. "I'd like to hear him use the word 'austerity.' I don't think we'll hear that."
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W. Va., said the president's address should focus on job creation, economic stability and "moving out of a recession at a pace where people know they have a future.
"The president's got to address the issue that Americans are talking about. Where are the jobs?" Capito said. "I look for him to certainly talk about drawing us together on finding common ground, but this is an issue. I'm hoping he addresses the spending problem, the debt and the deficit."
John Larson, the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said he hoped Obama would encourage American manufacturing as part of his plan to revitalize the economy.
'What I'm hoping to hear of course is more about job creation. We know how hard the president has worked in this area, and we know when you make it in America, every American can make it," Larson, from Connecticut, said.
"That's what's important for all the citizens listening to this speech this evening -- to put this country back to work, do it in a collaborative manner, working together as the president continues to do, to reach out to the other side and pull together on behalf of the American people."
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., who is helping to lead an effort tonight to distribute black and white ribbons in honor of the victims of the Tucson, Ariz., shooting Jan. 8, agreed that the president's primary focus should be on job creation and stimulating economic recovery.
"We will hear the president talk about his vision for creating jobs, turning the economy around, getting Americans back to work," Wasserman Schultz said. "It's absolutely critical that we take the next step in making sure that America is as competitive as we can be, that we're a leader in innovation, that we make sure that we are working hard to get that unemployment rate down, get people able to find a job, make sure that we can revitalize the economy, reach out across the country and ensure that we have the most competitive economy in the world."
Freshman Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., said he hopes the president does not use the word "investment," which House Republicans have said is White House code for more spending and adding to the deficit.
"We've seen over the last couple of years the word 'investment' just means more spending," Schweikert said. "We need to be honest with the American people. We're broke; we're destroying our kids' and our grandkids' future. We need to step up and do what's right."