In a recent speech to the liberal Center for American Progress, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada charged that Bush "can continue to speak in platitudes, like we've seen in the last five State of the Unions, or he can choose to come clean on Iraq, on corruption and how the Republican party's wrong priorities are holding America back."
The president's speech comes at a time when some Republicans are nervous about losing their majorities in Congress. It remains unlikely, however, that Democrats will win control of either the House or Senate in 2006 unless more incumbent Republicans retire or there are significant developments on some of the ethics stories.
"I understand that there's wind to our face in the second term of a party in power," said Reynolds, the man charged with retaining a Republican House majority. "But I also feel very good about the prospects of getting the job done."
Karen Travers and Dan Nechita contributed to this report.