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What Time Is the State of the Union Address?

Local lawmakers like Congressman Jared Huffman of San Rafael will be in attendance at President's annual speech at the Capitol.

President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night will offer local residents more chances than ever to participate and find out more about issues they're most interested in. The White House will offer an "enhanced" viewing experience complete with charts, graphs and data.

The address will begin at 6 p.m. PT and will be followed by the traditional Republican response, this year delivered by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.

CNN will begin its coverage at 4 p.m. with political anchors and analysts including former Speaker Newt Gingrich, who ran an unsuccessful campaign in the Republican presidential primary.

C-SPAN coverage will begin with a live preview, one hour early, at 5 p.m., and will include interviews with members of Congress and others from the Capitol's Statuary Hall at 10 p.m., immediately following the president's address and Republican response.

NBC will begin its coverage online at 5:45 p.m. at www.nbcnews.com, and will go live on the air at 6 p.m. CBS also will air the speech live at 6 p.m.

As President Obama enters the U.S. House of Representatives he will be announced by the House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving. Obama will be preceded by members of his Cabinet and the Supreme Court justices. Tradition dictates that one member of the Cabinet stays behind.

Lawmakers from California will observe some time-honored traditions at tonight's address at the Capitol by inviting guests and making special seating arrangements during the address.

Newly elected Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) announced Tuesday that he'll be joined at the State of the Union Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council

“This is my first State of the Union address as a Congressman, and I wanted my gallery guest to be someone at the forefront of our nation’s work to respond to the threat of climate change," Huffman said in a statement. "I look forward to working with President Obama, with Frances, and other climate leaders, and with my colleagues in Congress to carry out the promise of the President’s Inaugural speech to lead the world in sustainable energy sources, new jobs, and new industries."

Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein invited a California victim of gun violence to attend Tuesday’s State of the Union address. Feinstein, author of the Senate bill that would ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines, invited Josh Stepakoff. Josh was 6 when he was shot at the North Valley Jewish Community Center shooting in Granada Hills in 1999.

“Josh is a remarkable young man whose life was forever changed by a senseless act of mass gun violence," Feinstein said in a prepared statement. “Since his tragic experience, Josh has become a voice for young victims across the country. It is important for members of Congress to see the faces behind these tragedies of gun violence.”

Formerly known as the “Annual Message,” the State of the Union Address has a rich history. Presidents Washington and Adams delivered live addresses to Congress, but in 1801 President Thomas Jefferson chose to submit his address in writing. That tradition held until President Woodrow Wilson resumed the practice of live addresses in 1913.

In addition to Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, attendees will include the President’s Cabinet, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Chief Justice and Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, and the U.S. Diplomatic Corps.

Check back to Patch tonight for coverage of the State of the Union and its local impacts!

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