The president offered little hope in the speech of an imminent breakthrough in the budget fight between the White House and Republicans, which appears likely to trigger sweeping, across-the-board budget cuts next month.

Obama reiterated his opposition to a proposal by some Republicans to spare defense cuts, but not other bit-ticket items, such as health care and social services.

Pentagon officials and Republicans have warned about the looming cut of nearly $500 billion over the next 10 years in apocalyptic terms.

“The president’s disarming of America is the greatest threat we face today,” Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee said in a statement rebutting the state of the union address.