A White House official, speaking on background to reporters Monday about the State of the Union address, said Obama will “throw down the gauntlet” to Congress to pass laws that could help the middle class succeed, specifically in areas where bipartisan support makes action this year a question of “common sense.”

Whether it’s spending on roads, bridges, ports and communications technology; or requirements for universal background checks for all gun purchasers; or a path to citizenship for more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country, the president will argue Tuesday night that lawmakers share enough common ground to select and pass sensible solutions this year.

Obama also will tout the more than 6 million jobs created on his watch, and the nation’s efforts to boost growth, especially when it comes to jobs for those who have been left behind during a slow recovery. Those groups include the long-term unemployed, African-American and Latino workers, and young people without college degrees.

He will argue, as he did during his first term, that federal and private-sector investment in infrastructure, as well as tough trade laws, bolster economic growth and U.S. competitiveness.