News

Bush Hails Elections in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestinian Territories and Ukraine

President Bush has hailed the recent elections in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Palestinian territories and Ukraine during his annual State of the Union address.

The president is speaking this hour in Washington to both houses of Congress and assorted guests, including a woman who voted in Sunday's Iraqi elections, and a woman who voted in Afghanistan's election late last year.

Mr. Bush also says Sunday's elections in Iraq opened up a new phase to U.S. efforts there, with an increased focus on making Iraqi security forces more capable.

Bush Pledges Ongoing Commitment in Iraq

President Bush says the mission in Iraq will succeed because Iraqis are determined to fight for their freedom.

Mr. Bush says the new political situation in Iraq opens the next phase of U.S. work in that country.

He says commanders on the ground as well as Iraqi government officials have recommended an increased focus on training capable Iraqi security forces.

He says as Iraqi security forces improve, the U.S. led coalition will step into a more supporting role.

President Bush told Congress that freedom in Iraq will make America safer for generations to come.

The president did not give a timetable for when U.S. troops will leave Iraq, saying it would "embolden" terrorists in that country.

He says once Iraq is democratic and at peace, U.S. forces in the country will return home with, "the honor they have earned."

The President says that during his inauguration speech two weeks ago, he renewed commitment to the guiding ideal of "liberty for all" - and now he wants to detail policy goals for advancing that ideal both at home and abroad.

Mr. Bush says the U.S. economy is growing faster than any industrialized nation and he says more Americans are going back to work. He also says the United States is an "active force" for good in the world.

The president also outlined his achievements during his first four years in office -- pointing to tax cuts, the prosecution of corporate criminals and the creation of more than 2 million jobs in the last year.

He said the budget he will send to Congress next week will make his tax cuts permanent and stays on track to cut the federal deficit by half by 2009.

President Pushes Economic, Immigration Goals

The president called small business the "path of advancement," especially for women and minorities. He said the country must free small business from needless regulation and protect such businesses from what he called junk lawsuits.

He also for the economy to become stronger, health care must be more affordable. He asked Congress to pass proposals that include tax credits to help low-income workers buy insurance.

He said the country also needs reliable supplies of affordable, environmentally responsible energy. He urged Congress to pass legislation he said would cut pollution and make the country less responsible on foreign energy suppliers.

Mr. Bush said the country's immigration system is outdated. He said current laws punish hardworking people who want only to provide for their families, and deny American businesses willing workers.

He said it is time for an immigration policy that permits temporary guest workers to fill jobs Americans will not take, while telling the government who enters and leaves the country and protects the border.

Bush Outlines Social Security Reform

President Bush says one of America's most important institutions, the federal retirement and disability system Social Security, is in need of reform.

Mr. Bush warned that the system is headed towards bankruptcy. He says Congress must join with him to save it.

The president says that currently, more than 45 million Americans receive Social Security, while millions more are nearing retirement.

While he said he wanted to reassure older Americans they will receive their benefits, he warned that younger workers may encounter serious problems with Social Security.

He says in 13 years, Social Security will be paying out more than it is taking in - and by 2042, the system will likely be bankrupt -- an assertion some members of Congress voiced disagreement with.

He says if steps are not taken to avert that outcome, the only solutions would be drastically higher taxes, massive new borrowing or severe cuts in Social Security benefits.

Security is tight around the U.S. Capitol, where the president is speaking to both houses of Congress and assorted guests that include First Lady Laura Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

Leaders of the opposition Democratic Party will deliver a response to the president shortly after his address.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs