News / USA

Obama Accuses Republicans Of Obstruction

US President Barack Obama, 18 Jun 2010
US President Barack Obama, 18 Jun 2010
TEXT SIZE - +
Kent Klein

President Barack Obama says the minority Republicans in the U.S. Congress should stop blocking legislation that would help unemployed Americans and the victims of the Gulf oil spill. Republicans charge that the president is playing politics with the oil disaster.

President Obama says Republicans are intentionally holding up important legislation, which he says reflects "a dreary and familiar politics." "I know the political season is upon us in Washington.  But gridlock as a political strategy is destructive to the country.  Whether we are Democrats or Republicans, we have got an obligation that goes beyond caring about the next election.  So I hope that when Congress returns next week, they do so with a greater spirit of compromise and cooperation.  America will be watching," he said.

In his weekly address, the president blasts Republicans for blocking a vote on legislation to extend unemployment benefits to millions of Americans who are out of work.  

The bill failed Thursday when Democrats could not get enough votes to end debate.  Republicans support many of the policies in the measure but want it changed to reduce its impact on the deficit.  

Mr. Obama says they are also holding up bills to provide relief to financially struggling state governments, prolong a tax credit for first-time homebuyers and give tax cuts to keep research and development jobs in the United States.

Weekly Address: Republicans Blocking Progress from The White House on Vimeo.

The president is also criticizing Republicans for blocking a bill to remove a limit on liability costs for oil companies. "Right now, the law places a $75 million cap on the amount oil companies must pay to families and small businesses who suffer economic losses as a result of a spill like the one we are witnessing in the Gulf Coast.  We should remove that cap.  But the Republican leadership will not even allow a debate or a vote," he said.

In his party's weekly message, Republican Senator Roger Wicker, from the Gulf state of Mississippi, says President Obama has been slow to put the oil spill at the top of his agenda. "He was slow in listening to state and local leaders, slow in getting skimmers to the Gulf, slow in understanding the seriousness of this crisis, and slow in taking ownership and responsibility for the recovery," he said.

Sunday marks two months since BP's Deepwater Horizon oil well exploded, killing eleven workers and spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico.  

Senator Wicker charges that the president's policies on the spill have done more harm than good.  He says Mr. Obama spent too much of his speech to the nation last Tuesday promoting a proposal to regulate carbon dioxide emissions.  The senator says the so-called "cap and trade" system would drive up energy prices and send American jobs overseas. "Now is not the time to push a controversial, job-killing, partisan agenda through Congress.  In addition to devastating our economy, this proposal would do nothing to fix the disastrous leak or clean up our beaches, marshes and waters," he said.

The Mississippi lawmaker ended his address with an appeal to fellow Americans to visit his state and its neighbors along the Gulf, which have seen a huge drop in tourism since the oil spill.


You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid