News / USA

Obama: 'Enormous' Progress With Financial Reform, Other Actions

TEXT SIZE - +

President Barack Obama took time at the end of a busy week Friday to cite what he says is enormous progress in repairing the U.S. economy.  The president faces ongoing criticism of his policies from opposition Republicans.

The most significant legislative accomplishment for the president and majority Democrats since the historic health care overhaul achieved earlier this year, is the financial regulatory reform bill Mr. Obama signed on Thursday.

It is the outcome of almost two years of intense debate on Capitol Hill concerning the best ways to respond to excesses on Wall Street, protect consumers, and avoid another financial system collapse.

Speaking in the White House Roosevelt Room, the president said the new law will protect consumers and the economy from recklessness and irresponsibility that led to the worst financial breakdown since the Great Depression.

"It's a reform that will help us put a stop to the abusive practices of mortgage lenders and credit card companies and ensure that people get the straight, unvarnished information that they need before they take out a loan or open a credit card," he said. "It will bring the shadowy deals that caused the financial crisis into the light of day, and it will end taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street firms and give shareholders a say on executive compensation."

To underscore his points, the president referred to a new report by Ken Feinberg, who Mr. Obama appointed to oversee compensation issues.  The report said 17 banks gave top executives $1.6 billion in bonuses while they were receiving billions of dollars in government bailout funds.

The president pointed to two other achievements - a six-month extension of emergency government benefits for people out of work, and an initiative to reduce waste in government.

Mr. Obama pressed for Senate action on another piece of legislation; tax incentives and lending for small businesses.  And he sounded a theme he will use as he campaigns for Democratic candidates before the November mid-term congressional elections.

"The folks who I have met with across this country, they cannot afford any more political games," he said.  "They need us to do what they sent us here to do.  They didn't send us here to wage a never-ending campaign; they didn't send us here to do what is best for our political party.  They sent us here to do what is best for the United States of America and all our citizens, whether Democrats or Republicans or Independents.  In other words, they sent us here to govern."

As the president spotlights achievements, Republicans continue to criticize him on virtually every one of his policies.  Indiana Republican Mike Pence asserted that President Obama's policies and those of Democrats will lead to huge tax increases.

"As we have done on their failed stimulus policy, as we have did on their national energy tax, as we did on their government take over of health care, House Republicans will stand in the gap to protect taxpayers from the largest tax increase in American history," he said.

Democratic leaders meanwhile cited Republican opposition as they acknowledged they had given up on passing comprehensive clean energy/climate change legislation before the August recess.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said "Unfortunately this time we don't have a single Republican to work with in achieving this goal," Reid said.  "For me, it is terribly disappointing."

"We will continue to work with the senators to craft important, comprehensive legislation," said Carol Browner, Director of the White House Office on Energy and Climate Change Policy.

Having accomplished the bulk of the pre-congressional recess agenda, the president will increasingly focus on the November congressional elections, campaigning for Democrats and pressing his messages about economic recovery.

The White House announced he will travel to New Jersey next week, a state that remains strongly Democratic.  The unemployment rate there is about 9.6 percent, slightly more than the national level.

Also announced, presidential visits next week and in early August to Chrysler, General Motors and Ford automobile plants in Michigan and Chicago, Illinois. The White House says these will highlight a U.S. auto industry that is strengthening as a result of the president's actions to save it.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

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

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population 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.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
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 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