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President Obama, Republicans Clash Over Jobs, Health Care

US President Barack Obama delivers his weekly address, 22 Jan 2011
US President Barack Obama delivers his weekly address, 22 Jan 2011

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Nico Colombant

President Barack Obama is promoting recent government action to spur job creation, while Republicans maintain focus on trying to discredit last year's health care reform law.

In his weekly address, Mr. Obama points to deals he finalized this week with Chinese President Hu Jintao.

"We will be increasing U.S. exports to China by more than $45 billion, and China's investments in America by several billion dollars. Most important, these deals will support some 235,000 American jobs," said Obama.

Mr. Obama also promotes his decision to appoint General Electric's chief Jeff Immelt to head a new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

"I am confident that they will generate good ideas about how we can spur hiring, educate our workers to compete in the 21st century, and attract the best jobs and businesses to America rather than seeing them spring up overseas," added Obama.

In the Republican weekly address, Wyoming Republican Senator John Barrasso calls last year's health care legislation, which he labels "Obamacare", as "job-destroying."

"Each and every day more people pay the price of Obamacare's mountain of mandates," said Barrasso.  "As I travel across the country, I continue to hear from Americans who want Washington to take its' hands off of their health care."

Majority Republicans in the House of Representatives recently voted to repeal the health care legislation, which expands coverage to more Americans. But the bill does not have the votes to pass in Mr. Obama's Democratic Party-dominated Senate.

Another political showdown takes place Tuesday when Mr. Obama will deliver his 2011 State of the Union address.  

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan will give the rebuttal for Republicans, but the so-called anti-spending Tea Party within the Republican Party has announced it will have Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann give an alternate rebuttal.

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