News / USA

Obama 'Hopeful' About 2012

Kent Klein

President Barack Obama says he is hopeful that the United States will be able to strengthen its economy and create jobs in the new year.  The president said he is encouraged by the recent vote in Congress to prevent higher payroll taxes and extend unemployment benefits.

In his final weekly address of the year, President Obama said 2011 was a year of great change and progress.  

"We ended one war and began to wind down another," said Obama.  "We dealt a crippling blow to al-Qaida and made America more secure.  We stood by our friends and allies around the world through natural disasters and revolutions.  And we began to see signs of economic recovery here at home, even as too many Americans are still struggling to get ahead."

Obama applauded Democrats and Republicans in Congress for working together to pass a two-month extension of a payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits.

The president credited Americans who contacted Congress in support of the extension, and he called on lawmakers to approve a year-long extension when they return to Washington in January.

"And I expect Congress to finish the job by extending these provisions through the end of 2012," Obama added.  "It was good to see members of Congress do the right thing for millions of working Americans, but it was only possible because you added your voices to the debate."

Obama recorded his message from the state of Hawaii, where he is on vacation with his family.

The president said his main goal for the new year is to make America's economic system more fair for the middle class-a theme he is expected to repeat throughout his 2012 re-election campaign.

"As president, I promise to do everything I can to make America a place where hard work and responsibility are rewarded, one where everyone has a fair shot and everyone does their fair share," Obama said.  "That's the America I believe in.  That's the America we have always known."

In the weekly Republican address, Senator Johnny Isakson said his party's top priority for the new year is to make it easier for small businesses to create jobs.  He said Republicans will do so by fighting for lower taxes, fewer regulations and energy security.

President Obama Friday delayed a request to Congress to raise the debt ceiling, the legal limit on the amount of money the U.S. government can borrow.  

Obama granted top lawmakers from both parties more time to allow both houses to vote on a largely symbolic bill allowing some legislators to express their opposition to increasing the limit.

The proposed $1.2 trillion increase in the borrowing authority is likely to pass despite the objections.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid