News / USA

Obama Seeks Economic Boost With Trade, Tax Cuts

President Barack Obama pauses during a statement about the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement on in Washington, 04 Dec 2010
President Barack Obama pauses during a statement about the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement on in Washington, 04 Dec 2010

U.S. President Barack Obama is calling on lawmakers to help him boost the economy with a new trade deal and compromises on tax cuts.

Speaking Saturday to promote a new trade deal with South Korea, Mr. Obama called for speedy ratification of the pact in Congress.

He said the deal reached Friday after three years of stalemate could increase annual exports of American goods by up to $11 billion and create tens of thousands of jobs.

"I look forward to working with Congress and leaders in both parties to approve this pact because if there is one thing Democrats and Republicans should be able to agree on it should be creating jobs and opportunities for our people," he said.

But Mr. Obama expressed disappointment Republicans in the Senate blocked measures Saturday to make tax cuts passed by former president George W. Bush permanent for the middle class.

"Those provisions should have passed," said the president. "I continue to believe that it makes no sense to hold tax cuts for the middle class hostage to permanent tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent of Americans, especially when those high income tax cuts would cost an additional $700 billion that we do not have and would add to our deficit. But with so much at stake, today's votes cannot be the end of the discussion."

Republican lawmakers who voted against the initiative by Mr. Obama's Democratic Party want to make tax cuts permanent for all Americans, including the wealthiest.  Republicans say this would help create jobs.

In the Republican weekly address, Illinois Senator Mark Kirk said the president and lawmakers should listen to voters who in November gave Republicans huge gains for the new Congress starting next year.

"These leaders should not raise taxes and risk another recession. Instead, Congress should reduce spending and prevent another tax hike on American taxpayers. Americans already pay some of the highest taxes in the world," he said.

If no compromise is found, current tax rates would expire for all Americans at the end of the year.

White House officials and a select group of lawmakers have been meeting over the past several days in an attempt to forge a compromise. Discussion points now include temporarily extending income tax rates, as well as extending jobless aid for the long-term unemployed, which are also starting to run out.

The struggling economy, including unemployment hovering near 10 percent, has recently been the main focus for the outgoing Democratic Party-dominated Congress, which will be replaced by a Republican majority House of Representatives and slim Democratic majority Senate in 2011.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid