News / USA

Obama, State Governors Discuss US Economy

Democratic governors after White House meeting with President Barack Obama, February 25, 2011
Democratic governors after White House meeting with President Barack Obama, February 25, 2011
TEXT SIZE - +
Kent Klein

President Barack Obama met with a group of state governors from his Democratic Party on Friday, to discuss ways to boost the U.S. economy and deal with state budget crises. The governors said they did not talk about the ongoing budget furor in the north central state of Wisconsin.

President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden hosted the Democratic governors, as their Republican counterparts prepared to join them for this weekend’s annual meeting of the National Governors Association.

This year’s gathering of the leaders of the 50 states could be more contentious than usual.  

Obama has blasted efforts by Wisconsin’s Republican governor to cut the state budget by limiting state workers’ rights to collective bargaining as an "assault" on labor unions.

And Republican governors and state legislators have been trying to block some or all of Obama’s health care reform law from taking effect.

After Friday’s meeting, Democratic Governor Jack Markell, of the Eastern state of Delaware, said the president and the governors concentrated on ways to reduce unemployment.

"I can tell you, in my conversations back at home, I have not had a single business person say to me that they want the federal government refighting the fights of the last two years about health care," said Markell. "What they want us focused on is, ‘What are we going to do to create jobs?"

The Democratic governors said Obama had asked them to meet with business leaders in their states before coming to the White House, and relay their suggestions to him.

Friday’s meeting took place as the Wisconsin state assembly considered legislation to reduce the collective bargaining rights of public employees. The legislation, proposed by Republican Governor Scott Walker, has led to more than a week of demonstrations in the state capital, Madison.  Similar controversies are brewing in other central states.

At the White House, Martin O’Malley, of the Eastern state of Maryland, said he and his fellow Democratic governors ignored the situation in Wisconsin when meeting with the president. "I think most of us see that as a distraction, really, from the most important work that we can do, which is creating jobs."

White House spokesman Jay Carney addressed the state budget crises at Friday’s press briefing, saying only that bipartisan cooperation is vital.

"Everybody needs to tighten their belts. Everybody needs to sacrifice and work together to bring state budgets into balance, to bring stability to the fiscal situations in the states, much as we need to work together at the federal level."

Obama will host all the governors at a formal dinner Sunday night, and will meet with them on Monday.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid