News / USA

    Obama Blasts Republicans on First 2012 Campaign Trip

    President Barack Obama (r), accompanied by Richard Cordray, the head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in Cleveland, Ohio,  Jan. 4, 2012.
    President Barack Obama (r), accompanied by Richard Cordray, the head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in Cleveland, Ohio, Jan. 4, 2012.
    Kent Klein

    President Barack Obama has made his first campaign trip of 2012, taking his re-election campaign to Ohio, one of the states where the election is likely to be decided.  The president defied Republican lawmakers by announcing a key appointment over their objections.

    A day after the first battle in the presidential election, President Obama directly confronted the opposition Republicans Wednesday by appointing a director for the new U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  

    The president had nominated former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray to lead the financial watchdog agency last July. But Senate Republicans refused to confirm him, saying the agency would be too powerful and unaccountable.

    Mr. Obama told a crowd at a suburban high school the U.S. financial industry needs more regulation, not less.

    “The only reason Republicans in the Senate have blocked Richard is because they do not agree with the law that set up a consumer watchdog in the first place," said President Obama. "They want to weaken the law.  They want to water it down.”

    The president, frustrated by the blocked nomination, Wednesday sidestepped the Senate and appointed Cordray.

    “When Congress refuses to act and as a result hurts our economy and puts people at risk, then I have an obligation as president to do what I can without them," said Obama.

    Angry Republican lawmakers were quick to react, saying the president overstepped his authority in making the appointment.

    A so-called recess appointment can only be made when the Senate is out of session.  Republicans say that since Senators have been meeting every three days, the Senate is in session.  The White House disagrees.  

    In a written statement, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called Mr. Obama’s move an “unprecedented power grab” that “arrogantly circumvented the American people.”

    A statement from House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said he expects the courts to find the appointment to be illegitimate.

    House Republicans have asked Cordray to testify before Congress later this month.

    Mr. Obama spoke one day after Republican contenders Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum finished in a virtual first place tie in the Iowa caucuses, with Ron Paul coming in a close third.

    Mr. Obama’s visit to Ohio enabled him to take his campaign to one of the states that could decide whether he is re-elected this November.

    Much of his speech focused on the president’s advocacy of the middle class, a theme he is likely to highlight throughout the campaign.

    “I promise to do everything I can, every day, every minute, every second, to make sure this is a country where hard work and responsibility mean something and everybody can get ahead," said President Obama.

    With the Iowa caucuses over, the Republican candidates will battle next in New Hampshire, then South Carolina and Florida, which all have primary elections this month. The candidates have spent much of the campaign so far criticizing Mr. Obama and the Democrats because of the country's weak economy and high unemployment rate.

    The president is unopposed for the Democratic Party nomination.

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.