News / USA

Obama Hits the Road With 'State of the Union' Goals'

Obama Takes His Message to Working Americansi
X
January 30, 2014 1:55 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama continues his domestic travel Thursday to drum up support for his plan to extend economic opportunity to more Americans and strengthen the country's middle class. The president is addressing working people in Wisconsin and Tennessee, a day after delivering his message to those in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Zlatica Hoke reports
Related video report by Zlatica Hoke
U.S. President Barack Obama has begun a four-state trip to amplify economic themes from his State of the Union address.

The traditional road trip after a State of the Union address first took the president to a Washington suburb in Maryland, where he spoke at a Costco store.

Standing in front of about three dozen workers and the backdrop of an American flag Wednesday, he renewed his call on Congress to "give America a raise" by increasing the minimum wage.

"Americans overwhelmingly agree, nobody who works full-time should ever have to raise a family in poverty.  And that is why I firmly believe it is time to give America a raise," said the president.

Obama noted that entry-level employees at Costco make $11.50 an hour, while the average hourly wage exceeds $20.  Currently, the official federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. 

Obama wants the federal level raised to $10.10.  In his State of the Union address Tuesday, he announced his intention to sign an executive order, one of many expected in coming months, to raise the minimum wage for workers operating under future federal government contracts.

The president also renewed his pledge not to stand still in the absence of congressional action to help American families who are still struggling to get by.

Noting improvements in the economy, including lower unemployment, increasing manufacturing jobs, he said 2014 could be a breakthrough year, provided Congress does not fuel more uncertainty.  He was referring to last year's government shutdown driven by Republican protests against his health care reform law, commonly referred to as Obamacare.

Obama said, "The question for folks in Washington is whether they are going to help that progress or hinder that progress, whether they are going to waste time creating new crises for people and new uncertainty like the shutdown, or are we going to spend time creating new jobs and new opportunities?"

President Obama's Previous State of the Union Addresses

2009:  Not technically a State of the Union, Obama said years of irresponsibility and short-term thinking had brought a "day of reckoning."  
2010:  Obama urged Americans to work together to solve the damaged economy and pledged to remove U.S. combat troops from Iraq.
2011:  Obama proposed a partial government spending freeze and said the U.S. stands with the people of Tunisia, whose protests drove their president out of the country at the start of the Arab Spring.
2012:  Obama outlined a new economic blueprint and highlighted progress in Afghanistan and the killing of Osama bin Laden.
2013:  Obama detailed the drawdown of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
On Capitol Hill, Republicans continued their attacks on Obama's overall approach on the economy and his State of the Union pledge to take unilateral executive action where he can.

"The president wants to keep doing the same old thing, just without as much input from the people's elected representatives in Congress.  Basically, all the same policies, less of that pesky democratic accountability," Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell.

Senator Patty Murray is a Democrat from the state of Washington. "President Obama talked about ways he is going to make this year a year of action and I know that is what the American people are expecting," said Murray.

Vice President Joe Biden was also on the road, speaking at Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York about Obama's initiatives to expand education and training. 

President Obama's second stop Wednesday was a U.S. Steel Corporation plant near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  There, he discussed his proposal to create a new savings program for workers at companies that do not offer retirement plans.

After a stop back in Washington, Obama continues his post-State of the Union tour Thursday with speeches at a General Electric facility near Milwaukee, Wisconsin and a high school in Nashville, Tennessee.

You May Like

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Haron from: Afghanistan
January 29, 2014 12:11 PM
it was a good statement in the show. it cleared and stated that we support the stabilized Afghanistan with its people toward a powerful nation. it was an strong signal for Mullah Karzai; therefore, it is hopeful for next president to work hard and friendly with all region countries.

But, I afraid from ban of security agreement statement between Afghanistan and United State.
it really give a positive stimulant for both countries; not only, for both countries but for all civilized countries it could be a positive reaction to support Afghan troops [Armies, Securities, and Polices].

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Imagei
X
Marthe van der Wolf
March 03, 2015 9:03 PM
Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More