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

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll 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.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs