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

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
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.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

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