News / USA

US Legislators Set Goals Before Key Obama Speech

President Barack Obama during last year's State of the Union address before a joint session of both houses of Congress, 27 Jan 2010
President Barack Obama during last year's State of the Union address before a joint session of both houses of Congress, 27 Jan 2010

Tuesday, President Barack Obama will lay out his legislative agenda for the year in his second State of the Union address - the first since Republicans took control of the House of Representatives. Democratic and Republican legislators agree on some broad economic objectives for the nation, but differ sharply on the policies needed to achieve those goals.

Last week, President Obama spoke repeatedly about what will likely be the central themes of his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress: economic growth and job creation.

"The past two years were about pulling our economy back from the brink," he said. "The next two years, our job now, is putting our economy into overdrive."

Democratic Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota echoed Obama’s words when asked what he wants to hear in the president’s speech.

"Number one: growing the economy and jobs," said Conrad.

Conrad spoke on ABC’s This Week program.

Republicans say they, too, want to boost economic growth and spur job creation.  But they insist the way to do that is to sharply reduce the size and scope of the federal government and put private enterprise in the driver’s seat.

"We have got a huge spending problem," said Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Fox News Sunday.  "We have had over a trillion-dollar annual deficit each of the last two years.  Our friends on the other side [Democrats] passed a budget a couple of years ago that will double the national debt in five years and triple it in 10.  Most of us think, and the American people think, that we need to do something about this and start doing it now."

Democrats say they too are committed to deficit reduction, but they warn against cutting programs and initiatives they see as vital to America’s long-term prosperity. 

"We are in competition in the world for jobs," said Democratic Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois. "And if we are going to make it in the USA in terms of our success and making products, we have to focus on educating and innovating.  We cannot be so laser focused on the deficit that we ignore the obvious.  You cannot end the deficit unless you start putting America back to work."

With control of Congress divided between the two parties, consensus and compromise are seen as essential to passing legislation. Obama is sure to urge bipartisanship in his State of the Union address.  The months ahead will test if that call is heeded.  



You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid