News / USA

    Obama Discusses Economy, Chinese Currency, Pakistan

    In a news conference at the White House, President Barack Obama discussed the U.S. economy and demonstrations against Wall Street, efforts to persuade a divided Congress to pass his jobs legislation, and successes against al-Qaida.

    He took the opportunity to ask Congress to approve his $447 billion jobs bill that he says will boost the economy, as anti-Wall Street protests continue in New York and other cities.

    In recent travels across the country, Mr. Obama has tried to mobilize public opinion in his favor and escalated rhetorical attacks on specific Republican leaders, such as Representative Eric Cantor.

    He began with another appeal for passage of the American Jobs Act, calling it vital when the U.S. economy is fragile and Europe is dealing with its own financial crisis.

    "Our economy really needs a jolt right now," said the president. "This is not a game. This is not the time for the usual political gridlock. The problems Europe is having today could have a very real effect on our economy at a time when it is already fragile."

    Republicans controlling the House of Representatives have refused to bring Mr. Obama's entire bill up for a vote. The Democratic-controlled Senate is expected to take up the the bill next week.

    Saying he is open to plans from Republicans for a similar jobs bill, he challenged Republican senators who would reject his bill to explain their votes to Americans.

    Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, speaking on Capitol Hill before Mr. Obama's news conference, accused the president and Democrats of failing to seek bipartisan solutions.

    "Instead of working across the aisle with Republicans on solutions that would help put people back to work, Democrats have fallen back to tired talking points, the same stale rhetoric we have heard literally for years" McConnell said.

    On demonstrations on Wall Street in New York and other cities by Americans angry over the economy and unemployment, President Obama said the protests reflect broad aggravation with how the financial system works.

    "I think it expresses the frustrations that the American people feel, that we had the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, huge collateral damage all throughout the country, all across Main Street," he said. "And yet you're still seeing some of the same folks who acted irresponsibly trying to fight efforts to crack down on abusive practices that got us into this problem in the first place."

    Mr. Obama also said growth depends on having a strong financial sector, but deceptive practices expose the economy to "enormous risks" and were the target of regulatory legislation passed by Congress.

    He said he believes European leaders recognize the urgency of coordinated action to solve their problems, adding he hopes they have a "clear, concrete plan" by the time of the G-20 summit in France early next month.

    And he repeated the U.S. position that China needs to make further progress in allowing its currency to appreciate against the dollar, saying Beijing continues to "game" the global trading system to its advantage.

    On Pakistan, the president said progress against al-Qaida could not have been accomplished without cooperation from the government in Islamabad, which he called an effective partner.

    However, he voiced concern about what he called Pakistani "ambivalence" about some U.S. goals in Afghanistan and expressed concern about links between Pakistan's military and intelligence services with the Haqqani militant network.

    "There is no doubt that there are some connections that the Pakistani military and intelligence services have with certain individuals that we find troubling, and I have said that publicly and I have said it privately to Pakistani officials as well."

    Mr Obama said Pakistan is playing both sides when it comes to Afghanistan, by maintaining interactions with some "unsavory characters" in the belief they might end up regaining power in Afghanistan after U.S. and coalition forces depart.

    You May Like

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora