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

Video Russia’s Syrian Escalation Tests Obama’s Crisis Response

Critics once again question whether president has been slow to act on Syrian conflict, thus creating opening for powers like Russia More

Ancient African DNA Shows Mass Migration Back Into Africa

First genetic analysis of ancient human remains in Africa suggests massive migration from north around time of Egyptian empire More

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs