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

Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan Over Plans to Boost Military

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the government is working closely with the Jordanian government to secure the release of remaining Japanese hostage Kenji Goto More

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Country's youngest ever PM Alexis Tsipras, 40, sworn in Monday and says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts More

Multimedia National Geographic Photo Camps Empower Youth

Annual mentoring program's mission is to give young people a voice to tell their own stories through photography 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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid