News / USA

President Obama Set to Deliver Major Economic Address

President Barack Obama speaks at a Labor Day event at General Motors Headquarters in Detroit, Michigan, September 5, 2011.
President Barack Obama speaks at a Labor Day event at General Motors Headquarters in Detroit, Michigan, September 5, 2011.

President Barack Obama is set to give a nationally-televised speech on his plan to try to help the 14 million Americans who are currently out of work.

The president will deliver his much-anticipated address to a joint session of Congress, which is bitterly divided between Republican and Democratic lawmakers as to what course of action the country should take to spark economic growth and reverse the downward spiral.

President Obama has raised the political stakes of his speech on his plan to create jobs and prevent a potential second recession by choosing the high-profile venue of the chamber of the House of Representatives, which is currently controlled by a strong Republican majority.  

Political analyst Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia said the president's address to a joint session of Congress is likely to be viewed as a partisan political speech, laying the foundation for his 2012 re-election campaign.

"It is pretty obvious that this is going to be treated as a partisan speech,"  said Sabato. "The Democrats will treat it that way, and the Republicans will treat it that way. The Democrats will cheer almost every sentence, and the Republicans, for the most part I think, are going to sit on their hands.  Some have even said they were not going to attend.  So, this is being given in a partisan climate, we are very polarized, we had the disaster of the debt debate in August and there is a lot of hangover from that," he said.

The White House says the president is reaching out to Congress to put politics aside and to take action to reduce the high national unemployment rate that has been stuck at over nine percent.  

The president's program is expected to include $300-billion in tax cuts and new government spending aimed at creating conditions for faster job growth.  Mr. Obama will likely call on Congress to extend expiring payroll tax cuts, propose infrastructure improvement projects, and take steps to help cash-strapped local and state governments.

But the president is likely to face skepticism from Republican lawmakers.  Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina said speeches will not create jobs.

"People are tired of the president's lofty words, with actions that destroy jobs, Wilson said. "Americans want a change in course from the failed stimulus plans of borrow and wastefully spend."

On the other end of the political spectrum, progressive Democrats have called for the president to be "bold" and to propose large infrastructure spending projects to put thousands of Americans back to work.

But analyst Larry Sabato is doubtful that anything the president proposes can pass the Republican-controlled House.

"Whether the president plays big ball or small ball, he is not going to get these things passed," Sabato said. "Almost nothing is going to be passed.  His program will be dead on arrival in the Republican House."

Lawmakers have just returned to work this week from a one-month recess, which followed a bitter battle over raising the debt ceiling that created economic turmoil and shook stock markets around the world.

Representative John Dingell of Michigan, currently the longest-serving member of Congress, said his constituents told him that they are disappointed in members Congress for failing to work together to address the country's economic crisis.

"Is there anyone amongst us here that are proud that we could not produce a budget? That we caused a downgrading of U.S government securities?  That we caused appalling disorder and confusion in the market, stifling economic growth and job creation, and contributing to the hopelessness and misfortune of millions of Americans," Dingell said.

Republicans are not delivering a formal response to the president's jobs speech, but Republican Representative Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, is planning to hold a news conference after the speech.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid