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

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    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.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora