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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs