News / USA

US Congress Reacts to Obama Address

President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, 25 Jan 2011
President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, 25 Jan 2011
TEXT SIZE - +

Reaction to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address broke mostly along party lines in Congress, with Democrats reacting more favorably than Republicans.

President Obama’s attempt to unify a divided Congress reflective of a politically-polarized nation got a positive review from Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee of Texas.

"It [the speech] was innovative, it was exciting.  You could see the president thoughtfully approach how we would move forward," she said. "That is what presidents do.  They lead.  They lay out a vision, a road map, and you are ready to go."

But President Obama’s call for a five-year domestic spending freeze to combat a trillion-dollar federal deficit did not satisfy Republican Representative Steve King of Iowa.

"He [President Obama] still believes in spending money as a recovery tool for this economy.  And, he still believes in nationalizing when he gets the opportunity to do it," said King. "So I think we [Republicans] have a giant fundamental disagreement with the president."

If Mr. Obama is attempting to adopt a more centrist tone to appeal to Republicans, the effort has not won over Arizona Congressman Trent Franks.

"He took a hard, hard turn to the center.  And, if the people believe that he means that, then shame on them," said Franks.

Despite partisan divides, not all Republican reaction was negative, and not all Democratic reaction was positive.  Representative King praised some of the president’s words on foreign affairs.

"The president’s remarks on Iraq were very good.  They were inspiring," added King. "They articulate the level of accomplishment and sacrifice.  And, the statement on Afghanistan, when he said of the enemy ‘we will defeat you’ -- that was a strong point in his speech."

At the opposite end of the political spectrum, Representative Jackson-Lee worries about the impact of a federal spending freeze on programs for the poor and disadvantaged.

"We have a vulnerable population in America.  We have to worry about those individuals who would be lost without the support, the helping hand of the federal government," said Jackson-Lee.

The speech came in the wake of a mass-shooting in Arizona that nearly claimed a congresswoman’s life.  In a show of unity and an attempt to erase partisan barriers, many members of Congress of one party exchanged seats with colleagues of another, rather than separating along party lines.  Democratic Representative Jim McDermott of Washington state noted a change in atmosphere during this State of the Union address, compared to speeches of the past.

"This was a somber evening, started by the acknowledgment of our comrade and colleague [Representative Gabrielle] Giffords," he said. "I think there was a different tone in the room and people understand that we have to work together if we are going to make this country work."

Any sense of camaraderie achieved during the State of the Union address will be put to the test as a Republican-led House of Representatives attempts to work with the a Democratically-controlled Senate and White House over the next two years.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid