News / USA

    Obama Presses Congress For Action On Jobs After Credit Downgrade

    The Standard & Poor's building in New York, August 2, 2011
    The Standard & Poor's building in New York, August 2, 2011
    Kent Klein

    Amid an avalanche of negative economic news in recent days, President Barack Obama is calling on lawmakers to pass legislation he says will put Americans back to work.  The president spoke as another of his financial advisers stepped down, and as a major credit agency lowered the rating of U.S. debt for the first time.  

    The past week began on a promising note for President Obama, as he and Republicans in Congress reached an agreement on raising the nation’s debt ceiling and cutting its deficit.

    But as the week went on, stock values tumbled, and the S&P credit agency late Friday downgraded the rating of long-term U.S. debt for the first time ever, from the highest rating of AAA to AA+.

    Even Friday’s better-than-expected numbers on July unemployment showed an economy that is still not generating enough new jobs to fuel a recovery.

    In his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday, Mr. Obama said that with the debt limit debate over for now, he is focusing on job creation.  “But in the short term, our urgent mission has to be getting this economy growing faster and creating more jobs.  That is what is on people’s minds.  That is what matters to families in this country," he said.

    The president will campaign relentlessly in the coming weeks for public support for his economic program.  The campaign will include a bus tour of the central United States.

    White House press secretary Jay Carney issued a written statement Saturday, calling on both Democratic and Republican lawmakers to work together to strengthen the economy and reduce U.S. deficits.  The statement came one day after the S&P decision to downgrade the U.S. credit rating.

    Administration officials say S&P made a faulty decision in downgrading U.S. debt.  They say they believe the call was based more on the political disagreements during the debt ceiling debate than on the nation’s ability to pay its debts.  Credit rating agencies Moody’s and Fitch continue to rate U.S. debt at AAA.

    In his weekly address, Mr. Obama again called on Congress, when it returns from vacation in September, to pass aspects of his economic plan.  He wants extended tax cuts for low- and middle-income Americans, tax credits for companies that hire military veterans, patent reform, and final approval of free-trade agreements with Panama, Colombia and South Korea. “It is time Congress finally passed a set of trade deals that would help displaced workers looking for new jobs, and that would allow our businesses to sell more products in countries in Asia and South America. Products stamped with three words: Made In America," he said.

    The weekly Republican address was given by Representative Michael Grimm, from New York City.  Despite the deficit reduction agreement, he said much of the economic uncertainty comes from Mr. Obama’s over-spending. “The latest jobs report shows that President Obama’s stimulus-driven policies are simply not working.  The over-spending, over-taxing and over-regulating coming out of Washington is creating uncertainty and holding our job creators back," he said.

    The president must also find a new chairman for his Council of Economic Advisers.  Austan Goolsbee stepped down from that position Friday to resume his academic career at the University of Chicago.  No replacement has been named.  

    Goolsbee’s departure leaves Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner as the last member of the president’s original economic team still working in the West Wing.

    You May Like

    Russia's Expat Community Shrinking

    Russia's troubled economy, tensions with West have led hundreds of thousands of foreigners to leave for better opportunities

    Accelerating the Push Against Islamic State: What Will Work?

    Experts stress need to step up military action, address root causes of Muslims' disaffection, counter IS social media messages in a massive way

    Experts: N. Korean Abductions Sought to Halt Brain Drain

    Pyongyang abducted about 3,800 South Koreans and more than a dozen Japanese nationals in late 1970s

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees with Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees with Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.