Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

WEB NEWS

NSA targets 'Tor' network users

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users call for peace in Gaza

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French government hopes to collect €1.8bn from foreign accounts

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: A Truce At All Costs?

Read more

WEB NEWS

Teen slammed for taking smiling selfie at Auschwitz

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

  • Video: Slaviansk mourns mass grave victims

    Read more

  • Video: Ethiopia turns to wine to boost image, economy

    Read more

  • France honours those lost on Air Algérie Flight AH5017

    Read more

  • UN Security Council calls for immediate Gaza ceasefire

    Read more

  • Nibali joins elite group with Tour de France win

    Read more

  • France calls on its nationals to leave Libya as violence escalates

    Read more

  • Boko Haram kidnap Cameroon minister's wife in deadly attack

    Read more

  • Muslims prepare for Eid al-Fitr festival

    Read more

  • ‘Irresponsible’ American dad tries to scale Mont Blanc with children

    Read more

  • Ukraine fighting prevents observers from accessing MH17 crash site

    Read more

  • In pictures: Crowds flock to enjoy the Tour de France show

    Read more

  • Netanyahu says Hamas 'violating its own ceasefire'

    Read more

  • Video: At the scene of the Air Algérie crash in Mali

    Read more

  • Costa Concordia arrives in port of Genoa to be scrapped

    Read more

  • In pictures: Youths clash with police at banned Gaza protest

    Read more

  • Russia lashes out at new EU sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • Bodies of all Air Algérie crash victims to be brought to France

    Read more

  • Syrian army and ISIS both claim advances

    Read more

  • Briton kidnapped in Yemen freed after five months

    Read more

  • New round of Gaza ceasefire talks takes place in Paris

    Read more

USA

Obama says job creation plan is 'insurance policy'

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-10-06

US President Barack Obama said Thursday that his plan to create jobs via a $447 billion dollar package to rebuild highways, bridges, and schools was an "insurance policy" against America’s stalling economy

AP - President Barack Obama said Thursday his plan to create jobs and rebuild U.S. highways, bridges and schools was an “insurance policy” against the slowing economy falling back into recession and challenged Republicans to explain to the American people why they are opposed to those measures.

The embattled president also implied that he was changing course in his dealings with Congress, saying he had learned that he got nowhere by trying to find a middle ground in the huge partisan divide that now splits the American political system.

With Obama facing a tough re-election battle in 2012 and declining approval ratings, the Republicans see him as vulnerable and have refused to compromise on any legislative proposal he has sent to Congress since the party regained a majority in the House of Representatives in November 2010.

Therefore, Obama said: “I think it’s fair to say that I have gone out of my way in every instance - sometimes at my own political peril and to the frustration of Democrats - to work with Republicans to find common ground to move this country forward.”

That tactic has not worked, he said.

“Each time, what we’ve seen in games-playing, a preference to try to score political points rather than actually get something done on the part of the other side.”

The president said that without his nearly $450 billion package of tax cuts and public works spending there will be fewer jobs and weaker growth. He said the bill could guard against another economic downturn if the situation in debt-laden Europe worsens.

With the plan expected to come up for debate in the Senate next week, he urged every senator to think “long and hard about what’s at stake.”

“Any senator out there who’s thinking about voting against this jobs bill when it comes up for a vote needs to explain exactly why they would oppose something we know would improve our economic situation at such an urgent time,” Obama said at a White House news conference.

“Our economy really needs a jolt right now,” he said.

Obama dodged a question on whether he would sign a bill that is working through the Senate on trade with China. He refused to say if he supported the measure that would punish Beijing for its practice of keeping the value of its currency artifically low. That gives China a huge trade advantage by making its goods less expensive while inflating the prices of American exports.

While Obama’s new tougher tone, his campaign to sell the jobs proposal has not swayed congressional Republicans who oppose the higher taxes he and other Democrats want to use to pay for the proposal. They accuse Obama of playing “campaigner in chief” instead of working with them.

“If the goal is to create jobs, then why are we even talking about tax hikes?” Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday.

Republicans are resolutely opposed to much of Obama’s jobs initiative, both for its tax increases for wealthier people and small businesses and its reprise of stimulus spending on roads, bridges and schools and grants to local governments to pay the salaries of teachers and emergency workers.

Obama did say he would support a new approach by Senate Democrats for paying for his jobs bill with a tax on millionaires rather than his plan to raise taxes on couples making more than $250,000.

Obama attempted to use Thursday’s news conference to increase pressure on his congressional opponents heading into the first vote on the jobs bill that he proposed a month ago. He has been promoting it around the country ever since, often traveling into swing states or the home states of key Republicans such as House Speaker John Boehner.

"If it turns out that Republicans are opposed to the bill, they need to explain to me, and mostly importantly their constituents, what they would do,” Obama said.

Obama said the economy is weaker now than at the beginning of the year. Citing economists’ estimates, he said his $447 billion jobs bill would help the economy grow by 2 percent and create 1.9 million jobs.

“At a time when people are having such a hard time, we need to have an approach that is big enough to meet the moment,” he said.

Obama addressed the disaffection with politics pervasive among the public that’s driven down his approval ratings - and even more so, Congress’ - as he seeks a second term.

Clearly frustrated, Obama blamed it on Republicans who he said refuse to cooperate with him even on issues where he said they once agreed with him. He talked about the ugly debate over raising the government’s borrowing limit that consumed Congress and the White House over the summer, until Obama gave in to Republican demands for deep spending cuts without new taxes.

“What the American people saw is that Congress just didn’t care.”

Obama failed to hit hard against Pakistan, where administration officials have issued then walked back a tough new line about the country’s relations with groups fighting Americans in Afghanistan.

While he acknowledged “some connection” between Pakistan’s intelligence operation and the so-called Haqani network and that some in Pakistan were making alliances with “unsavory characters,” Obama also said Pakistan had been “an effective partner with us.”

Ten years ago the United States began its military drive to oust the extremist Taliban government that ruled Afghanistan and gave sanctuary to al-Qaida at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States.

Date created : 2011-10-06

  • EUROPE

    Obama tells Europe to get a grip on debt crisis

    Read more

  • US POLITICS

    With new debt plan, Obama targets Democratic base

    Read more

  • USA

    Obama unveils plan to slash deficit and boost growth

    Read more

COMMENT(S)