Uploaded on Jan 27, 2010
President Barack Obama in his First State of the Union Address Jan 27 2010 Part
Wednesday Jan 27, 2010
چهارشنبه 7 بهمن ۱۳۸۸.
Obama to urge lawmakers to fix health care system
By JENNIFER LOVEN AP White House Correspondent © 2010 The Associated Press
Jan. 27, 2010, 7:33PM
WASHINGTON — Vowing to deliver the changes he promised, President Barack Obama urgently implored Democrats and Republicans in his State of the Union address Wednesday night to overcome a "deficit of trust" in government and come together to fix the nation's broken health care system, soaring deficits and polarized politics.
His No. 1 demand was for lawmakers not to walk away from his prized health care overhaul, which is in severe danger in Congress.
"We face big and difficult challenges," Obama said, according to excerpts of his State of the Union address released in advance by the White House. "What the American people hope — what they deserve — is for all of us, Democrats and Republicans, to work through our differences, to overcome the numbing weight of our politics."
Obama was looking to change the conversation from how his presidency is stalling — over the messy health care debate, a limping economy and the missteps that led to Christmas Day's barely averted terrorist disaster — to how he is seizing the reins on the economic worries foremost on Americans' minds.
In his speech, the president is devoting about two-thirds of his time to the economy, emphasizing his ideas, some new but mostly old and explained anew, for restoring job growth, taming budget deficits and changing Washington's ways. These concerns are at the roots of voter emotions that drove supporters to Obama but now are turning on him as he governs.
Indicating he understands Americans' struggles to pay bills while big banks get bailouts and bonuses, Obama is prodding Congress to enact a second stimulus package and to provide new financial relief for the middle class.
Acknowledging frustration at the government's habit of spending more than it has, he is seeking a three-year freeze on some domestic spending (while proposing a 6.2 percent, or $4 billion, increase in the popular arena of education and supporting the debt-financed jobs bill) and is announcing he is creating a bipartisan deficit-reduction task force.
"Let's try common sense," Obama said in the speech excerpts. "Let's invest in our people without leaving them a mountain of debt."
Positioning himself as a fighter for the regular guy and a different kind of leader, he urged Congress to require lobbyists to disclose all contacts with lawmakers or members of his administration and to blunt the impact of last week's Supreme Court decision allowing corporations greater flexibility in supporting or opposing candidates.
"I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, and worse, by foreign entities," he said.
Even before Obama spoke, some of the new proposals, many revealed by the White House in advance, were being dismissed — on the right or the left — as poorly targeted or too modest to make a difference.
And in the Republican response, Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia showed no sign of his party capitulating to Obama. In fact, the choice of McDonnell to represent Republicans was symbolic, meant to showcase recent GOP election victories by him and others. McDonnell reflected the anti-big government sentiment that helped lead to their wins, saying in excerpts from his own post-speech remarks that Americans want good health care they can afford, just not by turning over "the best medical care system in the world to the federal government."
With State of the Union messages traditionally delivered at the end of January, Obama had one of the presidency's biggest platforms just a week after Republicans scored an upset takeover of a Senate seat in Massachusetts, prompting hand-wringing over his leadership. With the turnover erasing Democrats' Senate supermajority needed to pass most legislation, it also put a cloud over health care and the rest of Obama's agenda.
Senate allies, for instance, said Wednesday that a sizable, debt-financed package containing the proposals Obama wants is out of the question in the new climate and that they plan a trimmed-down measure with tax breaks for small businesses and help for state and local governments.
The president stood before a country gloomy over unemployment in double digits and federal deficits soaring to a record $1.4 trillion. He also faces a Democratic Party increasingly concerned about the fallen standing of a president they hoped would lead them through this fall's midterm elections.
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