Obama to address economy, raise pressure on Congress
WASHINGTON, June 8 — President Barack Obama will urge Congress today to pass “bipartisan, paid-for ideas” to spur hiring, the White House said, upping pressure on lawmakers after concerns the US recovery is stalling amid a festering euro zone debt crisis.
Obama (picture) will issue a statement on the US economy at 1415 GMT and also address the situation in Europe, the White House said, adding he would push proposals he laid out last year to boost jobs for construction workers and emergency responders. Tepid May employment creation that nudged the US jobless rate to 8.2 per cent and other recent downbeat data have fanned concerns that a gradual US recovery might be running out of steam, potentially harming Obama's hopes for re-election.
“The president will deliver a statement on the economy, calling on Congress to pass the bipartisan, paid-for ideas that the president proposed last year,” the White House said.
Obama is locked in a tight race for the White House with Republican rival Mitt Romney, who wants to make the Nov. 6 vote a referendum on the president's handling of the economy as he touts his own credentials as a successful businessman.
Obama has repeatedly cited the “headwinds” from Europe's sovereign debt crisis as a big reason why US growth is struggling to gain speed. But he has also sought to deflect the blame of voters toward Republicans in Congress for thwarting his proposals to put more Americans back to work.
Republicans fire back by saying they would back sensible proposals but want actions to be paid for to avoid adding to the budget deficit, and they have suggested numerous cuts in federal spending programs that Obama's Democrats find unacceptable. — Reuters