October 13, 2015 16:42 UTC

In the News

President Obama Sets His Goals for 2013

You can learn American English with this story. Click on any word to find the English definition in the Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary.

President Barack Obama gives his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington Feb. 12, 2013
President Barack Obama gives his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington Feb. 12, 2013


Play or download an MP3 of this story
From VOA Learning English, this is IN THE NEWS in Special English.
President Obama set out goals for his second term earlier this week during his fifth State of the Union message to Congress. The president spoke largely about his economic goals for the United States. He noted the need for the two main political parties to support his efforts to help the middle class, create jobs and reduce the deficit. 
“Nothing I am proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime.  It is not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.”
Mr. Obama promised that his proposals would not increase the size of the federal deficit. He said major economic growth requires a balanced method to reduce the deficit, where everyone does his fair share. He suggested reforming Medicare, the government-assisted health care program. His proposals include cutting taxpayer money to drug companies.
President Obama also repeated his call to do away with tax laws and deductions for the wealthy. He called for a tax system that does not result in the movement of jobs overseas, and one that lowers tax rates for businesses that create jobs in the United States. He urged lawmakers to pass a budget that replaces unnecessary cuts with “smart savings and wise investments in our future.”  
The president said the American economy is stronger when the skills and creativity of “striving, hopeful immigrants” are used. He said leaders from the business, labor, law enforcement and religious communities all agree that the time has come for immigration reform. He asked lawmakers to speed passage of measures aimed at improving immigration policy. 
“As we speak, bipartisan groups in both chambers are working diligently to draft a bill, and I applaud their efforts.  Now let's get this done. Send me a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next few months, and I will sign it right away, and America will be better for it.  Let's get it done.”
Mr. Obama said real reform means stronger border security and establishing a responsible pathway to citizenship. He said the reform means fixing the legal immigration system to cut waiting periods and reduce bureaucratic barriers.
Senator Marco Rubio delivered the Republican Party's response to the president's State of the Union speechSenator Marco Rubio delivered the Republican Party's response to the president's State of the Union speech
Senator Marco Rubio delivered the Republican Party's response to the president's State of the Union speech
Senator Marco Rubio delivered the Republican Party's response to the president's State of the Union speech
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida gave the official Republican Party reaction to the president’s speech. He agreed to the need for immigration reform and for a system to invite what he called the “best and the brightest” to come to America. The Senator said the country needs a responsible system for dealing with illegal immigrants. And he called for stronger enforcement of existing laws. 
“We need a responsible, permanent solution to the problem of those who are here illegally.  But first, we must follow through on the broken promises of the past, to secure our borders and enforce our laws.” 
Mr. Rubio was elected to the Senate in 2010 with the help of Tea Party activists. The Tea Party is a movement largely within the Republican Party. Its goal is to reduce the power and size of the federal government in the lives of Americans. Tuesday night, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky spoke for the Tea Party on the immigration issue.
“We're the party that embraces hard work and ingenuity, therefore, we must be the party that embraces the immigrant who wants to come to America for a better future. We must be the party who sees immigrants as assets, not liabilities. We must be the party that says, 'If you want to work, if you want to be an American, we welcome you.'“
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
by: Natalia from: Brazil
02/19/2013 9:12 AM
I liked a lot of this speech. Brazil also need cut of taxes in several departments.

by: Anonymous
02/18/2013 7:00 AM
Thanks , its very good job but could you please speed up the audio because of the spokes man is slow and this does not happen in the real talk . if you could accelerate the talk while we having the audio script it would be more useful , thanks a lot

by: Ali from: Baghdad
02/17/2013 6:50 PM
I reely happy and proud that I found (voa) so I want to be good in English.......thank you again.

02/17/2013 4:45 PM
Mr.Obama's immigration policy may be very rewarding. To welcome the best and the brightest' means that the president aspires for a better and brighter America. It sounds to support the old idea that 'books and friends should be few but good'. Thank you.

by: MyName from: MyLocation
02/17/2013 1:42 PM

by: ANDRIANAVAH Arc-el from: Paris
02/17/2013 12:10 PM
I also agree with the Senator Marco Rubio for his point of view

by: ANDRIANAVAH Arc-el from: France
02/17/2013 12:07 PM
I find this speech very interesting especialy about the immigration condition to allow immigrants to live in USA , as the President Obama said that time has come for immigration reform, on the other hand immigrants must integrate into the daily life as citizens it means do like what citizens do, they must work , the progress comes from the diversities skills, what you can do for the nation ,but not what the nation can do for you

by: samamoto from: japan
02/17/2013 11:28 AM
very good I expect that USA go ahead step by step.

by: Leo from: Colombia
02/16/2013 6:43 PM
I find the news great, I think the approach that the US government is taking is the right one, embrace and take advantage of the immigrants, see the glass half full instead of half empty, seeing assets not liabilities.

by: oanh tran from: vietnam
02/16/2013 11:52 AM
obama contihues to promise

Comments page of 2

Learn with The News

  • Audio Will Cricket Score Points with Americans?

    Former cricket umpire Dickie Bird rings the bell at Lord's cricket ground in London in May 2015. But do Americans know him or other famous cricketers? Two teams are coming to three US cities in November. They will be led by well-known players Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne. | As It Is More

  • Video Cambodian Farmers Plant Less Rice, More Organic Vegetables

    Experts are urging Cambodian farmers to diversify their crops. Most farmers in Cambodia grow rice. Many also may grow cassava and maize. But very few farmers in the country grow other vegetables. And more Cambodians are demanding organic produce. More

  • Britain's Prince Andrew, second left, holds a solar lamp as students and teachers look on during his visit to H.R. College of Commerce and Economics in Mumbai, India (file photo – 09 Mar. 2010)

    Audio India to Promote Use of Solar Energy

    Hundreds of villages in rural areas of India use clean energy now, instead of pollution-producing kerosene-powered lamps. But will a rise in energy produced from coal increase greenhouse gases? | As It Is More

  • Audio Air Accidents More Likely in Africa

    Africa has just 5 percent of global air traffic but 20 percent of accidents and deaths. Power losses, animals on runways are some of the problems air-safety experts hope to solve. | As It Is More

  • Audio Are Glass Skywalks in China Safe?

    In central China, people fled from a glass skywalk after parts of the structure broke up. People are sharing images of the cracks on the Internet. While no one was injured, this incident has people asking – is such a walkway safe? More

Featured Stories

  • Audio Bernie Sanders: Giving Hillary Clinton a Run for her Money

    Who is the man disrupting the “coronation” of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic Party nominee for president? Who is Bernie Sanders? He is a self-described “democratic socialist,” who is filling large halls and stadiums with people who are drawn to his message. More

  • Audio Weasel, Duck, Dog: Animals That Are Also Verbs

    Enough horsing around! We finally stop floundering and deliver this week's program, even though it means scapegoating one of our own. Don't be cowed by the topic: these words are fun and will not outfox you. More

  • Audio Everyday Grammar: When Nouns Act Like Adjectives

    English speakers usually modify a noun with an adjective. Today the Everyday Grammar team looks at the times English speakers modify a noun with another noun. Learn how to say and write them correctly in this episode. More

  • Video A Taste of Japan at the ‘Grand Sake Tasting’

    Jasmine Taylor pours sake at the Grand Sake Tasting in Washington, D.C. Japanese music played while people drank rice wine and ate traditional food. This celebration raised money for the National Cherry Blossom Festival. More

  • Video Who Goes to a Rock Concert With Their Mother? Millennials!

    When musicians over the age of 50 are the star performers, you expect to see many Baby Boomers cheering them on. Aging rock music stars usually have Baby Boomer fans. Younger rock stars are more likely to appeal to Millennials. But at the Lockn' Music festival, two generations came together. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner
Confessions of an English Learner blog

Tell us About Our Programs