October 31, 2014 08:23 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

Multimedia

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
x
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.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Learn with The News

  • A convoy of peshmerga vehicles is escorted by Turkish Kurds on their way to the Turkish-Syrian border, in Kiziltepe near the southeastern city of Mardin October 29, 2014

    Audio Iraqi Kurdish Fighters Enter Kobani

    Also in the news, Burkina Faso ends efforts to extend its presidential term limit after protests in the capital. Ukraine says the EU will be guarantor in any gas deal with Russia. Myanmar holds a major meeting Friday. And claims of cheating delay SAT results for South Korean and Chinese students. More

  • Ghana Bamboo Bike

    Video Ghana's Bamboo Bikes Hit the Streets

    Bicycle frames are usually made out of materials like carbon fiber, steel or aluminum. But in rural Ghana, a businessman has developed another way to make bicycles from a natural product -- bamboo. The wooden bike parts are sent Ghana to Germany, the Netherlands and Australia. | As It Is More

  • Video Singapore Film Ban Raises Free Speech Issue

    The documentary film, “To Singapore, with Love” tells about political dissidents from Singapore. The film has been shown at public events in Britain, India and Malaysia, among other countries. But one place the movie cannot be seen is Singapore. That is because the government there has banned it. More

  • Believer Benito Martinez (C), dressed as a "devil" wearing a mask, walks around in Almonacid del Marquesado, in central Spain, during the "Endiablada" traditional festival, Feb. 3, 2014.

    Audio A Halloween Special: The Devil is Everywhere ...

    Today we take you to the Dark Side. (insert evil laugh here) We teach expressions that involve the king of evil – the devil. Read on to learn how to “speak of the devil”, “to play devil’s advocate” and to ”make a deal with the devil.” | Words and Their Stories More

  • Orbital Sciences Antares Launch

    Video Questions for NASA after Rocket Explosion

    An unmanned privately-owned rocket bringing supplies to the International Space Station exploded seconds after launch Tuesday night. The accident did not cause any injuries on the ground. However, it has raised questions about efforts by the US space agency NASA to use private companies. More

Featured Stories

  • Obama Halloween

    Audio Halloween Is Big with Kids and Business

    The National Retail Federation says sales of Halloween goods will total about $7.4 billion this year. It says the average American will spend about $77. The group expects 162 million people to celebrate. The NRF predicts 54 million of them will hold Halloween parties. | American Mosaic More

  • A print shows the Second Battle of Bull Run, also called Second Manassas.

    Audio South Defeats North Again at Manassas

    Lincoln named George Pope to lead the Army of Virginia. He wanted to join Pope’s forces with the Army of the Potomac and break through Confederate defenses around Richmond. But General Robert E. Lee decided to hit Pope first. More

  • Star House

    Video Home of Last Comanche Chief Close to Ruins

    One of the most interesting people in U.S. history is Quanah Parker, the last chief of the country’s Comanche Indian tribe. Quanah Parker was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Quanah Parker was a fierce fighter. But that ended one day in 1875. More

  • FILE - A veterinarian at the nonprofit Bali Animal Welfare Association gives a rabies shot to a puppy in Kebon Kaja village, Bangli Regency in Bali, Indonesia.

    Audio Mass Vaccination of Dogs Can Eliminate Rabies

    About 70,000 people worldwide die every year of rabies. Rabies is a viral infection that people get mainly through dog bites. Scientists say vaccinating dogs can effectively get rid of rabies outbreaks in dog populations. And this will have a domino effect, fewer humans with rabies. More

  • Methane oxidizing

    Photogallery Small Organisms in Deep Sea Rocks Eat Methane

    The gas methane has been linked to rising temperatures on Earth. But methane does not stay in the atmosphere as long as another “greenhouse gas” -- carbon dioxide. Scientists say both gases trap heat from the sun. They prevent heat from escaping into outer space. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner BlogConfessions of an English Learner Blog

Tell us About Our Programs