Entries in President Obama Weekly Address (3)


President Obama's Weekly Address: Fixing the Immigration System

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages(WASHINGTON) -- President Barack Obama urged congress to work together to reform The United States’ “broken immigration system,” in his weekly address.

The president began by saying that, for a country that describes itself as a “nation of immigrants,” America’s immigration system is woefully out-of-date and has “actually harmed our economy and threatened our security.”

He then highlighted some of the improvements that have been made over the past four years, including strengthening the border, cracking down on criminals in the country illegally, and helping those who were brought into the country as children.

However, the president said, “to truly fix a broken system, we need Congress to act in a comprehensive way.  And that’s why what’s happening next week is so important.”

Obama outlined what the bill about to go before Congress would do, noting that while it isn’t perfect, it was a compromise that Democrats and Republicans could support and was consistent with commonsense reform.

The bill would provide a pathway to earned citizenship for the more than 11 million individuals currently living in the country illegally. This pathway, the president said, would include passing a background check, paying taxes, learning English and then “going to the back of the line behind everyone who’s playing by the rules and trying to come here legally.”

Obama said the bill was “the most ambitious enforcement plan in recent memory,” and would continue to strengthen the borders and enact harsher penalties for smugglers, traffickers and employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers.

If passed, the bill would also modernize the legal immigration system.

“We know the opponents of reform are going to do everything they can to prevent that,” Obama warned.  “They’ll try to stoke fear and create division.  They’ll try to play politics with an issue that the vast majority of Americans want addressed.  And if they succeed, we will lose this chance to finally fix an immigration system that is badly broken.

The president urged American’s to contact their representatives to “tell them we have to get this done so that everyone is playing by the same rules.  Tell them we have the power to do this in a way that lives up to our traditions as a nation of laws, and a nation of immigrants.”  

“In the end, that’s what this is all about,” he concluded. “Men and women who want nothing more than the chance to earn their way into the American story, just like so many of our ancestors did.  Throughout our history, that has only made us stronger.  And it’s how we’ll make sure that America’s best days always lie ahead.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


President Obama's Weekly Address: No Shortcut To Taking Control of Our Energy Future

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- In this week’s address, President Obama told the American people that three years after helping the auto industry save more than one million jobs, the American auto industry is back and creating cars that he says are more fuel efficient than ever. 

But he also stresses how the American people must also end the $4 billion in tax breaks that he says oil companies receive each year. 

Full transcript as follows:

"Hi, everybody.  Earlier this week, I spent some time with the hardworking men and women of the American auto industry, who are busy writing a new chapter in America’s story.  

"Just a few years ago, their industry was shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs.  Two of the Big Three – GM and Chrysler – were on the brink of failure.  If we had let this great American industry collapse – if we had let Detroit go bankrupt – more than one million Americans would have lost their jobs in the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression.

"I refused to let that happen.  These jobs are worth more than just a paycheck – they’re a source of pride and a ticket to the middle class.  These companies are worth more than just the cars they build – they’re a symbol of American innovation and a source of our manufacturing might.

"So in exchange for help, we demanded responsibility.  We got the companies to retool and restructure.  Everyone sacrificed.  And three years later, the American auto industry is back.
Today, GM is the number one automaker in the world.  Chrysler is growing faster in America than any other car company.  Ford is investing billions in American plants and factories, and plans to bring thousands of jobs back home.  All told, the entire industry has added more than 200,000 new jobs over the past two and a half years.

"And they’re not just building cars again – they’re building better cars.  Thanks to new fuel efficiency standards we put in place, they’re building cars that will average nearly 55 miles per gallon by the middle of the next decade.  That’s almost double what they get today.  That means folks will be able to fill up every two weeks instead of every week, saving the typical family more than $8,000 at the pump over time.  That’s a big deal, especially as families are yet again feeling the pinch from rising gas prices.

"So what’s happening in Detroit will make a difference.  But it won’t solve everything.  There’s no silver bullet for avoiding spikes in gas prices every year.  There’s no shortcut to taking control of our energy future.  We have to pursue an all-of-the-above strategy that helps develop every source of American energy.  And we have to do it now.

"The good news is, we’ve been making progress.  Take a look at this chart.  Six years ago, 60% of the oil we used was imported.  Since I took office, America’s dependence on foreign oil has decreased every single year.  In fact, in 2010, for the first time in thirteen years, less than half the petroleum we consumed was imported.  Part of that is because we’re producing more oil here at home than at any time in the last eight years.  

"But we can’t just drill our way out of this problem.   While we consume 20 percent of the world’s oil, we only have 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves.  We’ve got to develop new technology that will help us use new forms of energy.  That’s been a priority of mine as President.  And because of the investments we’ve made, our use of clean, renewable energy has nearly doubled – and thousands of Americans have jobs because of it.

"Now we need to keep at it.  And to do that, we need to make the right choices.  

"Here’s one we can make right now.  Every year, $4 billion of your tax dollars go to subsidizing the oil industry.  These are the same companies making record profits – tens of billions of dollars a year.  I don’t think oil companies need more corporate welfare.  Congress should end this taxpayer giveaway.  If you agree with me, I’m asking you to e-mail, call, or Tweet your representative.  Tell them to stop fighting for oil companies.  Tell them to start fighting for working families.  Tell them to fight for the clean energy future that’s within our reach.  Because the sooner we all get started, the sooner we’ll get there together.  Thanks and have a great weekend."


Obama's Weekly Address: 'Our Urgent Mission Has To Be Getting This Economy Growing'

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- In his weekly address, President Obama urges Congress to work together to solve the nation's economic woes.

“Our urgent mission has to be getting this economy growing faster and creating jobs,” the president says. “Our job right now has to be doing whatever we can to help folks find work; to help create the climate where a business can put up that job listing; where incomes are rising again for people. We’ve got to rebuild this economy and the sense of security that middle class has felt slipping away for years.  And while deficit reduction has to be part of our economic strategy, it’s not the only thing we have to do.”

The president once again points to stalled measures in Congress that he says will spur economic growth, including extending the payroll tax credit, investing in infrastructure, passing patent reforms and extending unemployment insurance.

“Those are a few commonsense steps that would help the economy.  And these are ideas that have been supported by both Democrats and Republicans in the past.  So I’m going to keep calling on both parties in Congress to put aside their differences and send these bills to my desk so I can sign them right away,” Obama says.

“After all, both parties share power.  Both parties share responsibility for our progress.  Moving our economy and our country forward is not a Democratic or a Republican responsibility; it is our responsibility as Americans,” the president concludes.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio