Charles Parish
San Marco Properties
Claude Nolan
Geer Services, Inc.
Geer Services, Inc.
Geer Services, Inc.
Geer Services, Inc.
Mar 232013

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — In his weekly address, President Obama calls on Congress to pass “commonsense measures” to protect the nation’s children by reducing gun violence.

The president says in the three months since 20 innocent children and six dedicated adults were lost in the Newtown, Conn. tragedy, Americans “began asking ourselves if we’re really doing enough to protect our communities and keep our children safe.”

Those three months, he says, have forced the nation to answer difficult questions about what can be done to prevent the kinds of massacres that occurred in Newtown, Aurora and Oak Creek, and everyday tragedies that take place in cities and towns across America.

“Today there is still genuine disagreement among well-meaning people about what steps we should take to reduce the epidemic of gun violence in this country,” Obama says. “But you – the American people – have spoken.  You’ve made it clear that it’s time to do something.  And over the last few weeks, Senators here in Washington have listened and taken some big steps forward.”

Obama mentions actions the Senate has taken in an effort to make changes to reduce gun violence: advancing a bill to make it harder for criminals and people with severe mental illness to obtain guns; making progress on another bill to crack down on any gun buyer who intends to funnel it to criminals; and reinstating and strengthening a military-style assault weapons ban as well as setting a 10-round limit for magazines.

“These ideas shouldn’t be controversial – they’re common sense. They’re supported by a majority of the American people.  And I urge the Senate and the House to give each of them a vote,” he says.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Mar 022013

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — The morning after $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts kicked in, President Obama is calling once more for lawmakers to compromise to halt the damaging impact the sequester will have on the nation’s economy.

“These cuts are not smart.  They will hurt our economy and cost us jobs.  And Congress can turn them off at any time – as soon as both sides are willing to compromise,” Obama says in his weekly address.

The president warns that “not everyone will feel the pain of these cuts right away” but that “the pain will be real.”  
“Beginning this week, businesses that work with the military will have to lay folks off.  Communities near military bases will take a serious blow.  Hundreds of thousands of Americans who serve their country – Border Patrol agents, FBI agents, civilians who work for the Defense Department – will see their wages cut and their hours reduced,” he explains.

“Here’s the thing: none of this is necessary,” he says. “It’s happening because Republicans in Congress chose this outcome over closing a single wasteful tax loophole that helps reduce the deficit.  Just this week, they decided that protecting special interest tax breaks for the well-off and well-connected is more important than protecting our military and middle-class families from these cuts.”

The president is calling for a “balanced approach” of spending cuts and tax increases to replace the sequester. Republicans, however, insist that new tax revenue is off the table.

“I know there are Republicans in Congress who would actually rather see tax loopholes closed than let these cuts go through.  And I know there are Democrats who’d rather do smart entitlement reform than let these cuts go through.  There’s a caucus of common sense.  And I’m going to keep reaching out to them to fix this for good,” Obama concludes.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Feb 232013

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — In recent days, Obama administration officials have warned of the devastating things that will happen if upcoming spending cuts go into effect.  Now in his weekly address, President Obama urges Republicans in Congress to take action to avoid the looming sequester cuts, saying, “Congress can turn them off anytime with just a little compromise.”

The president warns that if the sequester — set to take effect March 1 — goes on, the economy will suffer, jobs will be lost, national security will be compromised, and education and health care programs will see deep cuts.

But, he says, instead of cutting spending in a “smart way” by closing “wasteful tax loopholes” for the wealthy, “Republicans in Congress have decided … they would rather let these cuts fall squarely on the middle class.”

The president adds, however, that he is hopeful Republicans will change their minds so that Congress can “build on the more than $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction we’ve already achieved.”

Underscoring the need to reduce the nation’s deficit in a “balanced” way, the president calls for “smart spending cuts, entitlement reform and tax reform.”

“That’s my plan. It’s got tough cuts, tough reforms, and asks more of the wealthiest Americans,” he says, continuing, “And it requires Democrats and Republicans to meet half way to resolve the problem.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Feb 162013

TOBY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images(CHICAGO) — President Obama spent much of this week traveling the country promoting his State of the Union message — what he calls a “Plan for a Strong Middle Class.” Now in his weekly address, the president’s message is the same, urging lawmakers to act on the proposals he laid out in his Tuesday speech before a joint session of Congress.

Speaking from Hyde Park Academy in his hometown Chicago, the president says he wants to reignite the “true engine of America’s economic growth — a rising, thriving middle class.”  

“Every day, we should ask ourselves three questions:  How do we bring good jobs to America?  How do we equip people with the skills those jobs require?  And how do we make sure your hard work leads to a decent living?” President Obama says in the address.

By launching manufacturing hubs across the country, the president says he believes it will “transform hard-hit regions into global centers of high-tech jobs and manufacturing.”  America should become a “magnet for new jobs,” he says.

And, the president explains, getting there should be simple.

“We need to make our tax code more competitive, ending tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, and rewarding companies that create jobs here at home.  And we need to invest in the research and technology that will allow us to harness more of our own energy and put more people back to work repairing our crumbling roads and bridges,” says. “These steps will help our businesses expand and create new jobs.”

The president also notes his goals raising the minimum wage and providing every American child with “high-quality preschool,” because, he says, “kids in these programs do better throughout their lives.”
“These steps will help grow our economy and rebuild a rising, thriving middle class.  And we can do it while shrinking our deficits.  We don’t have to choose between the two – we just have to make smart choices,” he says.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Feb 162013

Douglas Graham/Roll Call/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — In this week’s Republican address, Alabama Congresswoman Martha Roby calls on the president and Senate Democrats to join the House in stopping the sequester, a set of “across-the-board spending cuts” scheduled to take effect in less than two weeks.

With many lawmakers and President Obama, as Rep. Roby points out, calling the sequestration “a really bad idea,” the hope is that the cuts can be replaced with “better more responsible spending cuts,” she explains.

“Just this week, top military commanders testified on Capitol Hill and confirmed what I had feared from the beginning about how the president’s sequester will hurt military installations in Alabama and around the country,” says Roby, who serves on the House Armed Services Committee.

“There is a smarter way to reduce the size of government than to slash defense spending, threaten national security and hurt military families,” she says, accusing the president and Congressional Democrats of holding up legislation that would replace the sequester.  She adds that President Obama would like to “push through another tax increase,” while “using the military he leads as leverage in an ideological crusade for higher taxes.”

But, Roby implores, “These games have got to stop.”

“Our goal every day in Washington should be coming together on issues like creating jobs for hardworking American families, reining in our out-of-control debt, and ensuring America maintains a strong national defense,” she says.  “To meet these goals, we can come together now to replace the president’s sequester – not with more tax increases, but with better, more responsible spending cuts that put our budget on a path to balance in 10 years.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio