President Barack Obama is urging a divided Congress to boost job creation, and strengthen the middle class through a package of government-backed proposals.
In Tuesday night's "state of the union" speech the president called for increasing the federal minimum wage, spending more to fix the nation's roads and bridges, and expanding early childhood education.
The president is also pledging to cut the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan in half within a year.
But, it's those massive, automatic cuts to domestic and defense spending-- called sequestration-- that the president warned lawmakers to avoid... because of the effects it would have, nationwide. President Barack Obama says, "These sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts would jeopardize our military readiness, they'd devastate priorities like education, energy and medical research. They would certainly slow our recovery." The president says that can't happen at a time when unemployment remains high, and consumer confidence falling.
Republicans say the president is the real reason why America's economy has suffered. Sen. Marco Rubio, (R) Florida, says, "His solution to virtually every problem we face is for Washington to tax more, borrow more and spend more." Rubio, considered a rising star in the Republican party, says more government isn't going to help Americans get ahead. He says it will hold Americans back.
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