Obama to focus on immigration reforms, stabilisation of economy

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Focused on the immediate crisis of avoiding a fiscal cliff by year-end, US President Barack Obama has said that “fixing” the broken immigration system, stabilisation of the economy and energy independence would be on top priorities during his administration’s second-term.

Obama is all set to be sworn-in as the US President for the second term on January 21. In the November 6 presidential elections, Obama defeated Mitt Romney of the Republican Party.

In an interview to the Meet the Press of the NBC news, Obama, however, reiterated that his immediate priority is to ensure that the taxes of the middle class do not go up from January 1.

Obama, who cut short his Hawaii vacation to come to Washington DC to address the issue, hoped that the country would be able to avoid fiscal cliff.

In a rare presidential interview to a Sunday talk show, Obama listed out his second-term priorities.

“I’ve said that fixing our broken immigration system is a top priority. I will introduce legislation in the first year to get that done. I think we have talked about it long enough.

We know how we can fix it. We can do it in a comprehensive way that the American people support. That’s something we should get done,” he said.

“The second thing that we’ve got to do is to stabilise the economy and make sure it’s growing. Part of that is deficit reduction. Part of it is also making sure that we’re investing, for example, in rebuilding our infrastructure which is broken.

“And if we are putting people back to work rebuilding our roads, our bridges, our schools, in part paying for it by some of these broader long-term deficit reduction measures that need to take place that will grow the economy at the same time as we’re also setting our path for long-term fiscal stability,” Obama said.

“Number three. We’ve got a huge opportunity around energy. We are producing more energy and America can become an energy exporter. How do we do that in a way that also deals with some of the environmental challenges that we have at the same time? So that’s going to be a third thing,” he said.

“But the most immediate thing I’ve got to do starting on January 1st, if Congress doesn’t act before the end of the year, is make sure that taxes are not going up on middle class families. Because it is going to be very hard for the economy to sustain its current growth trends if suddenly we have a huge bite taken out of the average American pay check,” he said.

Obama said in his State of the Union Address, he would put forth specific proposals to address the issue of gun control.

Vice-President Joe Biden has been tasked to work with other Cabinet members and stakeholders to come out with specific proposals in this regard. “So this is not something that I will be putting off,” he said.

(This article was published on December 31, 2012)
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