Obama: 'No excuse' for Congress not to act
WASHINGTON, June 16 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama Saturday urged Americans to tell Congress "stop worrying about the next election and start worrying about the next generation."
In his weekly radio and Internet address, the president reviewed proposals he has made intended to help accelerate the nation's recovery from "the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression."
"The economy is growing again, but it's not growing fast enough," he said. "Our businesses have created 4.3 million new jobs over the last 27 months, but we're not creating them fast enough. And we're facing some pretty serious headwinds -- from the effects of the recent spike in gas prices, to the financial crisis in Europe."
Obama once again called the current economic condition "a make-or-break moment for the middle class."
"The decisions we make over the next few years will have an enormous impact on the country we live in, and the one we pass on to our children," the president said.
He said America "has answers to these problems" but progress is being held back by "a stalemate in Washington."
"Last September, I sent Congress a jobs bill full of the kinds of bipartisan ideas that could have put over a million Americans back to work and helped bolster our economy against outside shocks," Obama said. "I sent them a plan that would have reduced our deficit by $4 trillion in a balanced way that pays for the investments we need by cutting unnecessary spending and asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little bit more in taxes.
"Since then, Congress has passed a few parts of that jobs bill, like a tax cut that's allowing working Americans to keep more of your paycheck every week," the president said. "But on most of the ideas that would create jobs and grow our economy, Republicans in Congress haven't lifted a finger. They'd rather wait until after the election in November. Just this past week, one of them said, 'Why not wait for the reinforcements?' That's a quote. And you can bet plenty of his colleagues are thinking the same thing.
"I think that's wrong. This isn't about who wins or loses in Washington," he said. "This is about your jobs, your paychecks, your children's future. There's no excuse for Congress to stand by and do nothing while so many families are struggling. None.
"Every problem we face is within our power to solve," Obama said. "What's lacking is our politics. Remind your Members of Congress why you sent them to Washington in the first place. Tell them to stop worrying about the next election and start worrying about the next generation."
Walker: More government 'not the answer'
MADISON, Wis., June 16 (UPI) -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Saturday said "more government is not the answer" to fostering economic growth.
The Republican governor who survived a recent recall attempt made the comments during the weekly Republican party address.
"Sadly, the president and many of his allies seem to measure success by how many people are dependent on government programs," Walker said. "Those policies have failed. In contrast, I and many other Republicans define success in just the opposite way -- by how many people we can free from government dependence by growing the private sector.
"Now, that doesn't mean we want to throw folks off of unemployment. Instead, we want people no longer dependent on government because they have a job. When more of our fellow citizens have work in the private sector, there will be more freedom and more prosperity in our country. That's a good thing ... a very good thing."
Walker said Wisconsin "made the tough decisions to tackle our economic and fiscal crises. Now it is time to do the same for America."
In the three years before he took office, Wisconsin had lost 100,000 jobs and unemployment was above 9 percent, he said.
Today, Walker said, the state has a budget surplus, has gained more than 41,000 private-sector jobs and the unemployment rate is below 7 percent.
Walker had pushed to strip public workers of collective bargaining rights, leading to the recall election.
He credited former President Ronald Reagan with helping turn around the economy 30 years ago and said: "We need that kind of bold leadership again today to get our fiscal house on track and to get our economy back in order. But more big government is not the answer as the president contends."
Egyptians go to polls to elect president
CAIRO, June 16 (UPI) -- Egyptians voted in presidential elections Saturday to choose between the ousted Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister and a Muslim Brotherhood candidate.
The election comes a day after Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court dissolved Parliament and ruled the former Mubarak regime prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, had a right to run in the presidential runoff vote.
The court rejected a law that would have removed Shafiq from the race, BikyaMasr.com reported.
Shafiq is facing Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi, who has the support of Islamic groups in the country.
Morsi backers urged people to vote for him to prevent "death of the revolution," BikyaMasr.com said.
Some Egyptians, including many from revolutionary groups and coalitions, were expected to boycott the election or void their votes.
More than 400,000 soldiers have been deployed around voting places by the military ruling council to prevent clashes.
Pilgrims killed in Indian bus crash
OSMANABAD, India, June 16 (UPI) -- About 30 people were killed and an estimated 20 others critically injured Saturday when a bus carrying pilgrims to an Indian religious shrine ran off a bridge.
Passengers boarded the bus Friday in Hyderabad, headed for the shrine in Shirdi, The Hindu reported. The crash occurred at about 2 a.m. when the bus was about 25 miles from Osmanabad.
The Hindu said 29 people were killed and 21 hurt, while Indo-Asian News Service said the death toll was 32, with 15 injured. Most of the injured were in critical condition, IANS reported.
Eyewitnesses told IANS the bus caught fire after turning over.
Shirdi was the home of Sai Baba, a 19th-century guru revered by many Hindus and Muslims.
Sree Kaleshwari, the travel agency that organized the trip, said it had arranged for a bus to bring victims' relatives from Hyderabad to the crash site and to hospitals.
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