Weekly addresses: Obama, Sen. Cochran look ahead in 2014
January 11th, 2014
12:47 PM ET
10 months ago

Weekly addresses: Obama, Sen. Cochran look ahead in 2014

Washington (CNN) – This year will be a year of change, according to President Obama and Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Mississippi.

In separate weekly addresses, both promised action on what they consider the most important issues the country faces - the economy and Obamacare, respectively.


The president began by highlighting Friday's job report, with 2.2 million jobs added in 2013 and the lowest unemployment rate in years. Many economists saw the report as disappointing, however, because only 74,000 new jobs were added in December; the expectations were around 193,000.

"Across our broader economy, there are signs of progress," said Obama, emphasizing growth in the housing and manufacturing sectors, booms in the auto, tech and energy industries, deficits that have been halved, and healthcare costs growing at their lowest rate in years - "thanks in part to the reforms in the Affordable Care Act," he said.

But Obama pushed that more work was left to be done, including the extension of unemployment insurance.

"This vital economic lifeline helps people support their families while they look for a new job, and it demands responsibility in return by requiring that they prove they're actively looking for work. But Republicans in Congress just let that lifeline expire for 1.3 million Americans," he said, adding that while the Senate has moved toward passing benefits, "Congress needs to finish the job right away."

Unemployment insurance was just the first item on his agenda, as well. He vowed to expand high-tech manufacturing, help provide workers the necessary skills for those jobs, and get more of the long-term unemployed back to work.

And as he looked forward to his State of the Union address at the end of the month, he said he would "mobilize the country around the national mission of making sure our economy offers everyone who works hard a fair shot at opportunity and success."

But Cochran made clear there is something standing in the way of that kind of progress: Obamacare.

"Unfortunately as this year begins, many people are worried about how the so-called Affordable Care Act - also known as ‘Obamacare’ - is affecting both their health and personal finances," he said in the GOP's weekly address.

“Republicans in the Senate think we should repeal or defund the program because of its cost and complexity," he added, arguing that the law was "not living up to the promises made by its supporters."

In particular, he focused on the 5 million Americans who were "kicked out of the health plans that they liked and were promised they could keep," as well as his constituents who are finding that plans in the new Obamacare market are too expensive, or who have been denied access to their usual doctors.

“In the spirit of the new year, we should resolve to help make our health care system more user-friendly and affordable," and to do that, he said, Congress needs to repeal the Affordable Care Act and pass "common sense, bipartisan legislation that will work better for all Americans, without spending billions of taxpayer dollars."

In 2013, the House voted dozens of times to defund Obamacare but was stopped by the Senate, and the fight over the president's signature legislation drew the country to a government shutdown and the brink of the debt ceiling.


Filed under: Economy • GOP weekly address • Obamacare • President Obama
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Hey GOP clowns, we are sick of hearing your anti obamacare RANTS for the last five years, you may want to pass the unemployment extension because your all going to be out of a job by the end of the year. Good luck in your NEW carears!!!!!

    January 11, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    Obama NEVER tells the truth, about anything. He is nothing but a liar, and a deceiver.

    January 11, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  3. Tampa Tim

    Didn't Fox tell Thad he could keep his junk policy for another year? Ever wonder how many had ridiculous rate increases or were kicked out of their plan before ACA? There must be something republicans are good at, but it sure isn't governing.

    January 11, 2014 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    This president has already his LEGACY. WHETHER YOU TAKE THIS PILL OR NOT, THIS PRESIDENT IS THE BEST ONE FOR DECADES IN USA HISTORY. ACA has saved millions. We need to restrict visa system, pass stricter immigration. Look, India's ambassador that cheated on our system and absconded this nation. Pass strict rules.

    January 11, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  5. bill

    only someone who lies could come up with a "story" like obama-the unemployment is the worse since 1978 and to dare and tell the public it is the best????? what is he smoking??? and to say health costs are down because of obamacare??? we just spent over $600,000,000–to a Canada company–for the website that still does not work???? congress just passed a bill that the senate and or the president will not sign that states if anyone has their info stolen on the obamacare website they have to be notified within 2 days–and he has said he will veto it???? and iran as our partner to get a peace agreement with syria????? just when you think the water is safe without a carter in the water--obamamess comes with all its lies and scandals. Christie or someone shut down a bridge and the feds are all over it--soldiers die in Benghazi and again obama/hillary lie about it-IT WAS A VIDEO-and yesterday the truth came out that it was terrorist-HOW ABOUT THE MAN THEY ARRESTED FOR MAKING A VIDEO NOBODY SAW?????? ARRESTED HIM???? the lies go on and obama just keeps it up. GONE WITH THE WIND

    January 11, 2014 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  6. jonquil123

    Why are Republicans giving an alternative, weekly address? That's the privilege of The Executive Office. How can anyone call themselves "Conservative" and then disrespect a tradition of office, like that?

    As an American, I've grown sick and tired of this Confederacy arrogance. We are The United States of America. Deal with it.

    January 11, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  7. jerrylax

    obama, please just use this address to resign. You will have to continue to lie and manipulate facts to make the speech anyway…foreign policy is a mess, no decent jobs, and you have destroyed our health care system. Go back to the chicago politics where you belong, please.

    January 11, 2014 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  8. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    If obamacare was bad for the American people , the GOP tea idiots would be FOR IT. I guess the loss of 24 billion dallars in 16 days was good for the American people too , GOP TRASH!!!!

    January 11, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  9. rs

    The President chronicles 5 years of economic recovery- with no help from the GOP. The GOP counter points come from a state little better than a 3rd world nation, where the GOP is aggressively keeping their citizens from getting access to health insurance.
    Does anyone see the difference here between the two parties?

    January 11, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  10. bill

    you can even go to CNN economy-"THE WORSE EMPLOYMENT RECORD IN 35 YEARS" and obama lies again by saying how well the economy is doing by the percent of unemployment-wow. Y OU CAN KEEP YOUR INSURANCE. IT WAS A VIDEO-only took 14 months to report the truth when obama knew it the day after Benghazi. how do you spell impeach.

    January 11, 2014 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    Laser focus mr president?

    January 11, 2014 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  12. Richard Long

    Hilarious weekly address!
    - Unemployment rate is down! A great victory! Even though the December job report was dismal and less people are actually looking for jobs.
    - If the economy is going so well, why the push to extend unemployment benefits?

    Of course, this is the same person that promised "You can keep your policy. Period."

    January 11, 2014 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  13. don in albuquerque

    Ya know, I'm getting kind of sick of hearing the dummies who bought worthless insurance policies complain about " if you like your insurance you can keep it". I guess what he should have said is "If you like being stupid, you can stay stupid". If the old saying "ignorance is bliss" is true then America must be the happiest place in the universe.

    January 11, 2014 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  14. Smitty

    How can you believe anything from this guy after winning BIGGEST LIAR OF THE YEAR??? Take Christie with ya and get out !!!!

    January 11, 2014 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  15. king

    ive been trying to call roger ails over there at fox news to ask him when will he hire a dem host to combat his 24 hour rich right wing host that smears this president and the dem party all the time. the dem has one left wing propaganda machine in msnbc, yet they hire a republican for 3 hours every weekday morning on morning joe. yet they have to fight against right winged and corporate news stations like fox news, fox business news, and cnbc i wont even mention their minions of right winged radio stations. so why is ails so scared, to hire just one dem, to stand up against their rich right winged host, now to the economy. december was the month that businesses start letting go seasonal workers after the holidays sales, furthermore the polar vortex put alot of monkey wrench into hiring folks for the past 2 weeks. so all these repubs who like to say that Obama policies are not working, they need to shut up. the amount of jobs that this economy produced is staggering, the only problem is that computer systems and robots are taking most of them. yet the repubs wont come up jobs programs to put folks to work, all they want to do is cut cut cut, and and blame Obama about what cut cut cut policies, causes the american people

    January 11, 2014 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  16. Thomas

    Rick McDaniel
    Obama NEVER tells the truth, about anything. He is nothing but a liar, and a deceiver.

    ===========

    Rick , your starting to sound like baby robot .

    January 11, 2014 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  17. Rusty Krus

    @jerrylax
    obama, please just use this address to resign. You will have to continue to lie and manipulate facts to make the speech anyway…foreign policy is a mess, no decent jobs, and you have destroyed our health care system. Go back to the chicago politics where you belong, please.

    Spoken like a true, Faux "News"/Limp Paw puppet. Why bother writing here when all you do is show people how misinformed you are?

    January 11, 2014 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  18. Fair is Fair

    @Richard Long
    Hilarious weekly address!
    - Unemployment rate is down! A great victory! Even though the December job report was dismal and less people are actually looking for jobs.
    - If the economy is going so well, why the push to extend unemployment benefits?
    Of course, this is the same person that promised "You can keep your policy. Period."

    Richard. How much are you being paid by Fox News to write these idiotic posts?

    January 11, 2014 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  19. Evergreen

    No one is saying that the economy is great. "Recission ended" means the economy is no longer circling the drain and bleeding jobs like it was in 2008.
    A large number of Americans have stopped looking for works. The majority are older workers who, like me, find themselves competing against people their kids age, and even their grandkids age. I stopped looking and, even though I did not want to, opted for early retirement. When the President took office he stated that this was an "all hands on deck" moment. Unfortunanetly, the GOP chose to sit on the sideline. And worse, saw it as their job to make him a one term President. In a Democracy, only the voters could make that decision.

    January 11, 2014 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  20. S. B. Stein

    This president and many of his political feelings think that there are problems. The observation is that no other group the size and scope of the US government can do something to affect the situation to reduce the poor and level of poverty in the country. If there was, we wouldn't need the government to do this. This is what I have advocated the top 2% do with health insurance. If there a group like that, then we would have needed the ACA either.

    January 11, 2014 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  21. LacrosseMom

    Bless you, Pres. Obama! You are doing an amazing job considering all the obstruction, hate, lies and bigotry coming from the holier-than-thou-Conservatives!

    January 11, 2014 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  22. RonL

    To those of you that truly hate this President. Try to prevent your hatred from blocking out the facts. And for those of you who do not know what the facts are here they go:
    1) The recession in many ways was unique in that it ruined both the housing market and the financial market. The
    President implemented actions that prevented the recession from being even worst with the stimulus package
    and the SAVING of auto industry. Yes, I meant SAVING, allowing bankruptcy would have been the end of GM
    and Chrysler.
    2) There has been over 30 months of positive job growth, despite the fact the number of teachers, Federal, State,
    employees have dramatically dropped. Yes, the rate has been slow, but a lot of that has to do with the political
    environment than the President. Many of the types of programs that would help the economy have not been
    implemented because the Republicans are trying their best to make the Democrats look ineffective. The 74,000
    figure released I believe it inaccurate by at least 100,000. Why, you ask? Because ADP the company that prints
    out payroll checks says they printed close to 200,000 more than the number issued by the government.
    3) The reduction in number of unemployed dropping is from two events: A) The number of people who may have
    temporally given up looking B) Some people have stopped looking because $8.00 a hour only 20 -24 hours a
    week is demeaning and many of these companies can afford to pay more.
    4) While the roll out of the ACA was horrendous and inexcusable, the facts are for the last 3 years the increase
    in insurance premiums has slowed down over the previous 10 years. There is not enough data to say for sure it is
    the ACA, but the reduction is a welcomed situation.
    5) The extended unemployment benefits is a MUST!! Why, because we are the richest country in the world, we can
    always find money to go to war, find additional tax breaks for the wealthy, and many of the people who need it
    are over 50 and MANY companies will not hire a person over 50 that has a degree. I know it sounds insane but
    it is true. Also you need to remember many of these people who are unemployed and receiving rejection notices
    have children.
    6) The "you can keep your policy" was a case of naivety on the Presidents part. He believed the existing policies
    could and would be grandfathered in. This was foolish on his part, he should have known the insurance
    companies were going to change every ones policy just so none the cheap policies could be grandfathered.

    In closing the President has made some mistakes, but he has done SEVERAL things correctly as well. It is unfortunate that there is such a disdain toward him by the far right wing that the Republicans are literally afraid to compromise on issues that they normally would. This is why economic growth has been slow, we have a dysfunctional Congress.

    January 11, 2014 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  23. name. willard

    I am serouis tell truth repbluic that I have wintess with my friend
    What happend about fraud check scam so my friend are still complain against fraud check scam from afrcian amercian

    January 12, 2014 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  24. name. willard

    If christie will get impeach for presdient 2016 so I think presdient obama will not unfair get impeach. Amercian are belive that obama are nothing for 5 yrs right so he would get impeach

    January 12, 2014 03:12 am at 3:12 am |
  25. Larry in Houston

    good luck, mr. Obama....you will need it, in addition, you will get my blessings.....you will need that too....I'm sure you already know since you took that shellacking in 2010, you've been pretty much a lame duck ever since....so it looks like it will continue all the way to 2016....The next potus will be decided by us Independents, not the left wing or the right wing of either party......I voted for you the first time because There was nobody else to vote for.......it's like dumb or dumber, or the least of the 2 evils, or stupid, or stupider, sorry to be so blunt, but that's the way it is....IT IS, What IT IS...

    January 12, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
1 2