Obama ‘Hopeful’ about New Year

Posted December 31st, 2011 at 10:50 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama says he is “hopeful” the new year will bring about more progress for the United States, including the ability to grow the economy and create jobs.

In his weekly address Saturday, Mr. Obama said he is hopeful because lawmakers did “the right thing” for millions of Americans before Christmas by preventing a payroll tax hike and extending unemployment benefits.

The president said the two-month continuation of the measures was possible only because Americans added their voices to the debate through email, social media and over the phone to their representatives. Mr. Obama recorded the address while vacationing with his family in the U.S. state of Hawaii.

Republican and Democratic leaders will take up the payroll tax fight and seek to agree on the terms of a year-long extension when Congress returns to work in Washington in January.

In the weekly Republican address, Senator Johnny Isakson said Republicans' “number one goal” for 2012 is to continue to make it easier for American small businesses to create jobs. He said lawmakers in his party will accomplish this by continuing to fight for tax reform, regulatory reform and energy security.

President Obama said in his address that he will do everything he can to make America a place where hard work and responsibility are rewarded. He said “that's the America we've always known.”