Wednesday, January 29, 2014

United States: Obama launches offensive against inequality


During his annual State of the Union address , Tuesday, Jan. 28 , U.S. President Barack Obama has clearly distanced himself from an often divided into several decrees announcing Congress. In doing so, he risks further complicating the already tense relations between Democrats majority in the Senate , and Republicans, who control the House of Representatives.

"The inequalities have widened , he was particularly noted . The social elevator is broken . The fact is that even at the height of the recovery, too many Americans work harder than ever just to maintain their standard of living . And they are still too many do not work at all. "

Read reactions Republicans : Obama Promises " will not solve the current problems of Americans "

Call for a sharp increase in minimum wage
Mr. Obama has called for significantly increase the minimum wage, stuck since 2009 to 7.25 dollars an hour , despite fierce opposition from Republicans in Congress . "Give an increase in America! " Has he called , saying that he would " in the coming weeks, " a decree under about 40 % the minimum wage for some 560,000 federal employees :

" In the coming weeks , I'll take an order directing the companies receiving government contracts to provide fair wages of at least 10.10 dollars an hour to their employees, because if you're cooking for our troops, if you wash their dishes , you should not be forced to live in poverty. "

Obama , who had called for an increase of the wages in 2013 , acknowledged that he needed Congress , dominated by Republicans , in part , to carry at $ 10.10 per hour minimum wage in across the country and prevent employees being forced " to raise their families in poverty ." John Boehner, Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives had earlier in the day already reiterated its opposition to any increase in the minimum wage.

There are no real national minimum wage in the United States. That set by the federal government serves as a reference , but it is not necessary authority to the states. They set their own minimum wage , which is often greater than this reference in large states such as California , New York or Texas. But states also have countless exceptions , which keeps the local minimum wage at a lower low water often , especially in less industrialized countries .

Read our explanations : United States : higher wages in the heart of the debate

Equal pay for men and women
Mr. Obama has also carved a great success defending equal pay for men and women with a reference to the popular television series Mad Men:

"Today, women account for about half of the workforce. But they still earn 77 cents when men earn 1 dollar. This is wrong, and in 2014, it's embarrassing . A woman deserves to get the same pay for the same work. She deserves to have a baby without having to sacrifice his job. "

"It is time to get rid of rules stemming from an episode of Mad Men in the workplace, he has launched the applause and laughter . I sincerely believe that when women succeed, the United States succeed. "

Cory Remsburg , injured in Afghanistan has been described as a " hero " by the U.S. President in his speech on 28 January .
Closure of Guantanamo
After promising during his campaign to close the prison , still open, Guantanamo , Obama reiterated his intention to do so "this year" , which must be " that when Congress raises the remaining restrictions on transfers detainees, and we close the prison at Guantanamo Bay . "

U.S. President pledged to close the prison in the space of a year in 2009 , but Congress blocking maneuvers , especially because the transfer of some prisoners on American soil , were due to this promise.

Read our Editorial : Guantanamo : Obama has not kept his word

An immigration reform needed
As for what was to be his major project for second term, an immigration reform , Mr. Obama addressed by explaining that it was " time to repair [ a ] system that does not work "

"Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have acted. I know that members of both parties in the House want to do the same. Independent economists argue that immigration reform will grow our economy and reduce the deficit by nearly 1,000 billion over the next two decades. "

Iran : veto against new sanctions

The U.S. president has warned that it would veto any sanctions against Iran that would be passed by Congress during the negotiations on the nuclear program in Tehran. " Let me be clear : if Congress is now sending me a new law sanctions that threatens to derail the talks , I apposerai my veto , warned the President of the United States. These negotiations will be difficult , they can not succeed. "

Iran and the major powers met in the group of " 5 + 1" (United States, China, Russia, France , UK and Germany) were sealed on 24 November in Geneva provisional agreement of six months, which freezes certain sensitive nuclear activities of Iran in exchange for a partial lifting of Western sanctions . The first regulation came into force on 20 January and discussions are scheduled to resume in mid- February in New York to try to reach a global agreement to ensure that the nature of Iran's nuclear program is exclusively peaceful .

"With our allies and partners , we are involved in negotiations to see if we can reach the goal we all share : to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon ," said he repeated.

Evolution of the terrorist threat
Al-Qaida , Obama said that if the United States has put the organization " on the path to defeat ," " the threat has evolved " and affiliated groups are rooted elsewhere, such as Yemen, Somalia, Iraq and Mali :

 " Other extremists are rooted in different parts of the world. Yemen, Somalia, Iraq and Mali, we must continue to work with our partners to weaken these networks and make them ineffective. In Syria , we will support the opposition rejects the program terrorist networks . "

>> See our explanation of the scope of the overseas speech :