GOP Criticizes Obama on Homeland Security
President Barack Obama on Saturday touted pending overhauls to the nation’s health care system and an economy on the mend, while Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) slammed the White House for sending “mixed messages— on national security.“Two weeks ago, the terrorist plot to bring down Northwest Airlines Flight 253 in the skies over Detroit was thwarted by a combination of luck and vigilance,— King, the ranking member on the House Homeland Security Committee, said Saturday in the weekly GOP address. “But as President Obama has rightly said, it should never have even gotten to that point.—“So, the people in my community certainly get it,— King added. “American families get it. And now it’s time for the administration in Washington to stop sending mixed messages and get it too.—In his weekly radio address, Obama was mum on the foiled December terrorism plot, flagging instead revised national job numbers that came out Friday that suggested the economy slowed the bleeding late last year.“We learned that in November, our economy saw its first month of job gains in nearly two years — but last month, we lost more than we gained. Now, we know that no single month makes a trend, and job losses for the final quarter of 2009 were one-tenth what they were in the first quarter,— Obama said. “But until we see a trend of good, sustainable job creation, we will be relentless in our efforts to put America back to work.—In his address, Obama also expressed a sense of inevitability with the pending health care legislation, which still faces significant obstacles as negotiators from both chambers blend a compromise bill that satisfies deep Democratic divisions over financing and abortion provisions.“Once I sign health insurance reform into law, doctors and patients will have more control over their health care decisions, and insurance company bureaucrats will have less. All told, these changes represent the most sweeping reforms and toughest restrictions on insurance companies that this country has ever known,— Obama said. “That’s how we’ll make 2010 a healthier and more secure year for every American — for those who have health insurance, and those who don’t.—And echoing the populist tone of his 2008 presidential campaign, Obama also blamed his Democratic and Republican predecessors for turning a blind eye to the problems of Main Street.“For decades, Washington avoided doing what was right in favor of doing what was easy. And the result was an economy where some made out well, but the middle class too often took a beating,— Obama added. “Over the past decade, the income of the average household actually declined, and we lost as many jobs as we created. Hard-working folks who did everything right suddenly found themselves forced to downscale their dreams because of economic factors beyond their control.—Obama later promised in his radio address to “rebuild the American dream for our middle class and put the American economy on a stronger footing for the future.—“This year, I am as hopeful and as confident as ever that we’re going to rise to this moment the same way that generations of Americans always have: as one nation, and one people,— he concluded.