Obama’s New Year’s resolution? Fix the economy

* Pledges to to do everything to create jobs

* Republican says her party will lead fight to cut debt

By Jeff Mason

HONOLULU, Jan 1 (BestGrowthStock) – President Barack Obama has set
his New Year’s resolution high for 2011: repair the struggling
U.S. economy.

In his weekly radio and Internet address on Saturday, the
vacationing president said recent data showed the economic
recovery was gaining traction even as millions of Americans are
still out of work.

“Our most important task now is to keep that recovery
going,” Obama said. “As president, that’s my commitment to you:
to do everything I can to make sure our economy is growing,
creating jobs, and strengthening our middle class. That’s my
resolution for the coming year.”

Unemployment of nearly 10 percent and dissatisfaction with
Obama’s efforts to spur an economic recovery from the worst
recession in decades helped fuel Republican victories in
congressional elections in November.

Republicans will control the House of Representatives next
year and Democrats will have a smaller majority in the Senate,
a new political reality that will affect Obama’s ability to
push through his policy priorities.

The president, who forged a deal with Republicans to extend
Bush-era tax cuts in the waning days of 2010, sought to strike
a bipartisan note in his address.

“In a few days, a new Congress will form, with one house
controlled by Democrats, and one house controlled by
Republicans — who now have a shared responsibility to move
this country forward,” he said.

“I’m willing to work with anyone of either party who’s got
a good idea and the commitment to see it through.”

One area where Democrats and Republicans will be challenged
to work together is on deficit and debt reduction.

Senator-elect Kelly Ayotte, a Republican from New
Hampshire, said her party was ready to spearhead that effort.

“Congress must get serious about meaningful debt
reduction,” she said in the weekly Republican address.

“This isn’t a Republican problem or a Democrat problem —
it’s an American problem that will require tough
decision-making from both parties. Republicans are ready to
lead that fight.”
(Editing by Chris Wilson)

Obama’s New Year’s resolution? Fix the economy