In the final press conference of his first term, US President Barack Obama has rejected Republican
calls to trade public spending cuts in return for raising the government’s borrowing limit. He warned the move would damage fragile growth.
“Right now our economy is growing and our businesses are creating new jobs so we are poised for a good year if we make smart decisions and sounds investments and as long as Washington politics don’t get in the way of America’s progress,” said Obama.
By the end of February, new deadlines loom over the debt ceiling and automatic deep spending cuts.
Within the next week Obama promised to announce a series of measures to help reduce gun violence following the Sandy Hook massacre.
“My starting point is not to worry about the politics. My starting point is to focus on what makes sense, what works. What should we be doing to make sure our children are safe, that we’re reducing the incidence of gun violence; and I think we can do that in a sensible way that comports with the second amendment.”
Meanwhile, families of the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary have promised to keep up the pressure on the president.
They’ve launched a non-profit group that will campaign around the issues of gun control, mental health and school safety. The organisation was formed in memory of the 20 children and six adults slaughtered by gunman Adam Lanza on December 14.