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Obama Ends 2015 on High Note
   2015-12-19 19:20:06    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Guan Chao

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the year-end news conference 2015 at White House, Washington, on Dec. 18. [Photo: Chinanews.com]

The U.S. President Barack Obama has praised Congress for ending 2015 on a high note, after the legislative body handed him a 1.8 trillion-dollar-budget bill that would ensure the operation of government services for the first nine months of next year.

The move is seen as a great step forward in governance in the United States. But observers are saying that the latest terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, in California, have overshadowed some of the other achievements made by the President in the last twelve months.

Here is CRI's Washington chief correspondent Xiaohong with the story.

 

2015 has indeed been a great year for President Obama. In addition to the long-awaited budget bill, the Supreme Court knocked down the last major challenge to his health-care law, consolidating it as the law of the land for many years to come. Same-sex marriage was also legalized nationwide by the High court.

The U.S. economy continues recovery with some tangible results.

"Our early actions to rescue the economy set the stage for the longest streak of private sector job growth on record with 13.7 million new jobs in that time. The unemployment rate has been cut in half, down to 5%. And most importantly wages grew faster than any time since the recovery began."

On the diplomatic front, President Obama also has a stellar list including the Paris Climate Accord, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement, the Iran nuclear treaty and the normalization of relations with Cuba.

However, the latest terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California, have overshadowed that high note. Across America, people are questioning his ability when it comes to homeland security.

President Obama acknowledged that it's very hard to deal with the new situation since self-radicalized terrorists are now targeting vulnerable citizens at casual locations.

"It is very difficult for us to detect lone wolf plots because despite the incredible vigilance and professionalism of our law enforcement from Homeland Security etc. It's not that different from us trying to detect the next mass shooter."

But he reassured the nation that the law enforcement agencies had found no specific and credible threat against the U.S. at this moment, urging people not to bow to terror.

"And all of us can do our part by staying vigilant, by saying something if we see something that is suspicious, by refusing to be terrified, and by standing united as one American family."

President Obama also says he has never been more optimistic than he is now and has pledged to continue the second half of, what he calls, a wonderful fourth quarter that is full of promise.

Xiaohong, CRI, Washington DC.

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