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Obama shifts to economy, announces middle-class relief

Washington, Jan 26 (Calcutta Tube) US President Barack Obama pivoted back to the struggling economy Monday, announcing measures to support middle-class families after a tough political week for his Democratic Party.

The White House said economic relief and reviving the defunct US labour market will be ‘key themes’ in Obama’s first State of the Union Wednesday, a critical speech before Congress in which the president lays out his agenda for the coming year.

Obama proposed doubling tax credits for families with children, limiting student loan repayments and expanding support for retirement savings. The measures marked the initial results of a ‘middle-class’ task force created last year and headed by Vice President Joe Biden.

‘Creating good, sustainable jobs is the single most important thing we can do to rebuild the middle class, and I won’t rest until we’re doing just that,’ said Obama, who has faced criticism from some lawmakers for focusing on health care reforms at the expense of the economy during his first year.

Obama’s party was dealt a stinging electoral defeat last week when Republican Scott Brown captured a Senate seat in left-leaning Massachusetts, robbing Democrats of their 60-seat super-majority in the chamber and possibly derailing efforts to pass comprehensive health care reform.

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