By Edward Krudy ALBANY, New York (Reuters) - New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo gave a wide-ranging election-year speech in his annual address on Wednesday, pressing signature issues such as cutting taxes, revitalizing worn infrastructure and boosting the upstate economy. The packed event was attended by many of New York's political elite, including New York City's new mayor, Bill de Blasio. "Three years ago New York's government was a national punch line," said Cuomo. "Albany was mired in scandals and dysfunction.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Conservatives and the nation's biggest business lobby sparred Wednesday over immigration overhaul, with advocates vowing a renewed effort to get the House to act this year and opponents digging in against anything that shifts the political spotlight from President Barack Obama's troubled health care law.
President Barack Obama invited German Chancellor Angela Merkel to visit Washington this year, the White House said on Wednesday in a brief statement about a phone conversation between the two leaders. The visit would give Obama a chance to make amends after revelations that the U.S. National Security Agency had been monitoring Merkel's cellphone. Obama is set to announce this month his decisions on how to rein in U.S. surveillance. Obama wished Merkel "a speedy recovery" after she broke her pelvis while cross-country skiing, the White House said, and the two leaders discussed ongoing talks for a U.S.-European Union trade deal and an upcoming NATO summit.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A chief Republican foe of immigration legislation says it would be a "colossal mistake" for the House to consider any measure this year and shift attention from President Barack Obama's health care law. For months, Republicans have been focused on attacking the health care law, sensing a political boost in its problem-plagued rollout.
Germany is moving in the right direction in striking a balance between economic growth and fiscal consolidation but should continue to look for ways to spur domestic demand, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Wednesday. "Over the course of this past year, I think we've seen very constructive movement to get the balance right between fiscal consolidation and growth," he said in a joint news conference with his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble. Still, Lew echoed the message that he gave during his last visit in April 2013, saying it was important for countries like Germany, which run large current account surpluses, to take further steps to promote growth in order for Europe and the global economy to rebalance and recover. "We have made very clear that we think that more domestic demand and investment would be a good thing," he said.