SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) — As he wraps up a trip to Mexico and Costa Rica, President Barack Obama is following up in his weekly media message, saying that deepening economic ties with the Americas means more jobs in the United States.
Boosted by reassuring jobs numbers, Obama is calling for greater trade and economic cooperation with the U.S.'s southern neighbors, arguing that economic prosperity is the best antidote to drug and gang violence and, by extension, to the illegal immigration that the U.S. is seeking to control.
For the Republicans North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory says Washington needs to allow states more flexibility, independence and accountability and called on Obama to show more leadership.
He argued that Washington should learn from Republican governors on how to make government work efficiently.
The assistant majority leader's office announced Monday that he was on the trip. Durbin's office said he will meet with U.S. military leaders about intelligence, training, counter-terrorism, counter-piracy and humanitarian efforts. Durbin is planning to travel to Bahrain, Djibouti and Uganda. He is scheduled to return to Illinois next weekend.
Durbin is chairman of the Senate's Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His office says one of the topics he will focus on during the trip is the increased use of drones for intelligence gathering and anti-terrorism operations.