President Obama slapped House Republicans Saturday for leaving for a five-week recess without finishing work on an emergency spending bill or taking up his economic initiatives.
The president mocked them for instead passing legislation authorizing a lawsuit against his executive actions.
On Thursday, House GOP leaders pulled from the floor legislation allocating $659 million to respond to the surge of unaccompanied minors from Central America across the Texas border. It fell far short of the $3.7 billion Obama requested from Congress to address the crisis.
By the time House leaders revamped the legislation and rounded up enough votes to pass it Friday, the Senate had already left town, leaving Obama’s request for supplemental spending unmet until at least September.
The president also dinged House Republicans for not passing his other legislative priorities, such as an increase of the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, infrastructure spending and a measure to promote pay parity between men and women.
“These policies have two things in common. All of them would help working families feel more stable and secure. And all of them have been blocked or ignored by Republicans in Congress,” he said.
At a press conference Friday, Obama also criticized House Republicans for not renewing the authorization of the Export-Import Bank, which is due to expire at the end of September.
"For some reason, right now the House Republicans have decided that we shouldn't do this,” he said, warning that companies such as Boeing and General Electric may lose foreign sales as a result.
Republicans argue that more than 40 House-passed jobs bills have sat without action in the Democratic-controlled Senate. They also point out that Obama is scheduled to take a two-week vacation on Martha's Vineyard this month, the longest of his presidency.
The Senate has also left town for a five-week recess.
Obama used his address to tout a new report showing the economy created 209,000 jobs in July.
The number was lower than what some economists had projected but the president emphasized the overall trend.
“That’s on top of about 300,000 new jobs in June. We’re now in a six-month streak with at least 200,000 new jobs each month. That hasn’t happened since 1997,” he said.
He noted that American business have created 9.9 million jobs over the past 53 months, calling it “the longest streak of private-sector job creation in our history.”