By Sam Baker - 10/29/11 10:30 AM EDT
President Obama pressed his “we can’t wait” campaign Saturday, accusing Republicans of stonewalling job-creating proposals.
The White House has begun taking high-profile, unilateral action on measures it says will help the economy. Obama highlighted those steps in his weekly address.
“The truth is, we can no longer wait for Congress to do its job,” Obama said. “The middle-class families who’ve been struggling for years are tired of waiting. They need help now. So where Congress won’t act, I will.”
The administration is trying to get community health centers to hire veterans, and last week it announced new measures to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.
“These steps will make a difference. But they won’t take the place of the bold action we need from Congress to get this economy moving again,” Obama said before urging listeners to contact their representatives.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said that he has "great concerns" that Obama might be exceeding his constitutional authority in ordering his administration to adjust regulations surrounding "underwater" mortgages and student loans, saying, "this idea that you are just going to go around the Congress is ... almost laughable."
Obama’s address also pitched his jobs bill, which has gotten a lukewarm response in Congress. Although many congressional Democrats don’t support Obama’s proposal, at least in its entirety, the president’s address primarily criticized Republican leaders for not advancing the bill.
“Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress aren’t paying attention,” he said. “They’re not getting the message. Over and over, they have refused to even debate the same kind of jobs proposals that Republicans have supported in the past … And yet, somehow, they found time this week to debate things like whether or not we should mint coins to celebrate the Baseball Hall of Fame.”
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Thursday said the Republican House isn't waiting for him on jobs but the Senate is another story.
"The president has traveled the country telling Americans 'we can't wait' to pass some job bills. Well, we aren't waiting. We continue to pass job bills. Perhaps it's time for the president to deliver the 'we can't wait' message to the other body in the Capitol," Cantor said.