Obama urges public to call Congress to support his ‘blueprint’

President Obama asked Americans to call on Congress to pass his plan to strengthen the economy.

In his weekly address, Obama repeated several of the proposals that he laid out in his State of the Union address on Tuesday. After the speech, the president traveled to five battleground states to tout his plan.

“This week, I took that blueprint across the country, and what I saw was people who work hard and believe in each other. They believe in the America that’s within our reach. But they’re not sure that the right thing will get done in Washington this year, or next year, or the year after that. And frankly, when you look at some of the things that go on in this town, who could blame them for being a little cynical?” Obama said.

The president said a senator had pledged to block his nominees until Obama rescinded his recess appointment of Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

“We weren’t sent here to wage perpetual political campaigns against each other. We were sent here to serve the American people. And they deserve better than gridlock and games. One senator gumming up the whole works for the entire country is certainly not what our founding fathers envisioned,” Obama said.

The senator in question is Mike Lee (R-Utah). Lee said on Thursday that Obama “used deeply flawed legal reasoning to circumvent the Constitution’s clear requirement that the Senate must be in recess in order to make such appointments.”

In his address, the president said lawmakers should stop obstructing his nominees and pass a rule that would give his judicial and public service nominees a up-or-down vote within 90 days. He also said Congress should take steps to end the influence of money in politics, passing a bill that would ban insider trading by lawmakers and “make sure people who bundle campaign contributions for Congress can’t lobby Congress, and vice versa.”

Obama talked about the example set by U.S troops on how they work together to get the job done. The president asked Americans to tell Congress that they should follow that example.

“If you agree with me that leaders in Washington should follow their example, then make your voice heard. Tell your Member of Congress that it’s time to end the gridlock, and start tackling the issues that really matter — an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, American skills and education, and a return to American values. An economy built to last,” Obama said.