By Kevin Bogardus - 06/02/12 11:13 AM EDT
President Obama pushed Congress on Saturday to take action on a number of his proposed jobs measures.
In his weekly address, Obama said Capitol Hill could do more to help the struggling economy. The president proposed a jobs plan in September last year and Obama said lawmakers have passed parts of it, including the payroll tax cut, but Congress should take up other ideas that were in the bill.
Obama said lawmakers should pass federal aid to state governments, surface transportation reauthorization legislation and a small business tax break. The president also said Congress should extend a clean energy tax credit and end tax breaks for companies that move U.S. jobs overseas, among other items.
Republicans argue that the GOP-controlled House has done its work by passing a series of jobs bills that are stalled in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
Obama acknowledged the weak jobs report from Friday, which found employers only added 69,000 jobs for the month of May, and said the U.S. economy faces “serious headwinds.”
“Our businesses have created almost 4.3 million new jobs over the last 27 months, but as we learned in this week’s jobs report, we’re not creating them fast enough,” Obama said. “And just like last year at this time, our economy faces some serious headwinds. Gas prices are starting to come down again, but when they spiked over the last few months, it hit people’s wallets pretty hard. The crisis in Europe’s economy has cast a shadow on our own. And all of this makes it even more challenging to fully recover and lay the foundation for an economy that’s built to last.”
But the president said he has faith in American businesses and workers to get the economy revving again. Further, Obama said election-year politics shouldn’t prevent Congress from passing legislation to boost the economy.
“With so many people struggling to get by, now is not the time to play politics. Now is not the time for Congress to sit on its hands. The American people expect their leaders to work hard, no matter what year it is. That’s what I intend to do. And I expect Democrats and Republicans to join me,” Obama said.