By Ben Geman - 06/16/12 10:16 AM EDT
President Obama, accusing Republicans of blocking steps to improve the economy for political reasons, on Saturday pressed Congress to overcome the “stalemate” he said is impeding faster job growth.
“We have the answers to these problems. We have plenty of big ideas and technical solutions from both sides of the aisle. That’s not what’s holding us back. What’s holding us back is a stalemate in Washington,” Obama said in his weekly address.
Obama said that when it comes to most ideas that would boost hiring and the economy, Capitol Hill Republicans “haven’t lifted a finger.”
“They’d rather wait until after the election in November,” Obama said.
He points to recent comments by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), without mentioning him by name, in which Jordan appeared to suggest that Republicans are comfortable letting action on various fiscal decisions wait until next year, showing optimism about GOP electoral gains in Congress and defeating Obama.
“Why not wait for the reinforcements,” said Jordan, a leading conservative, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“You can bet plenty of his colleagues are thinking the same thing,” said Obama.
“I think that’s wrong. This isn’t about who wins or loses in Washington. This is about your jobs, your paychecks, your children’s future,” Obama said. “There’s no excuse for Congress to stand by and do nothing while so many families are struggling.”
The still-sour economy looms as a major threat to Obama’s reelection, which was highlighted by the dismal May jobs report that showed the economy added just 69,000 jobs last month, a result much worse than expected.
Obama’s address touts the broad jobs package he floated last year, which stalled in Congress.
The president also pressed lawmakers to approve a sweeping transportation programs package, as well as targeted measures such as nixing tax incentives for companies that outsource jobs, extending green energy tax credits and providing new tax credits for small businesses that create jobs or boost wages.
Obama said he is ready to work with Republicans and Democrats.
“Every problem we face is within our power to solve. What’s lacking is our politics. Remind your Members of Congress why you sent them to Washington in the first place. Tell them to stop worrying about the next election and start worrying about the next generation,” Obama said.