Skip to main content

But so far this year, Republicans in Congress have blocked or voted down every serious idea to create jobs and strengthen the middle class. They’ve said “no” to raising the minimum wage, “no” to equal pay for equal work, and “no” to restoring the unemployment insurance they let expire for more than two million Americans looking for a new job.
President Obama this morning trumpeted in his weekly address the latest jobs report—273,000 jobs last month, with businesses having created 9.2 million new jobs over the past 50 months—even as he blasted Republicans for standing in the way of raising the minimum wage, legislating equal pay and renewing unemployment insurance for millions.

It was a victory lap with a bite, especially when he pointed out that he's done as much as he can without the help of legislating Republicans:

I acted to raise more workers’ wages by requiring that workers on new federal contracts earn a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour – and as long as Republicans in Congress refuse to act, I’ll keep working with cities, states, and businesses to give more Americans a raise. I acted to encourage more pay transparency and strengthen enforcement of equal pay laws, so that more women have the tools they need to earn fair pay. And I’m modernizing regulations to make sure that more Americans who work overtime get the pay that they’ve earned. I’ve launched new hubs to help attract more high-tech manufacturing jobs to America – and ordered a reform of job training programs to make sure more Americans can earn the skills that employers need right now. I’ve brought together business leaders to help us connect more classrooms to high-speed internet, and give more of the long-term unemployed a better shot at finding a job.
And he closed off his list of executive actions with a neat little wrapped package of a threat for the Grand Obstructionist Party:
But we could do a lot more if Republicans in Congress were less interested in stacking the deck in favor of those at the top, and more interested in growing the economy for everybody. They’ve now voted more than 50 times to take apart the Affordable Care Act – imagine if they voted 50 times on serious jobs bills.

That’s why I’m going to take action on my own wherever I can. To grow our economy from the middle-out, not the top down. To give every American who works hard a chance to get ahead.

To read the transcript in full, check below the fold or visit the White House website.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
May 3, 2014

Hi, everybody. My number one priority as President is doing whatever I can to create more jobs and opportunity for hardworking families.  And yesterday, we learned that businesses added 273,000 jobs last month. All told, our businesses have now created 9.2 million new jobs over 50 consecutive months of job growth.

But we need to keep going – to create more good jobs, and give middle-class families a sense of security. And I want to work with Congress to do it.

But so far this year, Republicans in Congress have blocked or voted down every serious idea to create jobs and strengthen the middle class. They’ve said “no” to raising the minimum wage, “no” to equal pay for equal work, and “no” to restoring the unemployment insurance they let expire for more than two million Americans looking for a new job.

That’s not what we need right now. Not when there are still too many folks out of work and too many families working harder than ever just to get by.

That’s why, in my State of the Union Address, I said that in this Year of Action, whenever I can act on my own to create jobs and expand opportunity for more Americans, I will.  And since January, I’ve taken more than 20 executive actions to do just that.

I acted to raise more workers’ wages by requiring that workers on new federal contracts earn a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour – and as long as Republicans in Congress refuse to act, I’ll keep working with cities, states, and businesses to give more Americans a raise. I acted to encourage more pay transparency and strengthen enforcement of equal pay laws, so that more women have the tools they need to earn fair pay. And I’m modernizing regulations to make sure that more Americans who work overtime get the pay that they’ve earned. I’ve launched new hubs to help attract more high-tech manufacturing jobs to America – and ordered a reform of job training programs to make sure more Americans can earn the skills that employers need right now. I’ve brought together business leaders to help us connect more classrooms to high-speed internet, and give more of the long-term unemployed a better shot at finding a job.

Each of these steps will make a difference.  You can check out the full list at whitehouse.gov.

But we could do a lot more if Republicans in Congress were less interested in stacking the deck in favor of those at the top, and more interested in growing the economy for everybody. They’ve now voted more than 50 times to take apart the Affordable Care Act – imagine if they voted 50 times on serious jobs bills.

That’s why I’m going to take action on my own wherever I can. To grow our economy from the middle-out, not the top down. To give every American who works hard a chance to get ahead.

That’s what this Year of Action is all about, and that’s what I’m going to keep fighting for.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

###
EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site