Political Musings May 18, 2014: Obama’s weekly address urges Congress to act on jobs, transportation bill

POLITICAL MUSINGS

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/pol_musings.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

OP-EDS & ARTICLES

Obama’s weekly address urges Congress to act on jobs, transportation bill

May 18, 2014
President Barack Obama dedicated most of this past to domestic policy specifically highlighting infrastructure and transportation, and he spent he weekly address released on Saturday morning, May 17, 2014 entitled “Working When Congress Won’t Act” primarily…Continue
Advertisements

Full Text Obama Presidency July 7, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address Pushes Congress to Create Jobs, Keep College in Reach for Middle Class

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY
& THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES
& SPEECHES

President Obama discusses legislation that does two important things: It keeps thousands of construction workers on the job rebuilding our infrastructure, and it stops interest rates on federal loans from doubling this year for more than seven million students.

President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address

President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in Boardman, Ohio, White House Photo, Pete Souza, 7/6/12

Weekly Address: Pushing Congress to Create Jobs, Keep College in Reach for Middle Class

Source: WH, 7-7-12
President Obama discusses legislation he signed on Friday that does two important things: It keeps thousands of construction workers on the job rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, and it stops interest rates on federal loans from doubling this year for more than seven million students. 

Transcript | Download mp4 | Download mp3

WEEKLY ADDRESS: Pushing Congress to Create Jobs, Keep College in Reach for Middle Class

In this week’s address, President Obama spoke to the American people from Ohio about a bill signed on Friday that does two important things: it keeps thousands of construction workers on the job rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, and it stops interest rates on federal loans from doubling this year for more than seven million students.  The President urges Congress to do more to help our economic recovery and create jobs, including taking half the money we’re no longer spending on war and using it to build roads, bridges and wireless networks at home, and expanding financial aid to two million students while giving them the opportunity to learn the skills that businesses need right now.  It’s time for our elected officials to come together to help strengthen the middle class.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
As Prepared for Delivery
Boardman, OH
Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hi, everybody.  I’m here in Ohio, where I’ve spent the past couple days talking with folks about our central challenge as a country – not just reclaiming all the jobs lost to the recession, but reclaiming the economic security that so many Americans have lost over the last decade.

Our mission isn’t just to put people back to work – it’s to rebuild an economy where that work pays; an economy in which everyone who works hard has the chance to get ahead.

For months, I’ve been pushing Congress to pass several common-sense ideas that will help us do that.  And on Friday, I signed into law a bill that will do two things for the American people.

First, it will keep thousands of construction workers on the job rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure.

Second, it will keep interest rates on federal student loans from doubling this year – which would have hit more than seven million students with about a thousand dollars more on their loan payments.

Those steps will make a real difference in the lives of millions of Americans.  But make no mistake: we’ve got more to do.

The construction industry was hit brutally hard when the housing bubble burst.  So it’s not enough to just keep construction workers on the job doing projects that were already underway.

For months, I’ve been calling on Congress to take half the money we’re no longer spending on war and use it to do some nation-building here at home.  There’s work to be done building roads and bridges and wireless networks.  And there are hundreds of thousands of construction workers ready to do it.

The same thing is true for our students.  The bill I’m about to sign is vital for millions of students and their families.  But it’s not enough to just keep their student loan rates from doubling.

For months, I’ve been calling on Congress to reform and expand the financial aid that’s offered to students.  I’ve been asking them to help us give two million Americans the opportunity to learn the skills that businesses in their area are looking for – right now – through partnerships between community colleges and employers. In America, a higher education cannot be a luxury reserved for just a privileged few.  It’s an economic necessity that every American family should be able to afford.

Finally, I want to thank every American who took the time to sit down and write a letter, type out an e-mail, make a phone call or send a tweet hoping your voice would make a difference.  I promise you – your voice made all the difference.  And as long as I have the privilege of being your President, your voice will be heard in the White House.

Thanks and have a great weekend.

Full Text Obama Presidency July 6, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech When Signing the Transportation and Student Loan Bill

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

President Obama Signs the Transportation and Student Loan Bill

Source: WH, 7-6-12

President Barack Obama delivers remarks before signing HR 4348 (July 6, 2012)
President Barack Obama delivers remarks before signing HR 4348, the Transportation and Student Loan Interest Rate bill, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, July 6, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

This afternoon, President Obama signed legislation that accomplishes two important goals — keeping thousands of construction workers on the job rebuilding America’s infrastructure and preventing interest rates on federal student loans from doubling.

“These steps will make a real difference in the lives of millions of Americans — some of whom are standing with us here today,” the President said. “But make no mistake — we’ve got a lot more to do.”

The President addressed an audience of students and construction workers from the East Room of the White House.

“[Let’s] make sure that we are keeping folks on the job and we’re keeping our students in school,” he said.

Remarks by the President at the Signing of the Transportation and Student Loan Interest Rate Bill

East Room

5:25 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much.  Thank you.  Everybody, please have a seat.  I apologize for keeping you waiting a little bit, and I hope everybody is staying hydrated — (laughter) — because it is hot.

Welcome to the White House.  We wouldn’t normally keep you this late on a Friday afternoon unless we had a good reason — and the bill that I’m about to sign is a pretty good reason.

I want to very much thank the members of Congress who are here.  We got a number in the front row, but, in particular, I want to recognize Senator Boxer and Congressman Mica, whose leadership made this bill a reality.  And although Barbara couldn’t make it, we want to make sure that everybody acknowledges the hard work that John did on this on bill.  (Applause.)

Now, we’re doing this late on Friday afternoon because I just got back from spending the past two days talking with folks in Ohio and Pennsylvania about how our challenge as a country isn’t just to reclaim all the jobs that were lost to the recession — although obviously that’s job number one.  It’s also to reclaim the economic security that so many Americans have lost over the past decade.

And I believe with every fiber of my being that a strong economy comes not from the top down but from a strong middle class.  That means having a good job that pays a good wage; a home to call your own; health care, retirement savings that are there when you need them; a good education for your kids so that they can do even better than you did.

And that’s why — for months — I’ve been calling on Congress to pass several common-sense ideas that will have an immediate impact on the economic security of American families.  I’m pleased that they’ve finally acted.  And the bill I’m about to sign will accomplish two ideas that are very important for the American people.

First of all, this bill will keep thousands of construction workers on the job rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure.  Second, this bill will keep interest rates on federal student loans from doubling this year — which would have hit nearly 7.5 million students with an average of a thousand dollars more on their loan payments.

These steps will make a real difference in the lives of millions of Americans — some of whom are standing with us here today.  But make no mistake — we’ve got a lot more to do.  The construction industry, for example, was hit brutally hard when the housing bubble burst.  So it’s not enough just to keep construction workers on the job doing projects that were already underway.  We’ve got Mayor Villaraigosa and Governor O’Malley here as representatives of organizations of mayors and governors who know how desperate we need to do some of this work.

And for months, I’ve been calling on Congress to take half the money we’re no longer spending on war and use it to do some nation-building here at home.  There’s work to be done building roads and bridges and wireless networks.  There are hundreds of thousands of construction workers that are ready to do it.

The same thing is true for our students.  The bill I’m about to sign is vital for millions of students and their families.  But it’s not enough just to keep interest rates from doubling.

I’ve asked Congress to reform and expand the financial aid that’s offered to students.  And I’ve been asking them to help us give 2 million Americans the opportunity to learn the skills that businesses in their areas are looking for right now through partnerships between community colleges and employers.

In today’s economy, a higher education is the surest path to finding a good job and earning a good salary, and making it into the middle class.  So it can’t be a luxury reserved for just a privileged few.  It’s an economic necessity that every American family should be able to afford.

So this is an outstanding piece of business.  And I’m very appreciative of the hard work that Congress has done on it.  My hope is, is that this bipartisan spirit spills over into the next phase, that we can start putting more construction workers back to work — not just those that were already on existing projects who were threatened to be laid off, but also getting some new projects done that are vitally important to communities all across the nation and that will improve our economy, as well as making sure that now that we’ve prevented a doubling of student loan rates, we actually start doing more to reduce the debt burden that our young people are experiencing.

I want to thank all the Americans — the young or the young at heart — who took the time to sit down and write a letter or type out an email or make a phone call or send a tweet, hoping that your voice would be heard on these issues.  I promise you, your voices have been heard.  Any of you who believed your voice could make a difference — I want to reaffirm your belief.  You made this happen.

So I’m very pleased that Congress got this done.  I’m grateful to members of both parties who came together and put the interests of the American people first.  And my message to Congress is what I’ve been saying for months now — let’s keep going.  Let’s keep moving forward.  Let’s keep finding ways to work together to grow the economy and to help put more folks back to work.  There is no excuse for inaction when there are so many Americans still trying to get back on their feet.

With that, let me sign this bill.  And let’s make sure that we are keeping folks on the job and we’re keeping our students in school.

Thank you very much, everybody.  (Applause.)

(The bill is signed.)

END
5:30 P.M. EDT

Full Text Obama Presidency June 23, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address Urges Congress to Act on Transportation Bill and Student Loans

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Obama’s Weekly Address: Demanding Action On The Transportation Bill and Student Loans

Source: ABC News Radio, 6-23-12

The White House / Pete Souza

President Obama is urging lawmakers to put politics aside ad pass legislation to fund transportation projects and extend low-rate student loans, saying there is “no excuse for inaction.”

“We are seven days away from thousands of American workers having to walk off the job because Congress hasn’t passed a transportation bill.  We are eight days away from nearly seven and a half million students seeing their loan rates double because Congress hasn’t acted to stop it,” the president says in his weekly address. “This makes no sense.”

“This is a time when we should be doing everything in our power – Democrats and Republicans – to keep this recovery moving forward,” he adds….READ MORE

President Obama discusses the urgent need for Congress to act now on two common sense measures to help middle class families: preventing interest rates on federal student loans from going up and putting hundreds of thousands of construction workers back on the job.

President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address
President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address, White House Photo, Sonya N. Hebert, 6/21/12

Weekly Address: Congress Must Act on Transportation Bill and Student Loans

Source: WH, 6-23-12
President Obama discusses the urgent need for Congress to act now on two common sense measures to help middle class families: preventing interest rates on federal student loans from going up and putting hundreds of thousands of construction workers back on the job.

Transcript | Download mp4 | Download mp3

WEEKLY ADDRESS: Congress Must Act on Transportation Bill and Student Loans

WASHINGTON, DC— In this week’s address, President Obama spoke about the urgent need for Congress to act now on two common sense measures to help hardworking middle class families.  Unless Congress takes action in the next week, thousands of workers will be sent home from their jobs and millions of students will see their interest rates double. At a time when hundreds of thousands of construction workers are eager to get back on the job, it makes no sense to let transportation funding run out. And at a time when a college education has never been more important to finding a good job, it makes no sense to hit 7.4 million students with the equivalent of a $1,000 tax. It’s not too late, but time is running out for Republicans and Democrats to come together on these common sense measures to help our nation recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
Washington, DC
June 23, 2012

Over the past three years, we’ve been clawing our way back from the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes.  And we know it will take longer than any of us would like to fully recover all the jobs and savings that have been lost.  But there are things we can do – right now – to help put people back to work and make life a little easier for middle-class families.

For months, I’ve been pushing Congress to help us along by passing common-sense policies that would make a difference.  Democrats and Republicans have already done some important work together – like passing a tax cut that’s allowing working Americans to keep more of their paycheck every week.   But Congress has refused to act on most of the other ideas in my jobs plan that economists say could put a million more Americans back to work.

There’s no excuse for inaction.  Right now, we are seven days away from thousands of American workers having to walk off the job because Congress hasn’t passed a transportation bill.  We are eight days away from nearly seven and a half million students seeing their loan rates double because Congress hasn’t acted to stop it.

This makes no sense.  We know that one of the most important things we can do for our economy is to make sure that all Americans get the best education possible.  Right now, the unemployment rate for Americans with a college degree or more is about half the national average.  Their incomes are twice as high as those who don’t have a high school diploma.  So, if we know that a higher education is the clearest path to the middle class, why would we make it harder to achieve?

So much of America needs to be repaired right now.  Bridges are deteriorating after years of neglect. Highways are choked with congestion. Transportation delays cost Americans and businesses billions of dollars every year. And there are hundreds of thousands of construction workers who have never been more eager to get back on the job.  So why would we let our transportation funding run out?  This is a time when we should be doing everything in our power – Democrats and Republicans – to keep this recovery moving forward.

My Administration is doing its part.  On Friday, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced $500 million in competitive grants for states and communities that will create construction jobs on projects like road repair and port renovation.  And that’s an important step, but we can’t do it all on our own.

The Senate did their part.  They passed a bipartisan transportation bill back in March.  It had the support of 52 Democrats and 22 Republicans.

Now, it’s up to the House to follow suit; to put aside partisan posturing, end the gridlock, and do what’s right for the American people.

It’s not lost on any of us that this is an election year.  But we’ve got responsibilities that are bigger than an election.  We answer to the American people, and they are demanding action.  Let’s make it easier for students to stay in college.  Let’s keep construction workers rebuilding our roads and bridges.  And let’s tell Congress to do their job.   Tell them it’s time to take steps that we know will create jobs now and help sustain our economy for years to come.

Full Text September 3, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address Urges Congress to Extend Transportation Bill

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Barack Obama tapes his Weekly Address
White House Photo, Samantha Appleton, 9/1/11

Weekly Address: Time to Act on the Transportation Bill

Source: WH, 9-3-11

President Obama calls on Congress to pass a clean extension of the transportation bill to keep America moving and avoid costing nearly one million workers their jobs.

 

Transcript | Download mp4 | Download mp3

WEEKLY ADDRESS: Extending the Transportation Bill to Keep America Moving

WASHINGTON – In this week’s address, President Obama called on Congress to do what it has done seven times over the past two years and pass a clean extension of the transportation bill.  Failure of Congress to act would be disastrous for the economy, costing nearly one million workers their jobs over the next year and almost $1 billion in highway funding after the first ten days alone.

Remarks of President Barack Obama Weekly Address The White House September 3, 2011

At the end of September, if Congress doesn’t act, funding for our roads and bridges will expire.  This would put a stop to highway construction, bridge repair, mass transit systems and other important projects that keep our country moving quickly and safely.  And it would affect thousands of construction workers and their families who depend on the jobs created by these projects to make ends meet.

Usually, renewing this transportation bill is a no-brainer.  In fact, Congress has renewed it seven times over the last two years.  But thanks to political posturing in Washington, they haven’t been able to extend it this time – and the clock is running out.

Allowing this bill to expire would be a disaster for our infrastructure and our economy.  Right away, over 4,000 workers would be furloughed without pay.  If it’s delayed for just 10 days, we will lose nearly $1 billion in highway funding that we can never get back.  And if we wait even longer, almost 1 million workers could be in danger of losing their jobs over the next year.

Those are serious consequences, and the pain will be felt all across the country.  In Virginia, 19,000 jobs are at risk.  In Minnesota, more than 12,000.  And in Florida, over 35,000 people could be out of work if Congress doesn’t act.

That makes no sense – and it’s completely avoidable.  There’s no reason to put more jobs at risk in an industry that has been one of the hardest-hit in this recession. There’s no reason to cut off funding for transportation projects at a time when so many of our roads are congested; so many of our bridges are in need of repair; and so many businesses are feeling the cost of delays.

This isn’t a Democratic or a Republican issue – it’s an American issue.  That’s why, last week, I was joined at the White House by representatives from the AFL-CIO and the Chamber of Commerce – two groups who don’t always see eye-to-eye, but who agree that it’s critically important for our economy that Congress act now.

That’s also why 128 mayors from both parties wrote to Congress asking them to come together and pass a clean extension.  These are the local leaders who are on the ground every day, and who know what would happen to their communities if Congress fails to act.

So I’m calling on Congress, as soon as they come back, to pass a clean extension of the transportation bill to keep workers on the job, keep critical projects moving forward, and to give folks a sense of security.

There’s a lot of talk in Washington these days about creating jobs.  But it doesn’t help when those same folks turn around and risk losing hundreds of thousands of jobs just because of political gamesmanship.  We need to pass this transportation bill and put people to work rebuilding America.  We need to put our differences aside and do the right thing for our economy.  And now is the time to act.

White House Recap August 27-September 2, 2011: The Obama Presidency’s Weekly Recap — President Obama Focuses on the Aftermath of Hurricane Irene, Jobs Plan & Economic Growth — Urges Extension of Transportation Act

WHITE HOUSE RECAP

WHITE HOUSE RECAP: AUGUST 20-26, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up: We the People

Source: WH, 9-2-11
Weekly Address September 1st 2011

President Barack Obama tapes the weekly address in the Blue Room of the White House, Sept. 1, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

Here’s what happened this week on WhiteHouse.gov

Hurricane Irene: The storm may have passed, but the recovery is just beginning. Irene caused severe flooding throughout the Northeast.  As cities and towns along the East coast continue assessing damage, President Obama also reflected on the six year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

We the People:  This week Whitehouse.gov announced our most recent initiative:  We the People will bring significant change to how the public can engage with the White House online. This new tool enables people to easily start a petition; once a petition garners enough support, it will be reviewed by White House policy officials.

Council of Economic Advisers: On Monday in the Rose Garden, President Obama announced his intention to nominate Alan B. Krueger to lead the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA). As one of the nation’s leading economists, Dr. Krueger will bring decades of experience, including a stint as chief economist at the Treasury Department, and a wealth of knowledge to the challenge of creating jobs and promoting economic growth.

American Legion Conference: Speaking before the American Legion National Convention in Minneapolis on Tuesday, President Obama said that America’s military is the best it’s ever been, and celebrated the contributions of the post 9/11 generation, who have changed the way America fights and wins our wars.

Surface Transportation Act:  On Wednesday, President Obama spoke on the South Lawn urging Congress to pass a clean extension of key transportation programs as soon as possible. If Congress doesn’t act, the nation’s surface transportation program will expire at the end of September.  This provides funding for highway construction, bridge repair, mass transit systems and other essential projects that keep our people and our commerce moving quickly and safely. When the law expires, those projects will shut down, taking precious jobs with them.

Double Feature: This week on West Wing Week we follow Vice President Biden on his trip to Asia. Meanwhile, President Obama led the federal response to Hurricane Irene, made a key nomination announcement, and addressed the American Legion’s 93rd annual conference.

%d bloggers like this: