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At a time when our businesses have created 9.2 million new jobs in just over four years, and more companies are considering bringing jobs back from overseas, we have a choice to make.  We can make it easier for businesses to invest in America – or we can make it harder.

I want to work with Congress to create jobs and opportunity for more Americans. But where Congress won’t act, I will. And I want to talk about three things we’re doing right now.

As President Obama has made clear in previous weekly addresses and speeches, he's damn sick and tired of congressional Republican obstructionism, and he made that clear once again in this morning's weekly address. He also outlined three main areas in which he intends to get things done, with or without the help of Congress: bringing jobs back to America from overseas, bolstering tourism and building infrastructure.

Infrastructure took up the main portion of his address:

We know business owners don’t seek out crumbling roads and bridges and backed-up supply chains. They set up shop where the newest, fastest transportation and communications networks let them invent and sell goods Made in America to the rest of the world as fast as possible.

Here’s the problem: If Congress doesn’t act by the end of this summer, federal funding for transportation projects will run out. States might have to put some of their projects on hold. In fact, some already are, because they’re worried Congress won’t clear up its own gridlock. And if Congress fails to act, nearly 700,000 jobs would be at risk over the next year.

Yep. Congress is indeed a problem. Specific members of a specific party in Congress, in fact:
Now, the Republicans in Congress seem to have very different priorities. Not only have they neglected to prevent this funding from running out, their proposal would actually cut by 80% a job-creating grant program that has funded high-priority transportation projects in all 50 states. And they can’t say it’s to save money, because at the very same time, they voted for trillions of dollars in new tax cuts, weighted towards those at the very top.

Think about that. Instead of putting people to work on projects that would grow the economy for everyone, they voted to give a huge tax cut to households making more than $1 million a year.

But ... whatever. The president says he's going to make things happen anyway, and after he outlined a few ways he can act on his own, he closed:
...we could do a lot more if Congress was willing to help. In the meantime, I’ll do whatever I can – not just to make America a better place to do business, but to make sure hard work pays off, and opportunity is open to all.
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 17, 2014

Hi, everybody.

At a time when our businesses have created 9.2 million new jobs in just over four years, and more companies are considering bringing jobs back from overseas, we have a choice to make. We can make it easier for businesses to invest in America – or we can make it harder.

I want to work with Congress to create jobs and opportunity for more Americans. But where Congress won’t act, I will. And I want to talk about three things we’re doing right now.

First, we’re helping more businesses bring jobs to America from overseas. Three years ago, my Administration created SelectUSA – a team of people in embassies abroad and agencies here at home focused on insourcing instead of outsourcing. Today, they’re helping a Belgian company create jobs in Oklahoma. They’re helping a Canadian company create jobs in Kansas. In my State of the Union Address, I asked more businesses to do their part. And this week, business leaders from across the country are coming here to the White House to discuss new investments that will create even more jobs.

Second, on Thursday, I’ll be heading to Cooperstown, New York – home of the Baseball Hall of Fame – to talk about tourism. Because believe it or not, tourism is an export. And if we make it easier for more foreign visitors to visit and spend money at America’s attractions and unparalleled national parks, that helps local businesses and grows the economy for everyone.

Finally, we know that investing in first-class infrastructure attracts first-class jobs. And I want to spend a minute on this, because it’s very important this year.

We know business owners don’t seek out crumbling roads and bridges and backed-up supply chains. They set up shop where the newest, fastest transportation and communications networks let them invent and sell goods Made in America to the rest of the world as fast as possible.

Here’s the problem: If Congress doesn’t act by the end of this summer, federal funding for transportation projects will run out. States might have to put some of their projects on hold. In fact, some already are, because they’re worried Congress won’t clear up its own gridlock. And if Congress fails to act, nearly 700,000 jobs would be at risk over the next year.

That’s why I put forward a plan to rebuild our transportation infrastructure in a more responsible way. It would support millions of jobs across the country. And we’d pay for it without adding to the deficit by closing wasteful tax loopholes for companies that ship jobs overseas.

Now, the Republicans in Congress seem to have very different priorities. Not only have they neglected to prevent this funding from running out, their proposal would actually cut by 80% a job-creating grant program that has funded high-priority transportation projects in all 50 states. And they can’t say it’s to save money, because at the very same time, they voted for trillions of dollars in new tax cuts, weighted towards those at the very top.

Think about that. Instead of putting people to work on projects that would grow the economy for everyone, they voted to give a huge tax cut to households making more than $1 million a year.

So while Congress decides what it’s going to do, I’ll keep doing what I can on my own.

On Wednesday, I was in New York where workers are building the area’s first large new bridge in 50 years. And they’re doing it ahead of schedule. Three years ago, I took action without Congress to fast-track the permitting process for major projects. Normally, it would have taken three to five years to permit that bridge. We did it in a year and a half.  And I announced a new plan to cut red tape and speed up the process for even more projects across the country.

All these steps will make it easier for businesses to invest in America and create more good jobs. All of them can be done without Congress. But we could do a lot more if Congress was willing to help.  In the meantime, I’ll do whatever I can – not just to make America a better place to do business, but to make sure hard work pays off, and opportunity is open to all.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's the economy more than ever GOP........or (8+ / 0-)

    BENGAHZEEE......take your pick.

    •  He has? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DaddyO, snoopydawg, Cadillac64

      More action. Less talk Mr. President. No wonder the people are so disillusioned with politics in America. They voted for change TWICE and got little in return.
      The economy slowly making a come back seems like something it would have done on its own eventually with or without anything the President or Congress has or has not done.

      •  AMEN (0+ / 0-)

        There is a reason his approval ratings are not only in the 40s overall, but even among African Americans. He has not delivered. That demographic knows better than any other when a President has let them down. His priorities have been wrong, on so many different issues.

        Look; it's good that Romney and McCain are not President right now. But that's just about all the credit I can give this guy. I never voted for him in a primary, and we really don't have to worry about a GOP President for the time being, while they're enjoying their temporary insanity.

        But what a wasted opportunity...and all I see is more of the same on the horizon...

        "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

        by DaddyO on Sat May 17, 2014 at 09:06:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Here's what Barbara Boxer had to say: (15+ / 0-)

    Over the last 20 months, the facts and circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2012, attacks have received unprecedented scrutiny:

    • 9 different House and Senate committees have already investigated the attacks
    • 17 hearings have been conducted
    • 50 briefings have taken place
    • 25 transcribed interviews have been conducted
    • 8 subpoenas have been issued
    • more than 25,000 pages of documents have been reviewed
    • 6 congressional reports have been released

    Between 1998 and 2013, there were at least 501 significant attacks against U.S. diplomatic facilities and personnel in 70 countries, which resulted in the deaths of 586 people, including 67 Americans. During the Bush administration, there were 166 attacks, which killed 116 people, including 18 Americans.

    Those attacks were all terrible tragedies. The difference is that we never had a political party spend years exploiting them for political gain.

    "They won't pass a serious jobs bill, or raise the minimum wage, or reform immigration, but House Republicans think they can earn their pay for the rest of the year by exposing nonexistent malfeasance on the part of the Obama administration." NYT

    She concludes by saying:

    "The Republicans' kangaroo court on Benghazi isn't just a waste of taxpayer dollars -- it's a national disgrace."

    After all is said and done, a lot more is said than done.

    by Brahman Colorado on Sat May 17, 2014 at 07:08:28 AM PDT

    •  Good for Senator Boxer (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cadillac64

      And I wish every Democratic Senator and member of Congress would say this everyday.

      Never be afraid to voice your opinion and fight for it . Corporations aren't people, they're Republicans (Rev Al Sharpton 10/7/2011) Voting is a louder voice than a bullhorn but sometimes you need that bullhorn to retain your vote.

      by Rosalie907 on Sat May 17, 2014 at 10:38:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great stuff . . . but lost in Saturday Radio. (8+ / 0-)

    A special presidential address to the nation on the subject of congressional obstruction might serve us (and the President) better.

    Once you put convenient, lethal force in the mix, liberty becomes a zero sum game. -- DIgby on open carry.

    by Rikon Snow on Sat May 17, 2014 at 07:11:08 AM PDT

  •  In point of simple fact, the whole Teabaghead/ (5+ / 0-)

    Republican Party is a "national disgrace".

    But then again, the Gowdy Doody Show will provide a few laughs during the Summer TV hiatus.  Won't it?

  •  Thanks Susan (8+ / 0-)

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Sat May 17, 2014 at 07:17:32 AM PDT

  •  Just do it sir, just do it! (8+ / 0-)

    Stand and deliver for the people against these bozoheads in the right wing.  Give them a sharp kick to the balls and lets get this train moving.

  •  Dow (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dbm, tealirish, ichibon, Paragryne

    If Republicans are so good for business, why is it that the Dow Industrial average does so well with Democrats in the White House?  During the Bush Recession, the Dow dipped below 7000 in early 2009, now it's approaching 16,500.  The political world is upside down--Republicans are good only for CEOs, not for the companies they loot.  And they claim corporations are people--well, they abuse those people.

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Sat May 17, 2014 at 07:19:23 AM PDT

  •  Something to remember in November (10+ / 0-)

    Improving infrastructure creates jobs in many ways

    - Directly created jobs
    - Multiplier effect of dollars injected into the economy
    - Increased efficiency of American businesses in the global marketplace

    But we can't even get Congress to move in this very popular area. Republicans are depending on the bad economy that they created and sustained earning them votes in November. It's like a murderer escaping conviction and then getting rich selling books about their crime, but it may yet work.

    This Congress is the least productive in history. We hired them to do a job, and they refuse to do it. But this gridlock can be ended, just by our votes. It's a big job on us, since due to this being a midterm election with a Democratic President, a large number of contested Senate seats due to Democratic successes in '08, and gerrymandering instituted because we slept in 2010, the wind is at the Republicans' backs.

    I know there are many here who think openly advocating for Democrats is unseemly, being as how they are so far from being perfect themselves  and all. But voting for something that is even a little better than the alternative is the first step in the right direction, and is in fact the root of a democracy's power to self correct. The idea that you let things progress to collapse and then fix it all in a quantum leap is unrealistic, and undemocratic.

    In 2014, a Democratic win that goes against expectations will send a powerful message even to Democratic lawmakers themselves that the country is through with right wing extremism. You'd better believe that if the GOP ekes out even a small win that they will loudly proclaim a mandate for the opposite.

    In November, we need to vote for Democrats at all levels of government, and break the logjam. The job you save or create with your vote may be your own.

    "The only thing we have to fear - is fear itself." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    by orrg1 on Sat May 17, 2014 at 07:33:39 AM PDT

  •  The GOP has revealed itself (5+ / 0-)

    to be lacking in productivity or creativity as a political force, and it has forced it's own voters to take untenable positions on everything from the ACA to Benghazi. There is a huge difference between Republicans and Democrats right now, and I would run, not walk, from membership in the GOP as it now stands.

    •  This is the fallout of epistemic closure. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Incredulousinusa, Cadillac64

      The GOP relies on its bubble of faux news and discrediting other sources to keep its electorate in the dark. Their actions do reveal its lack of leadership, but only to those who pay attention to what they actually do.

      By the way, lest we ourselves fall into the same trap, let's remember to challenge ourselves on a regular basis by engaging with varying viewpoints.

      •  RW are Machiavellians (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cadillac64

        and the path to winning makes no difference whatsoever. I remember Donald Rumsfeldt explaining there really was no disinformation campaign of any importance in the U.S., after that became a news item. I think disinformation is the Republican platform. It works well in Red States because, for one thing, so many people in rural and bible belt states do not value knowledge of worldly events. They leave that to their chosen leaders, the GOP. Bad choice.

  •  Slow progress without the resident nay saying GOP, (5+ / 0-)

    Tea Party, Kochers.  Obama acts to help America with jobs the other party is a diisgrace.

  •  The GOP-ers in Congress (6+ / 0-)

    I am so glad to read this story. President Obama has tried and tried to work with the Rethugs, but they refuse even to consider working with him (while whining that he won't compromise!). It's quite clear that as long as they can they will continue their obstructionism, just to please their red meat base. I am all for the President bypassing those un-American liars. More power to him.

  •  Rethugs' Renewed Cries for Impeaching Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    orrg1, Cadillac64

    for wanting to repair crumbling infrastructure will resonate throughout the halls of the Capitol.

    (I like the idea of posting signs of "Dangerously Deficient Bridge courtesy of your Republican Congressperson ___.  Cross at your own peril."  
                                  OR  
    "Dangerous Potholes courtesy of your obstructionist Republican Congressperson _
    ___.  Send your automobile repair bills to them.")

  •  What are the SPECIFICS? (0+ / 0-)

    Where's the plan? Is it on whitehouse.gov? What, exactly, is President Obama going to do--with or without Congress?

    Until I see the plan, it's just more words. Five years' worth, going on. And mark my words: There WILL BE TAX CUTS for millionaires in any legislative 'plan' that actually passes Congress, if it ever comes to pass.

    I make no apologies and cut no slack in my statement that Obama is the WORST Democratic President of my lifetime. He should have focused like a laser beam on the economy when he had a 60-vote majority in the Senate and held the House. He should have delivered, pronto, and we wouldn't be dealing with the backlash against his 'socialist' policies that would appease the middle voters by improving the economy. He has FAILED on that subject. 6% unemployment is a CRISIS--and higher unemployment for five years going is just that much worse.

    And it's all on HIM. No one else to blame. No one else to turn to for leadership. I can't wait for the next Democratic President who does not sit in fear of what Bill O'Reilly thinks or has to say about him. Because when that President finally starts to deliver results instead of speeches, their approval ratings will go through the ROOF, and the Republicans will finally start acting like human beings instead of corporate robots.

    "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

    by DaddyO on Sat May 17, 2014 at 09:01:38 AM PDT

  •  Get rid of the right wing wackos (0+ / 0-)

    Let's face it,the right wing is comprised of nuts in a rut.  You cannot reason with them.  Facts do not matter.  They are more than willing to sacrifice and take from the less fortunate just to make a point.  The point being that they are no good for us.  They do it purposely so the poor feel worthless.  They actually get pleasure from it.  Those who vote for them have the same mentality even though most of them receive Government assistance of some form.  Double standard,as if they much better than anyone else.  They fantasize that they are better Patriotic Americans,they work harder,they deserve more,everyone else is beneath them.  They are soooo wrong.  They are comprised of people who lack any form of empathy.  They are easily fooled by listening to Faux News.  I see it daily in people I deal with.  They are selfish,self-centered idiots who cannot think or fact check anything,stubborn as mules with IQ's to match.

  •  THE FEDERAL RESERVE AND FULL EMPLOYMENT (0+ / 0-)

    The Federal Reserve has the power to make large loans at low interest and no strings attached to large banks and financial institutions.  The power sprung forth from the Federal Reserve Act.  The Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act mandated during economic downturns, that the President, the Federal reserve and private corporations work together to achieve full employment and growth.  If the Fed can loan money to private banks, why can not the Fed loan money to the Nation through its President for use in establishing a National Infrastructure Bank which would provide funds to federal departments, state and local to hire private corporations to rebuild America.  The funds could be used by the President to establish CCC, WPA, U. S. Postal Bank and other types of programs to get our nation working, purchasing and expanding once again.
    Remember plants do not grow by watering their leaves, but by watering and fertilizing their roots.  Our roots, workers, wage earners, our people, fellow citizens, have gone without water and fertilizer to long!  

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