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The president once again devoted his weekly address to the need to help working families, and to the continued Republican efforts to block such actions.
These policies have two things in common.  All of them would help working families feel more stable and secure.  And all of them have been blocked or ignored by Republicans in Congress.

That’s why my administration keeps taking what actions we can on our own to help working families – because Congress is doing so little for working families.  House Republicans actually got together this week and voted to sue me for taking actions on my own.  And then they left town for the month without settling a bunch of unfinished business that matters to working families across America.

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
August 2, 2014

Hi, everybody.  My top priority as President is doing everything I can to create more jobs and more opportunities for hardworking families to get ahead.

On Friday, we learned that our economy created over 200,000 new jobs in July.  That’s on top of about 300,000 new jobs in June.  We’re now in a six-month streak with at least 200,000 new jobs each month.  That hasn’t happened since 1997.  All told, our businesses have created 9.9 million jobs over the past 53 months.  That’s the longest streak of private-sector job creation in our history.

Because of you – because of your hard work and determination – America has recovered faster and come farther than almost any other advanced country on Earth.  The economy is clearly getting stronger.  Things are clearly getting better.  And the decisions we make now can keep things moving in that direction.

That’s what’s at stake right now.  Making sure our economy works for every working American.  Making sure that people who work hard can get ahead.  That’s why I’ve been pushing for common-sense ideas like rebuilding our infrastructure in a way that supports millions of good jobs and helps our businesses compete.  Raising the minimum wage.  Making it easier for working folks to pay off their student loans.  That’s why I’ve been pushing for fair pay and paid leave.

These policies have two things in common.  All of them would help working families feel more stable and secure.  And all of them have been blocked or ignored by Republicans in Congress.

That’s why my administration keeps taking what actions we can on our own to help working families – because Congress is doing so little for working families.  House Republicans actually got together this week and voted to sue me for taking actions on my own.  And then they left town for the month without settling a bunch of unfinished business that matters to working families across America.

The bottom line is this – we’ve come a long way these past five and a half years.  Our challenges are nowhere near as daunting as they were back then.  But imagine how much farther along our economy would be – how much stronger our country would be – if Congress would do its job.

I’ll never stop trying to work with both parties to get things moving faster for the middle class.  And I could use your help.  If you see your Member of Congress around home this month, tell him or her what’s on your mind.  Ask them why they haven’t passed bills to raise the minimum wage or help with student loans or enact fair pay for women.

And when they return from vacation next month, instead of trying to pass partisan bills on party lines, hopefully we can come together with the sense of common purpose that you expect.  And in the meantime, I will never stop doing whatever I can, whenever I can, not only to make sure that our economy succeeds, but that people like you succeed.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

###

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Comment Preferences

  •  WOW (8+ / 0-)

    finally conflating Republican obstruction rather than Congress. Then at the end...

    And when they return from vacation next month, instead of trying to pass partisan bills on party lines, hopefully we can come together with the sense of common purpose that you expect.
    I don't think I can expect any "common purpose" any time soon.

    duh

    •  Agreed, the President just needs (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Remediator, skillet, GunGriffin, MarkW53

      to keep hammering at these goof offs to get them to the table to go to work.  I certainly do not expect the likes of Bachmann, King or that other dumbass Gohmert to be on board, but there are plenty of others who could get the job done.

    •  Of course you can't. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      METAL TREK, NoBlueSkies

      Neither does Obama.

      He is merely setting things up for the public. He is telling the public that they could "expect" Republicans to come together with Dems with a sense of common purpose. And most non-political types would think yes, that sounds reasonable.

      Then, when, as we all know will happen, they come back as obstructive and belligerent as ever, it will stand in stark contrast to what everyone knows they should be able to expect from Congresscritters, just as the elections are approaching.

      This is good politics by Obama to demonstrate to less political habitual GOP voters, in the run-up to the election, that the party no longer stands for the values they hold.

      •  Public has been well aware of this for (0+ / 0-)

        two decades, now. It's pretty much only O. who is still figuring it out, hoping for change long after the die has been cast.

        I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

        Trust, but verify. - Reagan
        Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

        by Words In Action on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 09:31:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Too early to make any predictions (4+ / 0-)

    about this fall's elections, but I think it would be a good thing if voters in some of the House Republicans' districts would send a message to them that they expect their Congress folk to behave like sentient adults instead of tantrum-throwing 3-year olds.  

    Those GOP voters don't have to like this particular president if they don't want to -- that's probably asking too much.  

    But they need to bang a few heads together among the Republican caucus, and they should probably start with whichever Republican is their man or woman in Washington.  

    If the Democratic Party decided to run hard-hitting ads in certain districts suggesting that problem-solving is more important as a common good than temper-tantrums and obstruction, that would be just fine with me.  Ring up Aaron Sorkin.  Let him write the ad campaign.

    We may not win many -- or any -- of those districts this fall  But let's force the Republicans there to defend their recalcitrance.  

    "...the baffled king composing 'Hallelujah'..." (Leonard Cohen)

    by Remediator on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 07:21:18 AM PDT

  •  O can call congress back in-session & set agenda (5+ / 0-)

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up!

    by Churchill on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 07:31:17 AM PDT

  •  Dear President, (4+ / 0-)

    Please stop using the word "congress" in your complaints.  The media ignores  your use of the word "Republicans" and quotes how you're blaming congress--and, by extension, both parties.

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 07:32:54 AM PDT

  •  What ever happened to the moderate (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans?

    Those guys may have disagreed with Obama but at least they did their job, eh?

    -- Passing Free Trade w/ Columbia
    -- Passing Free Trade w/ Panama
    -- Passing Free Trade w/ South Korea

    -- Passing a Patriot Act Extension

    -- Confirming Obama's nominees to Executive Posts (for example, CitiBank's Jack Lew as Treasury Secretary, Chiquita's Eric Holder as AG, etc..)

    -- Confirming 250+ Obama Judicial Appointments

    Not obstructing Obama when the Executive asserts the right to maintain secret kill lists, er I mean Disposition Matrix

    And who could forget the anti-social program Bi-Partisan Deficit Commission?  Several prominent moderate Republicans, such as Alan Simpson, stepped up & were proud to serve with their Democratic counter parts.

    Just a couple of examples.  The attack & regime change in Libya could also be added.  

    Where are the moderate Republicans who joined with Democrats to advance the above progressive policies? Where did they go?

    We need them back.

    The 1% are Purists: They only support Candidates that Deliver Results They Can Bank On. Don't they know they should compromise? /sarcasm

    by Johnathan Ivan on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 07:33:24 AM PDT

    •  They have all ducked under their bunks in fear of (0+ / 0-)

      facing primary challengers whose eyes bulge with madness and whose mouths foam with that which distinguishes them as the neo-rabidites.

      Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

      by judyms9 on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 07:41:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They can not survive in wing nut media sphere (0+ / 0-)

      Extremism in the service of the power brokers is the only path for the GOP/Tea party -- even the so-called moderates vote and appease the most extreme

      The past, present, and future are equally compelling; none of the three are easily understood.

      by Grey Panther on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 07:57:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Perhaps I should have used the snark tag. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      The 1% are Purists: They only support Candidates that Deliver Results They Can Bank On. Don't they know they should compromise? /sarcasm

      by Johnathan Ivan on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 11:49:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's what we miss, repeatedly. Obama's a data (6+ / 0-)

    nerd.  If he's specifically calling out Republicans it's because his data tells him people are receptive.  If he's talking bi-partisan cooperation it's because his data says that's what the majority of Americans want.

    Here's where we come in.  Your conservative neighbors and family members are more fertile ground right now.  The President just gave us smart guys our cue:  get out there and plow that ground.  

    Let's try that, and quit parsing the tilt of his eyebrow.  This guy KNOWS what plays in Peoria.  If we follow his lead we can win in 2014.  If we bitch about how he didn't say this in 2009 we lose and it's on us.  

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 07:41:16 AM PDT

  •  POTUS too sane when irrationality rules the day (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I love OCD

    It is enough to throw one into despair, but over the years, I have learned not to obsess on that which I do not control.

    Our nation suffers as government dysfunction is seen as the path to power. It is cynical unpatriotic and unAmerican. Power is the to path to line one's pockets and money has corrupted our politics. Regaining power is above all else the priority, else politicians will not have nice things.

    All of us must suffer to advance the avarice of the DC political class. Some of the GOP/Tea are truly delusional, but the majority know better. It is only their spinelessness and quest for power that prevents even the most modest compromise to advance. The GOP/Tea will rue the day in 2016, but if we formed networks in each Congressional district, that day might happen in 2014.

    The past, present, and future are equally compelling; none of the three are easily understood.

    by Grey Panther on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 07:53:53 AM PDT

    •  I don't fully agree with your take on this. (0+ / 0-)

      Money's a huge issue but Citizens United didn't buy the Romneys a White House gig.  Citizens, united, are far more powerful than we believe because the endless barrage of fear-mongering comes from both sides now.  Democrats have reined in the plutocracy before and we can do it again.  Giving a thousand billionaires mythic powers of evil doesn't cut it.  We're not dealing with Mephistopheles here, Parris Hilton is the real face of our plutocracy.  

      It would help to have a real Press disseminating information, but let's not forget that the early days of television news were a fluke in our history. Marshall McLuhan was getting traction with his "vast wasteland" concerns and the nascent industry needed a solid win in order to survive as more than a toy.  Reputable network news programming changed our media environment for a brief, halcyon day.  It was NEVER thus.  The Internet may give us access to real news if we search hard enough but it's goal is targeted consumption and we're silly to ignore that.  

      Battleground Texas and OFA are your templates.  We might not cheer Gov. Wendy Davis in 2014 but we'll cheer her in 2018 if we don't give up halfway thru the marathon.

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 08:13:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Perception rules (0+ / 0-)

        GOP/Tea see all issues as a path to regain or retain power. They see money as the tool to power and money is their goal in their personal lives. Current politics for victory of the GOP/Tea means appeasing the extremist and racist base.

        Votes trump money, but OFA and Battleground Texas are only money gathering organizations. Can you dialog with every member in your own Congressional district to plan rallies, keep each other informed of legislative issues, formulate and promote party policies? The failure to use the tools of social networks in a partisan effort undermines voter turn out and the collective wisdom of people to offer and implement solutions.

        Until either the Democratic party or an alliance of social sites like DK band together to formulate action on the district level money will rule because elites percieve money as the only path.

        GOP/Tea will remain on the crazy clown train, so they must be sent to the side line.

        The past, present, and future are equally compelling; none of the three are easily understood.

        by Grey Panther on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 09:47:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Battleground Texas and OFA network in (0+ / 0-)

          real life as well as thru social media.  Tweeting about Greg Abbott is fine, walking neighborhoods, calling, holding issues parties for your neighbors is the networking that counts.  I can't believe you don't know that more than 2 million GOTV calls have already been made for Wendy, that tens of thousands of Texans are registered to vote because of Battleground Texas activities.  

          I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

          by I love OCD on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 01:00:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  So good to see him call out Republicans - finally! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glenn45

    I wonder how Obama feels now about his "“there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America, there’s the United States of America” rhetoric from his 2004 DNC speech.  The idealism was noble, but it in no way prepared him for the trench warfare Realpolitik that would become necessary to wage in order to prevail over a bunch of feral loons who were/are determined to kill him, politically speaking.

    IMO, it would have been nice to see him get this pointed, and this aggressive, as early as the second year of his first term - instead of all his knuckling under to Republicans, to try to get them to be his "friends".

    All that is necessary for the triumph of the Right is that progressives do nothing.

    by Mystic Michael on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 08:09:13 AM PDT

  •  Government Waste, Fraud, and Abuse has gone ... (0+ / 0-)

    on vacation...well, some of it has.


    I cast a shadow, therefore, I am. You stand on my shadow, therefore, you are.

    by glb3 on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 08:23:13 AM PDT

  •  It would help if the President (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    did his job.  How about bringing to account those who authorized torture of "some folks?"  How about standing up to Netanyahu who makes no bones about being in charge of US foreign policy and the allocation of US funds?  Perhaps DOJ could file lawsuits against the banksters who still rake in $$ and roam free after tanking the economy for their own benefit.

  •  Congress work? (0+ / 0-)

    When they can get paid for sitting on their asses, doing nothing but obstructing and blaming it on the president, and then going on vacation?

    Not bloody likely.

    Being "pro-life" means believing that every child born has a right to food, education, and access to health care.

    by Jilly W on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 09:07:33 AM PDT

  •  Here comes the Rope-a-Dope for the 2014 Elections (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One Opinion

    You're beginning to see the outlines of a fall campaign strategy that might put Harry Truman's "do-nothing Congress" campaigning to shame. The more that the Republicans do this stuff, the more ammo there is to make them look like complete fools this fall - if the Dems use that ammo aggressively. That's of course a huge "if" but I hope that Obama's leaning towards these sorts of statements on a "test the waters" basis is a preview of more gloves-off action for this fall.

  •  And so should the President (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TJ, Words In Action

    Fire John Brennan.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 09:22:01 AM PDT

  •  At this point.... (0+ / 0-)

    republicans are so far adrift that they couldn't find the [political] shore if it was dotted with lighthouses.
    Some are suggesting that the President call Congress back from their [just begun] recess.
    Why should he?
    Let them go home and either avoid, or face their constituents.
    Their dereliction of duty has been exposed either way.
    The silence from the Hill these coming four/five weeks will serve as a reminder of just how toxic Washington has become.
    It will be a welcome relief to not be bombarded on a daily basis with mind-numbing stupidity, and blatant nonsensical, destructive partisan rhetoric.
    President Obama is now quite rightly calling republicans out.
    May they limp back to Washington in September facing not only the 'Talk To The Hand' posture of the President, but more importantly,  the 'Shit Or Get Off The Pot'  response from the electorate in the run-up to November's midterms.

    "These 'Yet To Be' United States" --James Baldwin--

    by kevinbr38 on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 09:49:22 AM PDT

  •  Correction (0+ / 0-)

    Congress doesn't need to do its job.  THE REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS need to start doing theirs and start governing.  The institution itself isn't "broken", but it is being destroyed by a slavering lynch mob of bigots and ignoramuses.

    That should be our mantra - it's the REPUBLICANS' fault.  Lord knows, there's plenty of evidence to support it!

    "The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little. " --Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by jg6544 on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 01:33:58 PM PDT

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