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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Weekly Address: President Obama “Congress should take action to continue growing the economy”

From the White House – Weekly Address

In this week’s address, President Obama says that the economy is moving in the right direction, but there is still more work to do. He calls on Congress to act to give every responsible homeowner the chance to save money on their mortgage by refinancing at historically low interest rates, put more Americans to work rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, and fix our broken immigration system, so that we can continue to grow our economy and create good middle class jobs.  

Transcript: Congress Should Take Action to Continue Growing the Economy

Hi, everybody.  Over the past four and a half years, we’ve been fighting our way back from an economic crisis and punishing recession that cost millions of Americans their jobs, their homes, and the sense of security they’d worked so hard to build.

And thanks to the grit and determination of the American people, our businesses have now created nearly 7 million new jobs over the past 38 months.

An auto industry that was flatlining is once again the heartbeat of American manufacturing – with Americans buying more cars than we have in five years.

Within the next few months, we’re projected to begin producing more of our own crude oil at home than we buy from other countries – the first time that’s happened in 16 years.

Deficits that were growing for years are now shrinking at the fastest rate in decades.  The rise of health care costs is slowing, too.

And a housing market that was in tatters is showing new signs of real strength.  Sales are rising.  Foreclosures are declining.  Construction is expanding.  And home prices that are rising at the fastest rate in nearly seven years are helping a lot of families breathe a lot easier.

Now we need to do more.

This week, my administration announced that we’re extending a program to help more responsible families modify their mortgages so they can stay in their homes.

But to keep our housing market and our economy growing, Congress needs to step up and do its part.  Members of Congress will be coming back next week for an important month of work.  We’ve got to keep this progress going until middle-class families start regaining that sense of security.  And we can’t let partisan politics get in the way.

Congress should pass a law giving every responsible homeowner the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage by refinancing at historically low interest rates.

Congress should put more Americans to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, like the one that collapsed last week in Washington state. We’d all be safer, and the unemployment rate would fall faster.

And Congress should fix our broken immigration system by passing commonsense reform that continues to strengthen our borders; holds employers accountable; provides a pathway to earned citizenship; and also modernizes our legal immigration system so that we’re reuniting families and attracting the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers who will help our economy grow.

So there are a lot of reasons to feel optimistic about where we’re headed as a country – especially after all we’ve fought through together.  We’ve just got to keep going.  Because we’ve got more good jobs to create.  We’ve got more kids to educate.  We’ve got more doors of opportunity to open for anyone who’s willing to work hard enough to walk through those doors.

And if we work together, I’m as confident as I’ve ever been that we’ll get to where we need to be.

Thanks and have a great weekend.

Bolding added.


Editor’s Note: The President’s Weekly Address diary is also the weekend open news thread. Feel free to leave links to other news items in the comment threads.


  1. Transcript:

    We are here today to honor the incredibly rich heritage and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.  […]

    We value these voices because from the very beginning, ours has been a nation of immigrants; a nation challenged and shaped and pushed ever forward by diverse perspectives and fresh thinking.  And in order to keep our edge and stay ahead in the global race, we need to figure out a way to fix our broken immigration system — to welcome that infusion of newness, while still maintaining the enduring strength of our laws.  And the service and the leadership of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have proved that point time and again. […]

    In every election, at every board meeting, in every town across America, we see more and more different faces of leadership, setting an example for every young kid who sees a leader who looks like him or her.

  2. Transcript:

    We know that the surest path to the middle class is some form of higher education — a four-year degree, a community college degree, an advanced degree.  You’re going to need more than just a high school education to succeed in this economy.

    And the young people here today, they get that.  They’re working through college; maybe just graduated.  And earning their degree isn’t just the best investment that they can make for their future — it’s the best investment that they can make in America’s future. […]

    We’ve got to make sure that federal student loan rates don’t double on July 1st. Now, the House of Representatives has already passed a student loan bill, and I’m glad that they took action.  But unfortunately, their bill does not meet that test.  It fails to lock in low rates for students next year.  That’s not smart.  It eliminates safeguards for lower-income families.  That’s not fair.  It could actually cost a freshman starting school this fall more over the next four years than if we did nothing at all and let the interest rates double on July 1st. […]

    My mom, a single mom, was able to get the support that she needed through loans and grants — even while she was also working and raising two kids — to get her degrees.  I’m only here, Michelle is only right over there in the East Wing because we got great educations.  We didn’t come from privilege.  And we want to make sure that the next generation has those same opportunities, because that has been good for the country as a whole.

  3. As midshipmen were graduating from the Naval Academy here last week, Navy investigators were conducting an investigation into reports that several football players had serially raped a female midshipman at an off-campus party last year.

    The inquiry comes amid a growing national controversy over sexual assaults in the military – and over whether he Pentagon has reacted aggressively enough to curb them. The controversy has now reached into the cloistered world of the elite service academies.

    In January, a Naval Academy instructor was charged with raping a female midshipman; the court-martial began this week. The Naval Academy has said that it had 51 total reports of unwanted sexual contact during the academic years from 2011 through 2013.

    from this NYT article

    It had 51 reports of unwanted sexual contact in 2 years. There are only about 4,000 midshipmen on campus. Of course the reporting rate is assumed to be a small fraction of the incident rate.  

  4. Newly Released IRS Video Shows Employees Dancing

    In the latest black eye for the Internal Revenue Service, the agency provided Congress on Friday with another video featuring its employees, this one showing about a dozen of them line dancing on a stage.[…]

    “The outrage toward the IRS is only growing stronger,” said [La. Rep. Charles] Boustany, who chairs the Ways and Means oversight subcommittee. “Clearly this is an agency where abuse and waste is the norm and not the exception.”

    Bring on the disco lights stocks!!!

    To be sure, spending $1,600 on a video of IRS employees line-dancing is a waste of taxpayer money, but so is the $10 trillion being spent on Bush’s Wars which were authorized by these same congresscritters.

    Compare and contrast. To the WAAAAAY BAAAAACK machine, the Bush Administration’s Interior Department:

    Sex For Oil Scandal At Interior Department

    Government officials handling billions of dollars in oil royalties engaged in illicit sex with employees of energy companies they were dealing with and received numerous gifts from them, federal investigators said Wednesday.[…]

    The reports describe a fraternity house atmosphere inside the Denver Minerals Management Service office responsible for marketing the oil and gas that energy companies barter to the government instead of making cash royalty payments for drilling on federal lands. The government received $4.3 billion in such Royalty-in-Kind payments last year. The oil is then resold to energy companies or put in the nation’s emergency stockpile.

    Between 2002 and 2006, nearly a third of the 55-person staff in the Denver office received gifts and gratuities from oil and gas companies, the investigators found.

    Devaney said the former head of the Denver Royalty-in-Kind office, Gregory W. Smith, used illegal drugs and had sex with subordinates. The report said Smith also steered government contracts to a consulting business that was employing him part-time.

    $1,600 for a stupid video … trading sex and drugs for billions in oil leases.


  5. Megyn Kelly disagrees that women should be barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen and receives many huzzahs.

    Call me when she quits in outrage over the sexism rampant at her employer which happens to be the propaganda arm for sexist Republican party.

    Just like the Log Cabin Republicans, women who carry water for the Republican party just have “Kick Me” signs on their back. Don’t complain to me when you get kicked.

    See “The lying down with pigs rule“: “lying down with pigs makes you stink.”

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