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Weekly Address: President Obama – Working with Both Parties to Keep the Economy Moving Forward

From the White House – Weekly Address

In his weekly address, President Obama says our economy is moving in the right direction. We have cut our deficits by more than half, businesses have created millions of new jobs, and we have taken significant steps to reverse our addiction to foreign oil and fix our broken health care system.

Transcript: Working with Both Parties to Keep the Economy Moving Forward

Hi, everybody.  Over the past couple months, most of the political headlines you’ve read have probably been about the government shutdown and the launch of the Affordable Care Act.  And I know that many of you have rightly never been more frustrated with Washington.

But if you look beyond those headlines, there are some good things happening in our economy.  And that’s been my top priority since the day I walked into the Oval Office.

After decades in which the middle class was working harder and harder just to keep up, and a punishing recession that made it worse, we made the tough choices required not just to recover from crisis, but to rebuild on a new foundation for stronger, more durable economic growth.

Five years later, we have fought our way back.  Our businesses have created 7.8 million new jobs in the past 44 months.  Another 200,000 Americans went back to work last month.

The American auto industry has come roaring back with more than 350,000 new jobs – jobs churning out and selling the high-tech, fuel-efficient cars the world wants to buy.  And they’re leading the charge in a manufacturing sector that has added jobs for the first time since the 1990s – a big reason why our businesses sell more goods and services “Made in America” than ever before.

We decided to reverse our addiction to foreign oil.  And today, we generate more renewable energy than ever, more natural gas than anybody, and for the first time in nearly 20 years, America now produces more oil than we buy from other countries.

We decided to fix a broken health care system.  And even though the rollout of the marketplace where you can buy affordable plans has been rough, so far, about 500,000 Americans are poised to gain health coverage starting January 1st.  And by the way, health care costs are growing at the slowest rate in 50 years.

And one more thing: since I took office, we’ve cut our deficits by more than half.  And that makes it easier to invest in the things that create jobs – education, research, and infrastructure.

Imagine how much farther along we could be if both parties were working together. Think about what we could do if a reckless few didn’t hold the economy hostage every few months, or waste time on dozens of votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act rather than try to help us fix it.

In the weeks ahead, I’ll keep talking about my plan to build a better bargain for the middle class.  Good jobs.  A good education.  A chance to buy a home, save, and retire.  And yes, the financial security of affordable health care.  And I’ll look for any willing partners who want to help.

Because of your hard work and tough sacrifices over the past five years, we’re pointed in the right direction.  But we’ve got more work to do to keep moving that way.  And as long as I’m President, I’ll keep doing everything I can to create jobs, grow the economy, and make sure that everyone who works hard has a chance to get ahead.  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. Administration Extends Initial Obamacare Enrollment Deadline

    The Obama administration will extend the deadline for people to sign up for health coverage that starts on Jan. 1, 2014, from Dec. 15, 2013, to Dec. 23, 2013, officials announced Friday.

    According to HHS, the change applies only to the 36 states where consumers are using The 15 state-based insurance marketplaces can make their own decisions about the initial enrollment deadline. On Thursday, California moved its deadline from Dec. 15 to Dec. 23 as well.

  2. From OFA:

    Jan —

    I wanted to update you on the fight to raise the federal minimum wage.

    Here’s why: When we see news stories about low-income workers holding canned food drives just so their coworkers can celebrate Thanksgiving, it’s incredibly frustrating. We’re better than this, and our minimum wage policy should reflect that.

    That’s why Congress is working on a proposal — backed by President Obama — to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10.

    Today, working families across America are counting on anyone who agrees to add their name and join this fight: Show your support for raising the minimum wage today.

    In the United States, no one who works full time should have to live in poverty.

    That shouldn’t be controversial — yet even now, millions of American workers who work full time and earn a minimum wage aren’t able to make ends meet. Too many people are struggling to feed their kids, clothe their families, pay rent and utilities, and simply get to and from work.

    The federal minimum wage is $7.25 today, which translates to just over $15,000 a year for a full-time position. Increasing our minimum wage could provide much-needed relief to these families — and a huge boon to the economy.

    This is important, and in coming weeks Congress will need to hear from their constituents on why they support raising the minimum wage.

    Add your name, and send a message to Congress — it’s time to raise the minimum wage now:

    Thanks — more soon,


    Nico Probst

    Director of Special Projects

    Organizing for Action

  3. GOP May Be About To Fold In Protracted Food Stamp Fight

    Just a couple months ago, House Republicans passed historic cuts to food stamps, nearly $40 billion worth. But now, a short time after that ideological stand, the GOP may have to relent in its effort to extract such significant reductions in the program’s funding and agree to far less austere cuts, even if it means having to rely on Democratic votes to get it passed.

    The possible about-face comes as the two chambers are negotiating over a farm bill that would include funding for the food stamp program. The Senate already passed a farm bill with modest cuts to food stamps. Conference committee negotiations to reconcile the two competing bills have been ongoing since last month.[…]

    Senate Democrats entered the farm bill negotiations unwilling to bend much on food stamps, calling the House GOP’s bill a non-starter. They’ve held the line during the negotiations themselves, according to sources familiar with the talks, and the final cuts are expected to be $10 billion or lower — much closer to the $4 billion that the Senate passed than the House’s version. [Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA)] had said publicly that he though $8 to $10 billion in cuts would likely suffice to resolve the issue.

  4. princesspat

    New breed of Senate Democrats drove filibuster change

    WASHINGTON – After pushing through one of the most significant rule changes in Senate history, Majority Leader Harry Reid struck a solemn tone: “This is not a time for celebration.”

    But behind closed doors in a room off the Senate floor, some of the newer Democratic senators couldn’t help themselves, gathering for a quick party to congratulate one another. They were the ones largely responsible for pushing the veteran Nevada lawmaker to pull the trigger on ending filibusters against most presidential nominations.

    The partisan revelers were part of a new breed of Democrats emerging in the Senate. Mostly elected after 2006, these relative newcomers have only known a Democratic-controlled Senate and have little experience with successful bipartisan cooperation, due largely to the tea party’s grip on the Republican Party.

    Now they are hoping to become a new power center in the party, nudging the old guard to adopt more aggressive tactics in pursuit of legislative goals and largely brushing aside Republican threats of retaliation and obstruction. They see the rules and traditions of the Senate as having stifled the will of the majority and stalled President Obama’s agenda.

    “The Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party”…..imagine that!

  5. It’s The Fundamentals, Stupid: Elections Aren’t Determined By Short-Term ‘Game Changes’

    His theory is that winning elections still require the fundamentals and that the game changes are entertaining to read about but not very filling.

    One point that the pundits were so breathless about: how the mood of the country swung away from the Democrats, during the shutdown, to the Republicans because of the Obamacare rollout. This part cracked me up:

    The president’s job approval ratings are a case in point. In Gallup’s weekly averages, Obama has plunged from 43/51 during the triumphal week of the GOP’s surrender over the government shutdown all the way down to 41/52 last week. You’d never know that from listening to the chattering classes.

    Ha! You would not, indeed.

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