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Weekly remarks: Obama repeats jobs are Job #1; GOP's Grimm says stimulus plan just not working

August 6, 2011 |  3:00 am

Obama flies to Camp David 8-5-11

President Obama's weekly remarks, as provided by the White House

This week, Congress reached an agreement that’s going to allow us to make some progress in reducing our nation’s budget deficit.  And through this compromise, both parties are going to have to work together on a larger plan to get our nation’s finances in order. That’s important. We’ve got to make sure that Washington lives within its means, just like families do. In the long term, the health of our economy depends on it.

But in the short term, our urgent mission has to be getting this economy growing faster and creating jobs. That’s what’s on people’s minds; that’s what matters to families in this country. And the fact....

...is, this has been a tumultuous year for the economy. We’ve weathered the Arab Spring’s effect on oil and gas prices. The Japanese earthquake and tsunami’s effect on supply chains. The economic situation in Europe. And in Washington, there was a contentious debate over our nation’s budget that nearly dragged our country into financial crisis.

So our job right now has to be doing whatever we can to help folks find work; to help create the climate where a business can put up that job listing; where incomes are rising again for people. We’ve got to rebuild this economy and the sense of security that middle class has felt slipping away for years.  And while deficit reduction has to be part of our economic strategy, it’s not the only thing we have to do.

We need Democrats and Republicans to work together to help grow this economy. We’ve got to put politics aside to get some things done. That’s what the American people expect of us. And there are a number of steps that Congress can take right away, when they return in September.

We need to extend tax cuts for working and middle class families so you have more money in your paychecks next year. That would help millions of people to make ends meet. And that extra money for expenses means businesses will have more customers, and will be in a better position to hire. 

Yesterday, I proposed a new tax credit for companies that hire veterans who are looking for work after serving their country. We’ve got a lot of honorable and skilled people returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and companies that could benefit from their abilities. Let’s put them together.

We need to make sure that millions of workers who are still pounding the pavement looking for jobs are not denied unemployment benefits to carry them through hard times. 

We’ve got to cut the red tape that stops too many inventors and entrepreneurs from quickly turning new ideas into thriving businesses – which holds back our whole economy. 

It’s time Congress finally passed a set of trade deals that would help displaced workers looking for new jobs, and that would allow our businesses to sell more products in countries in Asia and South America – products stamped with three words: Made in America.

And we ought to give more opportunities to all those construction workers who lost their jobs when the housing boom went bust.  We could put them to work right now, by giving loans to companies that want to repair our roads and bridges and airports, helping to rebuild America. 

Those are a few commonsense steps that would help the economy. And these are ideas that have been supported by both Democrats and Republicans in the past. So I’m going to keep calling on both parties in Congress to put aside their differences and send these bills to my desk so I can sign them right away. After all, both parties share power. Both parties share responsibility for our progress.  Moving our economy and our country forward is not a Democratic or a Republican responsibility; it is our responsibility as Americans. 

That’s the spirit we need in Washington right now. That’s how we’ll get this economy growing faster and reach a brighter day. Thanks for listening, and have a great weekend.    ####

Capitol Hill

Weekly remarks by Rep. Michael Grimm, as provided by Republican Party leadership

Hello, I’m Congressman Michael Grimm from the great state of New York, proudly representing Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn. 

After serving my country in combat with the United States Marine Corps and deep undercover with the FBI, I decided to go out on my own and start a small business. I’ve seen firsthand how politicians and bureaucrats can make it harder to meet a payroll and create jobs. 

The latest jobs report shows that President Obama’s ‘stimulus’-driven policies are simply not working.

The overspending, overtaxing, and over-regulating coming out of Washington is creating uncertainty and holding our job creators back. Every day, I hear the frustration in the voices of my neighbors and constituents who ask ‘where are the jobs?’ and this reminds me, this is not the country we grew up in.  The good news is that we can, and will, get it back. if we change course.   

That’s why Speaker Boehner told President Obama we would not grant his request to increase the national debt limit unless we cut spending by a larger amount. And we wouldn’t accept any tax increases, which would destroy jobs.

The Budget Control Act signed into law this week takes a step in the right direction. 

I voted for this legislation, but I have to be quite honest in telling you that it’s far from perfect. The cuts and reforms do not go nearly far enough. But it’s a reasonable and responsible approach which includes spending cuts larger than the debt limit hike; common sense caps on future government spending; and no tax increases. It puts us on a track to fix our fiscal problems, which will provide more confidence for employers in America, the very people we expect to reinvest in our economy and create jobs.

Still, this is no time for celebration. We can celebrate when our budget is balanced, our debt is under control, and our economy is back to creating jobs again. There is a lot of work to be done.

This fall, as a result of the Budget Control Act, lawmakers of both parties will be working on legislation to produce trillions of dollars in further deficit reduction through necessary spending cuts. While that work is being done, the House and Senate will also be voting on a Balanced BNew York Republican Representative Michael Grimmudget Amendment, something Republicans insisted on as part of the Budget Control Act.

There’s no better way to provide certainty to the private sector and control spending over the long haul than through a Balanced Budget Amendment.

To help lift our crushing burden once and for all, both parties should come together this fall and send a Balanced Budget Amendment to the states.

We were right to the hold the president accountable on the debt limit, because he’s already back to proposing more ‘stimulus’ spending, higher taxes, and even more regulations. Doubling down on the same failed policies is not the answer.

Republicans are focused on implementing a strong roadmap for job creation that reduces burdensome regulations, calls for a simpler and fairer tax code, and expands American energy production. These are the kinds of common-sense solutions that would get government out of the way and give our job creators the certainty they need to invest, plan, and create jobs. 

Many of these proposals have already passed the House and are waiting on action from the Democratic-led Senate. You can review all the details of our plan at Jobs.GOP.gov

Listen, we know we have all the tools and resources we need to grow our economy and rebuild this great nation: the relentless work ethic of the American workforce, innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit and courage to succeed. 

So my questions for Washington are this: how many more jobs reports will it take before we change course?  What will it take for all of us to just say ‘enough’?

For the sake of our economy, I’m urging the president to wake up to reality, abandon his failed policies, and join Republicans in the hard work needed to turn our country around and create jobs. 

Calling on both parties to come together and send a Balanced Budget Amendment to the states would be a good start. We need less politics and more common sense if we’re going to save our country from financial ruin and restore a thriving economy for our children and grandchildren. Thank you, God bless America.    ####

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Photos: Michael Reynolds / EPA (Obama flies off for a mini-vacation at Camp David, Aug. 5); Alex Wong / Getty Images; Rep. Grimm's office.

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