Washington: Outlining a number of steps which the Congress can take right now to spur growth and create jobs, US President Barack Obama Friday asked the leaders of both the Republican and Democratic parties to work together to grow the economy and get Americans back to work.
In his weekly address to the nation, Obama said the Congress can take number of measures right now to spur growth and create jobs.
The measures include extending tax cuts for working and middle class families, cutting red tape to encourage new businesses to grow, passing trade deals that will support tens of thousands of jobs, and giving out-of-work construction workers opportunities to rebuild the infrastructure.
"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," Obama said.
"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," he said.
"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. 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," Obama said.
"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," he argued.
"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," he said.
"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," he said.
Obama said that it is time that the 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.
"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," he added.
First Published: Saturday, August 6, 2011, 12:20