Tag Archives: weekly address

Obama’s Weekly Address: Working Together on Behalf of the American People

From The White House:

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Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
October 19, 2013
 

Hi everybody. This week, because Democrats and responsible Republicans came together, the government was reopened, and the threat of default was removed from our economy.

There’s been a lot of discussion lately of the politics of this shutdown. But the truth is, there were no winners in this. At a time when our economy needs more growth and more jobs, the manufactured crises of these last few weeks actually harmed jobs and growth. And it’s understandable that your frustration with what goes on in Washington has never been higher.

The way business is done in Washington has to change. Now that these clouds of crisis and uncertainty have lifted, we need to focus on what the majority of Americans sent us here to do – grow the economy, create good jobs, strengthen the middle class, lay the foundation for broad-based prosperity, and get our fiscal house in order for the long haul.

It won’t be easy. But we can make progress. Specifically, there are three places where I believe that Democrats and Republicans can work together right away.

First, we should sit down and pursue a balanced approach to a responsible budget, one that grows our economy faster and shrinks our long-term deficits further. There is no choice between growth and fiscal responsibility – we need both. So we’re making a serious mistake if a budget doesn’t focus on what you’re focused on: creating more good jobs that pay better wages. If we’re going to free up resources for the things that help us grow – education, infrastructure, research – we should cut what we don’t need, and close corporate tax loopholes that don’t help create jobs. This shouldn’t be as difficult as it has been in past years. Remember, our deficits are shrinking – not growing.

Second, we should finish the job of fixing our broken immigration system. There’s already a broad coalition across America that’s behind this effort, from business leaders to faith leaders to law enforcement. It would grow our economy. It would secure our borders. The Senate has already passed a bill with strong bipartisan support. Now the House should, too. The majority of Americans thinks this is the right thing to do. It can and should get done by the end of this year.

Third, we should pass a farm bill – one that America’s farmers and ranchers can depend on, one that protects vulnerable children and adults in times of need, and one that gives rural communities opportunities to grow and the longer-term certainty they deserve.

We won’t suddenly agree on everything now that the cloud of crisis has passed. But we shouldn’t hold back on places where we do agree, just because we don’t think it’s good politics, or just because the extremes in our parties don’t like compromise. I’ll look for willing partners from either party to get important work done. There’s no good reason why we can’t govern responsibly, without lurching from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis. Because that isn’t governing – it’s just hurting the people we were sent here to serve.

Those of us who have the privilege to serve this country have an obligation to do our job the best we can. We come from different parties, but we’re Americans first. And our obligations to you must compel all of us, Democrats and Republicans, to cooperate, and compromise, and act in the best interests of this country we love.

Thanks everybody, and have a great weekend.

Obama’s Weekly Address: ‘Let’s Get Back to the Work of the American People’

From The White House:

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WASHINGTON, DC— In this week’s address, President Obama discussed his meetings with members of Congress of both parties and the ongoing effort to reopen the government and remove the danger of default from our economy. The President urged Congress to pass a budget, put people back to work, and end this shutdown. In his message, the President also called for paying our bills, and preventing an economic shutdown.

The audio of the address and video of the address will be available online at www.whitehouse.gov at 6:00 a.m. ET, October 12, 2013.

 

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
October 12, 2013
 

Good morning.

Over the past few days, I’ve met with Republicans and Democrats from both houses of Congress in an effort to reopen your government and remove the dangers of default from our economy.

It’s a positive development that House Republicans have agreed on the need to avoid the economic consequences of not meeting our country’s commitments. Because once the debt ceiling is raised, and the shutdown is over, there’s a lot we can accomplish together.

We’ve created seven and a half million new jobs in the past three and a half years. Now let’s create more. We’ve cut our deficits in half over the past four years. Now let’s do it in a smarter, balanced way that lets us afford to invest in the things we need to grow.

The truth is, there’s a lot we can agree on. But one thing we have to agree on is that there is no good reason anyone should keep suffering through this shutdown. I met with some really innovative small business owners on Friday who’ve already lost contracts, lost customers, and put hiring on hold – because the pain of this Republican shutdown has trickled down to their bottom lines. It’s hurting the very citizens that our government exists to serve. That’s why a growing number of reasonable Republicans say it should end now.

And it wouldn’t be wise, as some suggest, to just kick the debt ceiling can down the road for a couple months, and flirt with a first-ever intentional default right in the middle of the holiday shopping season. Because damage to America’s sterling credit rating wouldn’t just cause global markets to go haywire; it would become more expensive for everyone in America to borrow money. Students paying for college. Newlyweds buying a home. It would amount to a new tax – a Republican default tax – on every family and business in America.

It doesn’t have to be this way. It’s not supposed to be this way. Manufacturing crises to extract massive concessions isn’t how our democracy works, and we have to stop it. Politics is a battle of ideas, but you advance those ideas through elections and legislation – not extortion.

I know you’re frustrated by what you see in your nation’s capital right now. But because it’s easy to get lost in or give up on the political back-and-forth, I want you to remember: this is not normal. Our government is closed for the first time in 17 years. A political party is risking default for the first time since the 1700s. This is not normal. That’s why we have to put a stop to it. Not only because it’s dangerous, but because it saps everyone’s faith in our extraordinary system of self-government. And that hurts us all.

Whether it’s the work of creating jobs, growing the economy, or getting our fiscal house in order for the long haul, we’ve got a lot of work to do – and constant brinksmanship doesn’t let us do it.

It inflicts real pain on real people. It creates spasms of uncertainty for business owners. It threatens our nation’s credit and standing in the world. And the longer it goes on – the more frequently this brinksmanship is inflicted – the more we’ll see markets react, businesses put off plans to spend and hire, and unemployment claims tick up. The hundreds of thousands of hardworking civil servants who go even longer without pay will worry that they won’t be able to cover their bills, and that their own creditworthiness will be ruined for no good reason at all. And I want to thank all the neighbors and local business owners who’ve shown acts of kindness to these Americans who serve their country. I ask that same spirit of citizenship from lenders who do business with these folks. Because they’re being punished enough through no fault of their own.

So let’s pass a budget, put people back to work, and end this Republican shutdown. Let’s pay our bills, and prevent an economic shutdown. Then let’s get back to the work of the American people. Because there is so much else we should be focusing our energies on right now. We’ve got to create more jobs, and kids to educate, and an immigration system to fix. We’ve got more troops to bring home, and a middle class to rebuild, and opportunity to restore. There’s so much America has going for it in this new century. And as always, this country works better when we work together.

Thank you, and have a great weekend.

Obama’s Weekly Address: America Stands with the City of Boston

The Official Transcript from The White House:white_house

 

WASHINGTON, DC— In his weekly address, President Obama spoke to the American people about the act of terror at the Boston Marathon that wounded dozens and killed three innocent people on Monday, and said that through it all, Boston’s spirit remains undaunted and Americans have proven they refuse to be terrorized.  This past week, first responders, race volunteers, doctors and nurses, and the good people of Boston joined together to show the world how Americans respond to evil: with resilience and resolve, and without fear.  And that’s the way Boston and America will move forward together.

The audio of the address and video of the address will be available online at www.whitehouse.gov at 6:00 a.m. ET, Saturday, April 20, 2013.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
April 20, 2013

On Monday, an act of terror wounded dozens and killed three innocent people at the Boston Marathon.

But in the days since, the world has witnessed one sure and steadfast truth: Americans refuse to be terrorized.

Ultimately, that’s what we’ll remember from this week.  That’s what will remain.  Stories of heroism and kindness; resolve and resilience; generosity and love.

The brave first responders – police officers, firefighters, EMTs, and National Guard – who ran toward danger to help their fellow citizens.

The race volunteers, spectators, and exhausted runners who rushed to help, including troops and veterans who never expected to see such scenes on the streets of America.

The determined doctors and nurses at some of the world’s best hospitals, who have toiled day and night to save so many lives.

The big-hearted people of Boston – residents, priests, shopkeepers – who carried victims in their arms; delivered water and blankets; lined up to give blood; opened their homes to total strangers.

And the heroic federal agents and police officers who worked together throughout the week, often at great risk to themselves, to keep our communities safe.  As a country, we are eternally grateful for the profound sacrifices they make in the line of duty – sometimes making the ultimate sacrifice to defend the people they’ve sworn to protect.

If anyone wants to know who we are; what America is; how we respond to evil and terror – that’s it.  Selflessly.  Compassionately.  And unafraid.

Through days that would test even the sturdiest of souls, Boston’s spirit remains undaunted.  America’s spirit remains undimmed.  Our faith in each other, our love for this country, our common creed that cuts across whatever superficial differences we may have – that’s what makes us strong.  That’s why we endure.

In the days to come, we will remain vigilant as a nation.  And I have no doubt the city of Boston and its surrounding communities will continue to respond in the same proud and heroic way that they have thus far – and their fellow Americans will be right there with them every step of the way.  May God bless the people of Boston and the United States of America.

 

Obama’s Weekly Address: Congress Must Act Now to Stop the Sequester

This is the transcript of President Obama’s Weekly Address for Saturday, February 23, 2013, released by the White House.

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WASHINGTON, DC—President Obama used this week’s address to urge Congress to stop the harmful automatic cuts that threaten thousands of jobs and affect our national security—called the sequester—from taking effect on March 1st. The President and Congressional Democrats have already put forward solutions to avoid these cuts and reduce the deficit in a balanced way, and now it’s time for Congressional Republicans to compromise by closing some loopholes that protect the wealthiest Americans so that we can reduce the deficit in a balanced way and create jobs for the middle class.

The audio of the address and video of the address will be available online at www.whitehouse.gov at 6:00 a.m. ET, Saturday, February 23, 2013.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
As Prepared for Delivery
The White House
February 23, 2013

Hi, everybody. Our top priority as a country right now should be doing everything we can to grow our economy and create good, middle class jobs.

And yet, less than one week from now, Congress is poised to allow a series of arbitrary, automatic budget cuts that will do the exact opposite. They will slow our economy. They will eliminate good jobs. They will leave many families who are already stretched to the limit scrambling to figure out what to do.

But here’s the thing: these cuts don’t have to happen. Congress can turn them off anytime with just a little compromise. They can pass a balanced plan for deficit reduction. They can cut spending in a smart way, and close wasteful tax loopholes for the well-off and well-connected.

Unfortunately, it appears that Republicans in Congress have decided that instead of compromising – instead of asking anything of the wealthiest Americans – they would rather let these cuts fall squarely on the middle class.

Here’s what that choice means. Once these cuts take effect, thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off, and tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find child care for their kids. Air traffic controllers and airport security will see cutbacks, causing delays across the country. Even President Bush’s director of the National Institutes of Health says these cuts will set back medical science for a generation.

Already, the threat of these cuts has forced the Navy to delay the deployment of an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf – affecting our ability to respond to threats in an unstable part of the world. And just this week, the Pentagon announced that if these cuts go through, almost 800,000 defense employees – the equivalent of every person in Miami and Cleveland combined – will be forced to take unpaid leave.

That’s what this choice means. Are Republicans in Congress really willing to let these cuts fall on our kids’ schools and mental health care just to protect tax loopholes for corporate jet owners? Are they really willing to slash military health care and the border patrol just because they refuse to eliminate tax breaks for big oil companies? Are they seriously prepared to inflict more pain on the middle class because they refuse to ask anything more of those at the very top?

These are the questions Republicans in Congress need to ask themselves. And I’m hopeful they’ll change their minds. Because the American people have worked too hard for too long to see everything they’ve built undone by partisan recklessness in Washington.

I believe we should work together to build on the more than $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction we’ve already achieved. But I believe we should do it in a balanced way – with smart spending cuts, entitlement reform, and tax reform. That’s my plan. It’s got tough cuts, tough reforms, and asks more of the wealthiest Americans. It’s on the White House website for everyone to see. And it requires Democrats and Republicans to meet half way to resolve the problem. That’s what the American people expect. And that’s what you deserve.

We just need Republicans in Washington to come around. Because we need their help to finish the job of reducing our deficit in a smart way that doesn’t hurt our economy or our people. After all, as we learned in the 1990s, nothing shrinks the deficit faster than a growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs. That has to be our driving focus. That has to be our North Star. Making America a magnet for good jobs. Equipping our people with the skills required to fill those jobs. Making sure your hard work leads to a decent living. That’s what this city should be focused on like a laser. And I’m going to keep pushing folks here to remember that.

Thanks.