WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is calling on Congress to put politics aside when lawmakers return from their recess in September and pass a series of initiatives the president says will spur job growth.
In his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday, Obama said Washington’s urgent mission is to get the economy growing faster and create jobs. The latest jobs report released Friday was better than expected, with the economy adding 117,000 jobs and the unemployment rate ticking down a notch to 9.1 percent.
The steps the president wants Congress to take include extending payroll tax cuts for another year, passing three free trade agreements and enacting patent reform. All of the measures are proposals the president has called for previously.
Obama’s weekly address capped a week that began with lawmakers and the White House reaching a deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling and avert a potentially catastrophic government default. The deal also cuts federal spending by $2.1 trillion or more over the next decade.
In the weekly Republican address, New York Rep. Michael Grimm said the debt deal legislation was far from perfect and the cuts did not go far enough. Grimm, who voted for the bill, called on lawmakers to follow it up with a balanced-budget constitutional amendment this fall.