June 19th, 2010
10:58 AM ET
4 years ago

Obama takes on Senate GOP's 'dreary and familiar politics'

Washington (CNN) – President Obama used his weekly internet and radio address to spotlight what he called "a dreary and familiar politics" on the part of Senate Republicans.

Related: Mississippi Republican slams Obama over oil spill response

"I know the political season is upon us in Washington," Obama says. "But gridlock as a political strategy is destructive to the country. Whether we are Democrats or Republicans, we’ve got an obligation that goes beyond caring about the next election. We have an obligation to care for the next generation. So I hope that when Congress returns next week, they do so with a greater spirit of compromise and cooperation. America will be watching."

(Read Obama's full remarks after the jump)

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Weekly Address
Washington, DC

At this moment, our nation is facing a host of big and difficult challenges. And more than anything else, what’s required to meet those challenges right now is a sense of cooperation and common purpose among our leaders. What we need is a willingness in Washington to put the public’s interests first – a willingness to score fewer political points so that we can start solving more problems.

That’s why I was disappointed this week to see a dreary and familiar politics get in the way of our ability to move forward on a series of critical issues that have a direct impact on people’s lives.

In the United States Senate, we have legislation that would boost our economic recovery and help Americans who’ve been affected by the worst recession in generations. We’ve certainly made progress since we were losing 750,000 jobs per month around the time I took office. Our economy is growing again, and we’ve added jobs for five straight months. But there are still millions of Americans out of work, and millions more who are struggling to pay the bills. The legislation in the Senate right now would extend unemployment benefits to those workers who lost their job through no fault of their own. It would provide relief to struggling states that would help save the jobs of thousands of teachers and cops and firefighters. There are also provisions in this legislation that would extend the tax credit for first-time homebuyers, as well as tax cuts to keep research and development jobs here in the United States.

Unfortunately, the Republican leadership in the Senate won’t even allow this legislation to come up for a vote. And if this obstruction continues, unemployed Americans will see their benefits stop. Teachers and firefighters will lose their jobs. Families will pay more for their first home.

All we ask for is a simple up or down vote. That’s what the American people deserve. Just like they deserve an up or down vote on legislation that would hold oil companies accountable for the disasters they cause – a vote that is also being blocked by the Republican leadership in the Senate. Right now, the law places a $75 million cap on the amount oil companies must pay to families and small businesses who suffer economic losses as a result of a spill like the one we’re witnessing in the Gulf Coast. We should remove that cap. But the Republican leadership won’t even allow a debate or a vote.

And as we speak today, 136 men and women who I’ve nominated for key positions in the federal government are awaiting a vote on the floor of the Senate. All are highly qualified. Very few are controversial. The vast majority already have support from both parties. But most of them are seeing their nominations intentionally delayed by Republican leaders, or even blocked altogether. They cannot get a vote. What this means is that, at a moment when our country is facing so many challenges – a time when we need all hands on deck – we cannot get the qualified people we need to start the jobs they were appointed to do.

Look, the nature of our democracy is that we’ll always have disagreements and debates - even heated ones. That’s healthy and it’s important. But let’s argue over genuine differences – over ideas and policies. And let’s go into those debates with an open mind – a willingness to find common ground and a conviction that, in the end, one way or another, we will have a vote to decide them. Next week, I’ll be meeting with a bipartisan group of Senators to discuss how we can transition away from our dependence on fossil fuels and embrace a clean energy future. I don’t expect that we’ll agree on a solution right away. In fact, I know that there will be plenty of disagreement and different ideas. But at least it shows that Republicans and Democrats can still sit down together in an attempt to tackle the big challenges facing our nation.

I know the political season is upon us in Washington. But gridlock as a political strategy is destructive to the country. Whether we are Democrats or Republicans, we’ve got an obligation that goes beyond caring about the next election. We have an obligation to care for the next generation. So I hope that when Congress returns next week, they do so with a greater spirit of compromise and cooperation. America will be watching.

Thanks.


Filed under: GOP • Popular Posts • President Obama • Senate
soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    Most of us are sick of the GObP and their nutjob whiners, their haters, and their liars.

    Vote out the crazy party of NO.

    June 19, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  2. snow

    nobummer knows nothing about compromise. He is the comic in chief and not a Commander in Chief. I feel sorry for the military personnel who have to salute this bum and I feel sorry for Americans who were dumb enough to vote for him. Bust most of all, I feel sorry for this country for the path this apologizer in chief has taken us down.

    June 19, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  3. Linda Iowa

    Yes, we will. Get to work or get out.

    June 19, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    Obama has some of the absolute worst worst politics, that exist. His campaign promise, was to "reach across the aisle". He totally went back on that promise, in every way possible.

    He IS a liar.

    June 19, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  5. D. Pasha

    The Republican leadership is not going to give up a policy of legislative obstipation so long as it works for them, regardless of what it does for their constituencies, and it will continue to work for them so long as the presstitutes continue to bark their line. We need to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine, put teeth in the FCC, and enact net neutrality laws if we do not want our democracy poisoned by their fecal obstruction (Note: see "plutonomism" and Ajay's Citigroup memo)

    June 19, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  6. Augsbee

    Talk, talk, talk, blame, blame, blame, I'm surprised he doesn't blame his wife also. I don't think his wife would waste this much time blaming anyone, I bet she would just get the job done, maybe she should be in the White House.

    Wish he would spend as much time in Louisiana as he does in writing these numerous speeches. He should be working as an Author, he'd make a wonderful Screen Writer.

    Did he not read/watch CNN Money's unemployment report??????

    Why is he not talking of how, who, when the families of Louisiana will see money from the $20 billion??????

    By the way, the only reason some nominations get delayed in my opinion is because they don't have the experience to get the job they want like that woman Kagan, who's never worked a day in her life as a Judge in the lower courts.

    June 19, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  7. PAST 50-YR DEMOCRAT

    Well lets hope you come up with something that makes sense for a chance. But I doubt your capabilities. OBAMA is undoubtedly the worst President this country has ever had. All he can do is blame Bush or others for his shortcomings. We know what Bush done so it is time to quite heaping the pile. For once have the guts to stand on your own skinnt legs and take responsibility. You have ruined us with our allies. You embarrassed us with our enemies by apologizing for something that we needed doing. Now your taking it to BP when your department is as much to blame as theirs. I for one am voting you out of office and your fellow Democrats. I am sick of you after fifty years of trying to be one.

    June 19, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  8. Slick William

    What a bunch of hooey! Jobs created or saved my butt, this Administration is the absolute worst America has ever seen. Unemployment remains the same, the only ones working are the State and Federal government, private side businesses are at skeleton crew and working less than 40 hours a week. Our borders are being over run, our currency is being devalued by over spending and these liberal progressives are doing everything they can possibly do to destroy Capitalism. Funny how they have attacked BP, Wall Street and Insurance companies repeatedly when it is the governments failure to enforce existing laws and regulations that have led to the failures! Time for an Impeachment hearing for treason against America!

    June 19, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  9. JohnRJ08

    As Obama was making this address, I can just see Mitch McConnell, Eric Cantor, John Cornyn and Jim DeMint snickering as they sip their mint julips between puffs on their cigars. The Old South is alive and well in the United States Senate.

    June 19, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  10. katiec

    The republicans continuous obstruction of anything and everything, regardless of the merits, is becoming very dangerous for the survival of our country. Their undying love and support for Wall St over the welfare of America is so destructive, irresponsible.
    The definition of terrorists is those out to destroy a country by any means possible. The republicans are well on their way to becoming our country's most dangerous domestic terrorists.

    June 19, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  11. Get With The Program

    love him or hate him, he's exactly right.

    "I know the political season is upon us in Washington. But gridlock as a political strategy is destructive to the country. Whether we are Democrats or Republicans, we’ve got an obligation that goes beyond caring about the next election. We have an obligation to care for the next generation."

    June 19, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  12. Rob

    Vote all Republicans out of office this November.

    June 19, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  13. 8 years of the Bush Error = How many years of recession and unemployment?

    Thanks, for pointing out the facts, which the neo-cons on Fox and Fox Lite will now deem a "smear", but you missed a few facts.

    Like the fact Palin and Bachmann support Big Oil along with the smegma of mankind, Barton and his "shakedown" apology to BP or Knotthead Jake that thinks the President is a "raghead" or the '99'ers" and their families which republikkkans just tossed under the bus by preventing unemployment benefit extensions, all while they complain of high unemployment out of the other side of their hypocritical pie holes, the 21% cut in Medicare payments to doctors they sanction, or the 24 billion cuts to state and local governments which their current Senate filibuster sanctions that will relate to not just teacher layoffs, but police and firefighters as well.

    No, they just focus on how you, that big, bad "socialist thug from Chicago" "shookdown" BP for 20 billion dollars for the folks of the Gulf Coast and is 20 billion less the taxpayers of "my" country will have to pay out to clean up the private industry mess created by Big Oil that has bought and paid for the republiklan Taliban facists such as Barton so vividly proved with his apology to BP.

    Exactly what have republikkkans done for the average citizen of this country lately?

    June 19, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  14. Mickey, NY

    The Republicans have shown nothing but contemp for Obama, and as an American, I find this trend very disturbing. The GOP is imploding with every stupid, racist comment that the entrenched old timers make. Pathetic, really.

    The Republicans want to govern by instilling fear, hatred, and bigotry. Well, I got news for you...the American people are smarter than that, and we aren't buying into it.

    GOP: Domestic Obstructionists (which equates to treason), and Domestic Terrorists.

    June 19, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  15. maf

    President Obama used an oxymoron in his statement. He used the two words Republican and leadership in the same sentence.
    The Republicans are proving they are no leaders and have shown no leadership for years now. With this kind of current attitude showing itself every time a Party of NO official speaks or acts, it simply proves how out of touch the entire GOP is at the moment.
    I must say it looks good on them and the 2010 midterms and 2012 elections will be clear indications that they are grinding themselves to a halt.

    June 19, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  16. owensopines

    The BP Disaster has created enough blame and finger-pointing to go around. However, the entity most responsible for this tragic saga is our broken Congress. Congress; specifically the House of Representatives, had the power to launch an investigation into the Materials Management Service (MMS) as soon as the scandals in connection with the oil industry were revealed. And Congress could have launched an investigation into BP within days after horrible explosion and fire.

    The current investigation, during which BP CEO Tony Hayward performed so abysmally, was not started by Executive Order. Neither was the MMS created by Executive order nor legislation. The MMS was created by James Watt who was Secretary of the Interior under Ronald Reagan. But Watt, the original "drill baby drill" proponent was blatantly anti-environment. In fact the sole purpose for which he created MMS was to expedite resource extraction and to collect oil development revenues; safety and protecting the environment were definitely not in his plan. An agency created by secretarial edict can always fly under the radar unless something specific attracts attention. Otherwise, there would exist a real possibility of over-regulation for the purpose of posturing by both the left and the right.

    If Congress was working with the President and for the American people instead of trying to score points and get re-elected, the sheer magnitude of the BP Disaster might have been mitigated by quicker response by all agencies involved. If Congress had started the investigation into MMS last year, the severe breaches in safety and environmental regulations would have been discovered and perhaps addressed before the mess. Do you really think that drilling would have been continued without at least a short moratorium if the horrors revealed by the current investigations were known last year?

    We need to impose term limits on the entire Congress, both the House of Representatives and the Senate in November. We certainly can’t get any worse than the current gridlock!

    June 19, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  17. Dave

    I have never seen a better time for us to be divided as exist at this moment with Obama in office. Nine hundred and forty six more days and we'll finally be rid of 'America's Greatest Mistake' if he's not impeached first. Everyone should get down on their knees and thank God for everyone who continues to fight Obama and his radical plan to destroy America!

    I am so sick of hearing that man whine I can't hardly stand it!

    June 19, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  18. ib

    The most arrogrant president that has ever been in office. He thinks of nothing but his agenda and anything and everything he does wrong is Bush's fault. Remember in Nov. and make it a long lasting gridlock for Obama's agenda.

    June 19, 2010 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  19. Hendrik

    Each time I read a post and see the word "Obummer" or "Barry" or names like that I know there is a mental midget behind them. You can use the insults all you want but YOUR party continues to obstruct at every turn. I am convinced it is because them old white people simply cannot fathom not being in charge.

    All Republicans suck, all of them, no exceptions.

    June 19, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  20. Steven K

    Neither side has shown any real willingness to work with the other in years. If we really want Congress to come together and get things done for the good of the people rather then the good of the party, we need to start looking at election more independents.

    June 19, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  21. Hall for Obama

    "And as we speak today, 136 men and women who I’ve nominated for key positions in the federal government are awaiting a vote on the floor of the Senate. All are highly qualified. Very few are controversial. The vast majority already have support from both parties. But most of them are seeing their nominations intentionally delayed by Republican leaders, or even blocked altogether. They cannot get a vote. What this means is that, at a moment when our country is facing so many challenges – a time when we need all hands on deck – we cannot get the qualified people we need to start the jobs they were appointed to do."

    Snow
    "nobummer knows nothing about compromise. He is the comic in chief and not a Commander in Chief. I feel sorry for the military personnel who have to salute this bum and I feel sorry for Americans who were dumb enough to vote for him. Bust most of all, I feel sorry for this country for the path this apologizer in chief has taken us down."

    I am one of those dumb enough to vote for him and will do so 2012 so get ready baby, you are one of those you know what who can't get
    over the fact that a black man is in the White House. I just love it when you true color is showing.

    June 19, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  22. Rick CT

    Has anyone asked why St. barack has refused to declare an emergency in the gulf to override provisions of the Jones Act that would then allow foreign vessels with better technology tohelp with the Gulf situation. We prolong the cleanup by not accepting foreign offers of help. Instead, Barry protects his union buddies.

    June 19, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain

    President Obama and the Democrats need to continue to remind the American public of what they've accomplished, in spite of the Republicans trying to make our president and our country fail at every turn.

    There will always be stupid people willing to be used by the GOP, folks who vote against their own interests, simply because the GOP says things like "pro-gun, anti-gay, ant-abortion, family values".

    Whatever! There are more registered Democrats in this country than Republicans – all the Democrats need to do is get out and VOTE!

    June 19, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  24. Rick CT

    Nelson – D and Lieberman-I (D) also voted against Barry. No mention of that.

    June 19, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  25. Precious

    The Blind leading the Blind...and the question is Where?

    June 19, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
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