Released just one day after a Labor Department report indicated a net loss of 125,000 jobs in June, Obama uses the address to announce $2 billion in conditional funding for two U.S. based solar companies.
According to the White House, the two companies – Abengoa Solar and Abound Solar Manufacturing – will use the funding to build new production facilities.
Abengoa Solar will build a plant in Arizona, while Abound Solar Manufacturing will build two new facilities, one in Colorado and one in Indiana.
But Obama acknowledges the economic difficulties of the moment.
"[T]he truth is, steps like these won't replace all the jobs we've lost overnight. I know folks are struggling. I know this Fourth of July weekend finds many Americans wishing things were a bit easier right now. I do too," Obama says.
Obama also takes aim at Senate Republicans, criticizing their attempts to delay the extension of unemployment benefits and tax credits to people and small businesses hurt by the recession.
"Still, at a time when millions of Americans feel a deep sense of urgency in their own lives, Republican leaders in Washington just don't get it," Obama says. "While a majority of Senators support taking these steps to help the American people, some are playing the same old Washington games and using their power to hold this relief hostage – a move that only ends up holding back our recovery. It doesn't make sense."
Last week, the Senate did approve a stand-alone homebuyers tax credit shortly after a failed attempt to advance a bill that combined the credit with an unemployment benefits extension.
Republican leaders objected to the measure because it would have added to the national debt. They offered alternative bills that would have paid for unemployment benefits with unused stimulus funds.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said the chamber will take up the benefits bill again once a replacement for the late Senator Robert Byrd, D-West Virginia, is named. Byrd, the longest serving member of Congress in history, died Monday at age 92.