July 3rd, 2010
10:17 AM ET
8 years ago

Obama announces new solar funding, slams GOP on benefits

Washington (CNN)
– President Obama's weekly radio and internet address has just one theme this week: jobs, jobs, jobs.

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.

Filed under: Energy • Jobs • President Obama
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Jessca Brown

    Abengoa is a Spanish company. Weren't there any US companies that could use that money?!

    July 3, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  2. Ancient Texan

    This president hates the capitalist system, hates big business, hates the "rich" which in his mind is anyone making over $250,000 a year, and is actually the small business owner. Then can't understand why unemployment is not dropping and the economy isn't improving? The people who provide jobs; small business and "big" businesses know that they are about to be drowned in taxes and fees and until they know what the burden of Obamacare, increased state and local taxes, and new middle class taxes that will have to be enacted to pay for all the insane spending of this administration, will not be hiring or expanding their businesses. The president just doesn't understand this.

    July 3, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  3. Hugo

    What a dolt... If you were to cover every square inch of the US with solar and wind power you would obtain approximately 15% of our National energy needs. How about building some nuclear power plants and create the infrastructure to make use of our natural gas resources? Think of the jobs created, this guy couldn't figure out how to do something that is right for our Nation if it were served up on a platter. This is one Conservative Independent that is anxiously awaiting 2010 and 2012, and from the amount of pissed off people, I think Mr. Obama and the Progressive liberals are going to be extremely surprised by the turnout at the booth in opposition to what has transpired. You can blame all you want, the Dems have had control for about 6 years now and we the middle class are reaping the fruit of their labors! Liberal logic: Chris Dodd and Barney Frank destroy the housing market so they are invited to write a bill to destroy Wall Street. How about this Obummer, ENFORCE OUR EXISTING LAWS!

    July 3, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  4. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    "The truth is, steps like these won't replace all the jobs we've lost overnight."

    No, the truth is that repeatedly hammering American businesses with tax hikes and the threat of tax hikes will never replace all the jobs that have been lost? How can any business, large or small, grow when 40% of their profit is siphoned off by government? What's their incentive for going to the expense of hiring new people when outrageous, and increasing, tax rates make it just about impossible to recoup those expenses?

    July 3, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  5. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Thank you Mr. President! You are doing a great job! Stay strong and ignore the opposition!

    July 3, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  6. NVa Native

    Rational discussion from an educated, intelligent, articulate, and hard working US President.
    For these attributes alone the lizard brains (neo-cons & tea-baggers) hate him and perceive him as foreign. The very opposite of what they are familiar with.
    Ain't evolution a bitch.

    July 3, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  7. Walter

    Republicans are saying "we will not vote for this unless it is paid for." If Democrats have paid for the extensions then shame on the Republicans. If not, then it is the Democrats who are to blame; how hard it is to cut a little here and there in order to pay for unemployment extensions.

    July 3, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  8. Pat in Omaha

    I'm happy for the move toward solar, Mr. President! But statistics don't necessarily back that as the best way to go. The amount of energy from solar is minimal compared to the need and getting it to customers is inefficient.

    GO NUCLEAR!!!! There are processes to make it safe and much more
    efficient!!! You are an intelligent person...pick up information, read it, and decide!!!

    Thanks you...keep up the good work!!

    July 3, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  9. Pragmatic

    No extension of unemployment benefits ... no attempt to find ways to create jobs except the "no taxes – cut spending" (on the backs of the poorest) and full-throated support for "big business" ..like B .... how do these double-chinned-never-miss-a-meal republicans look at themselves in the mirror of justice?

    July 3, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  10. Marty, FL

    Godspeed, Mr. President! Keep focusing on positive solutions for the American people.

    It is beyond comprehension how the GOP and Sen. Ben Nelson can deny over a million struggling Americans unemployment at a time of need–fellow neighbors from all walks of life.

    Consequently, many Americans will take a positive message of support & direction over GOP negativity any day.

    July 3, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. A keen observer

    The big business and Wall Street supporters are idiots! Who do you think caused the financial meltdown and the Gulf oil spill?

    July 3, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  12. phoenix86

    Obama slams Republicans because Republicans said that unemployment benefits extension should be funded out of the money that has not yet been used in the "stimulus package".

    Obama is, by far, the most inept, corrupt and incompetent president the US has ever had.

    July 3, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  13. thor

    If the democrats could find billions of dollars to fund the implementation of the financial reform bill that they were in such a rush to pass then they could have found money to fund the extension of benefits.The truth is democrats don't want to increase spending more because they would have to defend their vote in Nov.The democrats have majorities in both house of Congress and the republicans are powerless to do anything to stop democrats from passing anything they want.For Obama to blame republicans is silly !!

    July 3, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  14. Willy Brown

    That's right Barry keep on slamming and blaming. You are setting the table for defeat very nice for all your progressives.

    July 3, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  15. g

    jobs republicans will ship to china in the future

    July 3, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  16. GI Joe

    Won't shut up that wrinkled prune of a governor in AZ.

    DO YOUR JOB Governor – arrest and fine the companies in YOUR STATE that lure illegals there for jobs.

    Good Job – President Obama – Wind is a start and easy – figure out how to store Nuclear waste safely and go with NUKE. You're the only one that won't further pollute Nevada's Nuke Mountain outside Vegas.

    July 3, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  17. jeb b.

    i wonder is it me because i feel the people in control who are the majority republicans from wall street to main street are sitting on them jobs and NOT hiring on purpose to surpress the ecomony to gear this white house for failure. in the attemp to gain 1600 back? this approach will only backfire in the long run. is this just me?

    July 3, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  18. Marry

    Bravo Mr. President!
    However, it is an amazing thing to watch that many people just are so stuck in their ways. The makeup of the energy supply just has to change! Oil just cannot be used anymore so careless. For many, many reasons! But instead of getting to work on it, many people just act as if someone tries to take away their favorite toy. Come to think of it, it must be their favorite toy and in thinking about the bigger problem, too many behave just like nasty little children. I am not talking about the many adorable children that often seem to make more sense than their “parents”. They should be getting a modern and functioning future with jobs; so they have a future. I am sure, NOW that is more possible than with anything from the GOP! And stop mentioning the “deficit”. The ones that talk the most about that really created it and wasted the money on unnecessary wars, deregulated the biggest “capitalist” thief’s and did not investing it in the future!
    Confronted with this, they want the president to fail and turned into the “Hell No” party not taking any responsibility!

    July 3, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  19. thor

    We could bottle up all the hot air that Obama blowing and save it for winter when it's needed.

    July 3, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  20. haren

    Basic problem I see in today's America is selfishness of people who have it.
    They talk about religion, family value but when it comes to practice they fill their pockets.
    I am really sad when people think that in this richest country on earth if few people go hungry or homeless is good fiscal policy.
    When republican leader like Arizona senate cadidate Angle thinks that unemployed are spoilled brat than My hats off to her.

    July 3, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  21. valwayne

    2 billion dollars in more debt. If Solar power were economical these companies would invest their own money instead of asking taxpayers to borrow more money to pay for it. Obama seems to not care how deeply he drives the nation into debt, or the impact on the economy or lost jobs of having all the massive debt hanging over our head.

    July 3, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  22. Bill

    Welcome to the real world. The world of Obama. Spend money that you dont have. What happens when Uncle Sam can't pay the bills? Will you be there to extend benefits to him? Of course you will. Its called taxes.

    July 3, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  23. sensible Cape Coral FL

    Many people seem to forget that the money spent on unemployment checks goes immediately back into the economy. Isn't that good thing?

    July 3, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  24. Bill from GA

    We don't have enough sun in Georgia for solar energy. At least, that's what our energy supplier, The Southern Company, says.

    Gotta envy those people in New jersey and Germany with lots of sunshine. Or maybe they just have smart leaders.

    Georgia's politicians in the senate agreed with Southern when they opposed Pres. Obama's energy bill. "wouldn't work in GA, not enough sun".

    July 3, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  25. Turnabout is Fair Play

    Walter July 3rd, 2010 10:41 am ET

    Republicans are saying "we will not vote for this unless it is paid for." If Democrats have paid for the extensions then shame on the Republicans. If not, then it is the Democrats who are to blame; how hard it is to cut a little here and there in order to pay for unemployment extensions.

    Amazing how there was not a care in the World about being fiscally conservative when the Republicans controlled both houses of Congress and the White House and spent like drunken sailors, giving former president Idiot whatever he wanted but NOW, they're so suddenly concerned about controlling spending and cutting costs now that they're out of power.

    July 3, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
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