Obama, GOP lawmakers shift their focus back to jobs
August 6th, 2011
07:16 AM ET
3 years ago

Obama, GOP lawmakers shift their focus back to jobs

Washington (CNN) - After weeks of wrangling over increasing the federal debt ceiling, President Barack Obama and Republican lawmakers returned their focus to the U.S. job crisis in their weekly addresses Saturday, each calling on the other to take specific steps to get more Americans back to work.

"Our urgent mission has to be getting this economy growing faster and creating jobs," Obama said in his address. "That’s what’s on people’s minds; that’s what matters to families in this country."

Obama called on Congress, which has left Washington for its August recess, to take measures he said would stimulate job growth.

"We need Democrats and Republicans to work together to help grow this economy," Obama said. "We’ve got to put politics aside to get some things done. That’s what the American people expect of us. And there are a number of steps that Congress can take right away, when they return in September."

Obama's remarks come a day after a better-than-expected July jobs report, which showed 117,000 jobs were created last month. The American unemployment rate improved slightly to 9.1%, from 9.2% in June. Economists estimate that 150,000 jobs need to be created each month to keep pace with population growth.

Obama's remarks were released Saturday, but recorded before the ratings agency Standard and Poor's announced it was downgrading America's long-term debt.

In the Republican address, Rep. Michael Grimm (R, New York) called on the president to change course in his job-creation efforts.

"The latest jobs report shows that President Obama’s ‘stimulus’-driven policies are simply not working," Grimm said. "The overspending, overtaxing, and overregulating coming out of Washington is creating uncertainty and holding our job creators back. Every day, I hear the frustration in the voices of my neighbors and constituents who ask ‘where are the jobs?’ and this reminds me, this is not the country we grew up in. The good news is that we can, and will, get it back … if we change course."

Grimm offered a few examples of job creation techniques, including tax reform and energy production.

"Republicans are focused on implementing a strong roadmap for job creation that reduces burdensome regulations, calls for a simpler and fairer tax code, and expands American energy production," Grimm said. "These are the kinds of common-sense solutions that would get government out of the way and give our job creators the certainty they need to invest, plan and create jobs.

Grimm called on Obama and congressional Democrats to embrace these proposals, some of which have passed the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

For his part, Obama offered a separate list of job-creating proposals, including eliminating bureaucratic hassles for entrepreneurs, passing new sets of trade deals with other countries and giving loans to companies that employ construction workers.

He also mentioned a new program, outlined earlier this week, that would reward firms for hiring veterans.


Filed under: President Obama • Republicans • unemployment
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. bob in florida

    When was the GOP focus ON jobs? I seem to have missed that.

    August 6, 2011 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  2. Hot Dog

    Now may be just may be these racist GOP will work along with this President and do what is best for the country. The Presidnet said that he was hoping that a big package would be passed to make a payment on our national debt. Racial and divisive politics do not serve the best interest for thiis country. Now the GOP wished they had agreed to the $4T package to reduce the national debt. I only hope that people are paying attention, realize what damage that the Tea Pary have done to this country and vote them out the next election.

    August 6, 2011 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  3. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    Second verse same as the first....GOP: "Let's give tax cuts to job creators". I'm sorry, we have had these tax cuts for 10 years....do you see it working?!?

    August 6, 2011 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  4. a in austin

    The gops solution is more tax breaks for the corporations. Here we go again with a round of "no one wins" and everybody loses. WE NEED JOBS!!!

    August 6, 2011 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  5. OldOwl

    We would be more impressed if the GOP had cared about jobs in the first place. So far all we've seen is a great interest in what we do with our uteri, who marries who, and making Obama a one-term President. Keep up the good work, guys, you're doing a heckuva job.... destroying our country, that is.

    August 6, 2011 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  6. Diana

    Bring manufacturing back to North America.
    Every job sent overseas to cheap labor countries means one less job and income for North Americans.

    August 6, 2011 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  7. JackT

    "Our urgent mission has to be getting this economy growing faster and creating jobs," Obama said in his address. "That’s what’s on people’s minds; that’s what matters to families in this country."

    REALLY? So they THEN took off on a 5 week vacation? Polititions are serial liers. ALL of them.

    They have a 12% Approval rating and a 90% re-election history. Nothing will improve in this country until that changes. Especially the re-eletion percentage!

    August 6, 2011 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  8. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    The GOBPbagger "jobs plan" is to destroy as many jobs as possible and raise unemployment, then try to blame the president. They are counting on ignorant voters failing to see through the teatards blatant fear, lies, ignorance, hate and propaganda the corrupt corporatist cult members have been spouting. And of course the "cure" they'll claim is needed to create jobs will magically be deregulation and tax cuts, the very same failed policies that put our nation in the ditch its in today.

    August 6, 2011 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  9. shakemeup

    JOBS, JOBS, JOBS was the GOP's slogan before the last election. What's that been two years? So now after attacking the middle class and padding the rich Kochs coffers and making sure that the money to pay the national debt is given to corporations, they finally are talking jobs. Too bad that it will only be talk, except for when they cut the budget and eliminate jobs.

    August 6, 2011 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  10. Gary McNeel

    When, in the last two decades, have the Republicans "focused" on jobs? All they did the last 10 years is whine about how the rich aren't able to get richer faster because they have to pay taxes. No jobs bill. No infrastructure repair programs. No nothing but stalling, filibustering, and lying to the American public. Roman Republic people. Read your history. Learn about people like the ones we have running our country.

    August 6, 2011 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  11. DavePrice

    "Republicans are focused on implementing a strong roadmap for job creation that reduces burdensome regulations, calls for a simpler and fairer tax code, and expands American energy production,"

    In real meaning: reduces burdensome regulations = reduce controls like they did before everything crashed in 2008!
    simpler and fairer tax code = more tax cuts for thier super rich buddies and balancing that act squarely on the backs of middle class and the retired!
    expands American energy production = Drill baby drill, its all about oil because that is who backs them, at same time they are foaming at the mouth to kill any Clean RE-NEWABLE fuels! They almost did it already but GOP reps that have many farmers making a living off of growing these re-newable fuels voted against it..

    August 6, 2011 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  12. ONCE UPON A HORSE

    hey Grimm....how are those tax cuts for the "job creators" working out for the GOP if you want to talk about what Obama has tried to do. Under the GOP the only ones to fair well so far are the ones you guys are protecting the upper 2%. But you just wait, when the job numbers keep increasing and the economy starts to show a little more light, then these same Republicans who want to blame Obama for everything will be coming out saying that it their policies of not rasing taxes on the job creators caused this great rise.

    August 6, 2011 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  13. WiredwierdinSF

    Obozo is an absolute genius. He figured by stealing our 401k's and giving it to the oxygen thieves to buy their $200 sneakers and 54" flat screens and giving them more money to buy their drugs so they can't pass drug tests that he would make sure we don't retire. Then of course, he did the stimulus packages that paid off the corrupt unions that stole the election for him with a lot of our hard earned money, trashed our credit ratings, and did the Obozocare thing rather than help the economy create new jobs. He is the most inept, corrupt, incompetent, union toady that has ever led this country and it is showing. And the libertards are so enjoying this destruction of the company and those of us who are "rich" because we act responsibly and pay taxes. I enjoy being one of hair plug Bidens "terrorists" and a lot more of us will be out in force in 2012 and either take back the Democratic party or get rid of it.

    August 6, 2011 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  14. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Lawmakers shift their focus back to jobs? The Republicans CAMPAIGNED on a platform of job creation, so where has their focus been till now? I remember now....the destruction of the American economic system, our bedrooms, womens vaginas, and taking away your grandparents Social Security checks.

    August 6, 2011 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  15. Marie MD

    NOW the rethugs want to work to create jobs? NOW??? Where have they been for the last eight months? Oh, yeah, right, doing everything they can to make sure the President and the country fails while appeasing the teabaggers.
    Hypocrites!!

    August 6, 2011 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  16. kyle

    The GOP, back to creating jobs, what a joke!

    August 6, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  17. cindy

    If the republicans would use half the energy to work with the democrats instead of the self serving agenda they are on it would help alot. What we get to watch is republicans kill us by deregulating so they can work us for lower wages longer hours and no benefits. Who cares about what they put in our air water or food? it makes money just do it. Who cares there are plans to protect our waters-just drill baby drill and the next time lives are lost on a rig cuz we had to get that almighty dollar....oh well. Not to mention all the damage to eco system. No you will just continue to wage war on the very people who elected you and thwart the President at every chance you get.

    August 6, 2011 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  18. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Please tell us all about additional tax burden Obama has placed on you...

    August 6, 2011 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  19. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Please tell us all about the focus on jobs the Republicans have had since being elected... All the proposals they have made...

    August 6, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  20. Squigman

    Jobs, should have been the issue from the get-go. The debt ceiling debate, could have been taken care of within a matter of hours. The issue of the debt ceiling, was a none issue with previous administrations so ask yourself "Why was it such a matter of importance with this administration". Could this political football been a none issue if a republican were president? Seems the criminal class republicans in congress, were hell bent to make this a wall of contention that no one could scale. If the public allows the republican party the chance to slide on this, then heaven help us all.

    August 6, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  21. FedUp

    Yeap. Getting close to election time. Got to think about jobs. Should have been working on that all along, and maybe this debt rating reduction wouldn't have happened. Now that we have a lower credit rating, more people will be laid off. Let's all re-elect Obama.

    August 6, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  22. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Republicans are singularly focused on regaining the White House and if it takes tanking the economy to do so, it's just collateral damage. I don't really know why they ARE so focused (they did SUCH a wonderful job with it the last time they had it- NOT!) but I could speculate....

    August 6, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  23. Rick McDaniel

    Neither political party is willing to take the one and only action, that can restore this country, without any increased spending.

    It is a simple concept, but no one is willing to take the necessary action.

    August 6, 2011 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  24. otlset

    Are you kidding? His focus should HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ON JOBS! Worst president ever, and shame on CNN for continually being one of his propaganda outlets, trying to cover for him and make it seem like he's doing okay. He's a FAILURE CNN!

    August 6, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  25. Marry

    ….President Barack Obama and Republican lawmakers returned their focus to the U.S. job crisis…
    What is wrong with that statement?
    The GOP/TP has NO interest in creating JOBS! And they will not work on anything that would help the economy. If they had any interest in doing so they could have done a lot a long time ago. But besides that they do not give a sh… about that anyway, it is soon election time and then it is again “the economy stupid” (among many other issues they will bring up)! Not that this makes any sense, since it is going to take time to clear the mess the GOP left last time they were in the White House. But, apparently they hope, many voters have very short memories and go for all the misleading talking points the GOP/TP spreads.

    August 6, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
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