(CNN) - In his weekly address Saturday, President Barack Obama took aim at Congressional Republicans blocking White House nominations and pieces of legislation for what he said were political ends.
"Just two days ago, a senator from Utah promised to obstruct every single American I appoint to a judgeship or public service position – unless I fire the consumer watchdog I put in place to protect the American people from financial schemes or malpractice," Obama said.
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On Thursday, Utah Sen. Mike Lee released a statement promising to block consideration of judges and public servants after Obama appointed Richard Cordray head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau during Congress' winter break. Critics have claimed Congress wasn't technically in recess, making such an appointment unconstitutional.
"Given this president's blatant and egregious disregard both for proper constitutional procedures and the Senate's unquestioned role in such appointments, I find myself duty-bound to resist the consideration and approval of additional nominations until the president takes steps to remedy the situation," Lee said.
Obama took harsh aim at Lee and other Republicans in his address, calling their motives purely political.
"One of his aides told reporters that the senator plans to, and I'm quoting here, 'Delay and slow the process in order to get the president's attention,'" Obama said. "This isn't about me. We weren't sent here to wage perpetual political campaigns against each other. We were sent here to serve the American people. And they deserve better than gridlock and games. One senator gumming up the works for the whole country is certainly not what our founding fathers envisioned."
Obama said rules he proposed during Tuesday's State of the Union would remedy a broken system. He said all White House nominees should be given up-or-down votes within 90 days, and requests a bill from Congress limiting lawmakers from owning stocks in industries they influence.
"Tell your member of Congress that it's time to end the gridlock, and start tackling the issues that really matter – an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, American skills and education, and a return to American values," Obama said. "An economy built to last."