Obama gives his wish list as to-do list for Congress
May 8th, 2012
03:35 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama gives his wish list as to-do list for Congress

(CNN) – President Barack Obama on Tuesday called on Congress to back a five-point plan in his latest attempt to paint the legislature as ineffective ahead of his re-election bid.

Obama unveiled the list of five proposals, all previously addressed by the current White House, while encouraging members of Congress to take "bold action."

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"At this make or break moment for America's middle class, there is no excuse for inaction. There's no excuse for dragging our feet, none," Obama said in a speech at a high-tech facility at the State University of New York at Albany. "The truth is, the only way to accelerate the job creation that takes place on a scale that is needed is bold action from Congress."

The "to-do list" included steps to eliminate tax incentives for companies that ship jobs overseas, eliminating red tape so responsible homeowners can refinance, a new hire tax credit for small businesses, investments in affordable clean energy and legislation to help military veterans find employment.

Obama has consistently painted Congress as the roadblock between his agenda and the assistance he says is needed for the American people and lumped the policies of Congressional Republicans and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney together.

Republicans have countered, pointing to Obama administration policies they have supported, including the payroll tax cut and their own budget proposals that they argue would help eliminate the burden on middle class families and take steps toward economic reform.

The president referenced some of the recent bipartisan action between the two branches of government on Tuesday, but said more is needed because "the size of the challenges we face requires us to do more."

Team Romney seized on the president's visit to New York through a conference call, during which former New York Gov. George Pataki took aim at the president's economic policies.

Pataki, the former three-term governor, said the Albany NanoTech Complex that Obama visited Tuesday was an example of what the American economy "can and should be."

"I also think it contrasts why President Obama's economic policies, particularly when it relates to jobs, has been a complete and utter failure," Pataki said.

In a statement, Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said "President Obama should follow through on his own 'to-do' list" before he tells Congress how to act.

"No amount of 'to-do' lists can hide the fact that the President's policies have failed to make life better for the millions of Americans who are struggling in the Obama economy," Saul said.

– CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jessica Yellin contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Congress • President Obama
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/ConservaFASCISTS

    Keep wishing Mr. President. Today was a prime example of republican obstructionism. Unfortunately it looks like we'll have to wait until your second term to get anything done. But that should be simple once you have a democrat House & Senate again.

    May 8, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    President Obama should have added to that "to do list" that Congress needs to sweep the floors, polish the furniture and take out the trash since they're sitting around doing nothing and getting paid.

    May 8, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  3. Larry L

    As long as Republicans in the Senate block every, single initiative that might possibly help anybody besides the wealthy that organization is useless. The House is controlled by Republicans who consistently offer only political statements and have yet to approve anything to create jobs or help the working class. As long as this situation continues America will be held hostage by Republicans working as lap-dogs for the ultra-rich.

    May 8, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. Tina

    Latest poll numbers today

    Pres Obama leads draft dodger Romney.

    49. To 42.

    Obama IS having a good week regardless what Greg Greenwald's article reads

    May 8, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  5. !ST SGT

    Don't do a darn thing this nutcase proposes. He is our huckleberry. This nation's Eagle will not continue to fly with another four years of him at the helm.

    May 8, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. Tina

    CNN would quote ex Gov Pataki!

    Pataki is on the wrong side of the fence.

    May 8, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "Obama has consistently painted Congress as the roadblock between his agenda and the assistance he says is needed for the American people and lumped the policies of Congressional Republicans and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney together."

    Sorry, but Obama's not painting them as that at all and your bias is showing CNN. They painted themselves that way. This is what CNN calles "Obama painting Congress as standing in the way:"

    1. Obama proposes measures widely accepted and promoted by consensus among professional, expert economists.

    2. GOP/Teatrolls throw an ideological nutty, claiming said proposals are bad policy while ignoring expert consensus, and promoting their trickle-down fairy tale that if we just cut taxes for insanely rich people, they will, for some uknown magic reason, create more jobs despite the demand vaccuum we're in and historical record that proves they simply keep it as though it was an earned pay increase.

    3. MSM builds careful false equivalency narrative so that both sides get blamed, but polls show that on the whole, the GOP/Teatrolls are taking the lion's share of the blame.

    4. MSM reacts to troubling news that people see through the false equivalency by ramping up the false equivalency narrative, shifting blame to Obama to "even it out" by characterizing the fact that the GOP/Teatrolls behaved in a manner that got them blamed as "Obama painting Congress as standing in the way."

    Get it? Got it? Good.

    May 8, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  8. Matt

    How about creating a to do list for the Democrat held Senate. Like making a budget. You would think that would be obvious since they are already required to do so, but I guess they would rather just keep raising the debt ceiling to pay for their uncontrolled expenses. Great Idea dems, cross your fingers and hope no one notices how little you've done in the past four years.

    May 8, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Looks like Obama just woke up after a three and a half year coma and discovered the umemployment problem!! And more of this "investment in clean energy" BS???? Haven't the tax payers donated enough to your corrupt campaign contributors already? You want to steal MORE??

    May 8, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. Seriously!

    I think most of you need a history lesson. First, Obama HAD both houses of congress controlled by democrats and pretty much did nothing. Oh yeah, congress passed Obamacare. Something that will bring this country to it's knees with a crushing force. Good One Obama. Obama NEVER signed a budget while his cronies controlled congress either. Also, if you're looking for a party of obstructionists, look no further than Harry Reid. The house has passed 25+ bills that Harry wouldn't even bring to the floor of the senate for a vote. If these were terrible bills, why not have a vote? What are you afraid of Harry?

    May 8, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  11. Hayes

    Now he is in a hurry to create jobs? A couple of the initiatives look okay but I along with at least half the country prefer gridlock to excessive and bloated spending. Nothing will be accomplished before the election. Obama is too busy campaigning to govern and his hostility toward Congress is a wet blanket on the whole process.

    May 8, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  12. Ex republican

    Romney just flipped flopped on immigration,I as a republican cannot vote for a man who lies every other day on issues to his supporters.If romney wants to pander to illegal aliens then he lost my vote and many conservatives,he has lied to us for the last time and we will sit this election out.Romney has proven he has no word,and is very dishonest,just like Gingrich said"Romney is the most dishonest candidate in presidental history" well that has to be one of the only truthfull things gingrich has ever said.ROBMEY YOU HAVE LIED TO US FOR THE LAST TIME GO AHEAD PANDEER TO THE ILLEGALS YOU LOST MY VOTE!

    May 8, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  13. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    My Wish List for 2012:
    =================
    1. Elect Romney
    2. Elect a Republican Senate majority of 60.
    3. Elect even more Republican House members.
    4. Send Obama back to Chicago
    5. Send Pelosi back to San Francisco
    6. Send Reid back to Nevada
    7. then get to work rebuilding the country and economy from the last 4 lost Obama years.

    May 8, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. Namejkane fl live from teapublican moon base no taxes, no regulation no health care, free gas.

    All nobrainers ,but don't exspect anything from the brain dead republicans, that's why Dem landslide is coming in Nov to sweep out republican trash!! Thanks teaparty morons. Maybe you can elect romnycare moron in chief in 2016 after his next loss, I think that will be his fourth election, 2nd run for mass gov, oh ya, he couldn't get relected , mass senate loss, presidential primary republican loss to mccain , landslide loss to Obama in Nov .

    May 8, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  15. BLKMANinAmerica

    ""I also think it contrasts why President Obama's economic policies, particularly when it relates to jobs, has been a complete and utter failure," Pataki said."............................yet another repuk LIE, President's Obama policies have been very successful but since the repuks don't measure "success" by how much middle American is doing, it seems to me that totally have not addressed the middle America's needs or wants. repuks only wish to be DESTRUCTIVE when it comes to middle America only to build up upper income American's like Romney........................that is a complete and utter FAILURE and GW Bush is a good example of those FAILED policies.

    May 8, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  16. Namejkane fl live from teapublican moon base no taxes, no regulation no health care, free gas.

    Andrea , you should get on Obama bandwagon before you get your pink slip in Nov after Dem landslide win!!!

    May 8, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  17. The REAL Truth...

    @Matt – How about creating a to do list for the Democrat held Senate. Like making a budget.
    ---------------------
    Matt – do you even understand HOW budgets work in Congress or regurgitating something you heard on Faux Noise?
    The process is this -the HOUSE proposes a budget. The Senate ratifies (that means agrees to) and sends to the POTUS to sign. Since 2010, when the Teapug Taliban took over, budgets – other than the fiasco offered by Ryan – have not been possible. A budget from either side will be blocked by the other. A 20% across the board GOBP tax cut sounds great.. but it's not funded and would cause a $1.3T in year one. The last Obama budget came in at just over $900B deficit. But political grandstanding in an election year prevents any budget from being passed.
    Kind of fun to watch the Grand Obstructionist Party squirm over FORCED $7Trillion in cuts that come up in Jan 2013. Watch all those pet porkbarrel projects get canned. hahahah !

    May 8, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  18. king

    The repubs meeting of destroying America, while Obama was being inaugurated as presudent, is still taking hold. They will do every thing in their power to crash this country, just to get the president job. Lesson repubs pouring on the money on the rich is not working, can you see this yet. The rich is just getting richer while the spenders goes down the drain. I say tax the rich and push their money into modernizing America, afterall its not only robots, computers systems and foreigners need money, what happen to us in the united state. Every one doesn't have that kind of skill.

    May 8, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  19. The REAL Truth...

    @Obama 2012 – BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE -

    You forgot #8 -

    8. then join the unemployment line as Mittens sends your job to China

    May 8, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  20. Namejkane fl live from teapublican moon base no taxes, no regulation no health care, free gas.

    Romney should run for president in in somila where dip and the republican party share the same values.

    May 8, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  21. Thomas

    @!ST SGT
    Don't do a darn thing this nutcase proposes. He is our huckleberry. This nation's Eagle will not continue to fly with another four years of him at the helm.
    @Obama 2012 – BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE
    My Wish List for 2012:
    =================
    1. Elect Romney
    2. Elect a Republican Senate majority of 60.
    3. Elect even more Republican House members.
    4. Send Obama back to Chicago
    5. Send Pelosi back to San Francisco
    6. Send Reid back to Nevada
    7. then get to work rebuilding the country and economy from the last 4 lost Obama years.

    I'm totally with you guys , bring back the GW Bush years, when men were men and sheep were sheep.

    !ST SGT and BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE , when are you guys tying the knot ?

    May 8, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  22. Thomas

    @Matt
    How about creating a to do list for the Democrat held Senate. Like making a budget. You would think that would be obvious since they are already required to do so, but I guess they would rather just keep raising the debt ceiling to pay for their uncontrolled expenses. Great Idea dems, cross your fingers and hope no one notices how little you've done in the past four years.

    Matt , six months ago you were supporting Rick Perry !, Now you support Romney and his five sons who all avoided voluntary military service .

    Romney / Perry
    Bring it on , 2012

    May 8, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  23. Another Day in the RW Idiot MInes

    "Now he is in a hurry to create jobs? A couple of the initiatives look okay but I along with at least half the country prefer gridlock to excessive and bloated spending."

    Oh look, yet another lesser troll pretending his GOBP cult had nothing to do with "excessive and bloated spending" when in fact the majority of our deficit/debt is the responsibility of his cult. To make matters worse, America now has a clear choice between President Obama's plan, which reduces the deficit, and Rmoney's plan (along with Paul "The Undertaker" Ryan's plan) to INCREASE our deficits. This is yet another example of how the mentally deficient rightwing mind cannot process facts objectively.

    May 8, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "I along with at least half the country prefer gridlock to excessive and bloated spending."

    And therein lies the problem. You simplistically and blindly label anything that involves any spending whatsoever as "bloated spending." You don't understand the difference between "bloated spending" and proven Keynesian economic measures for which consensus has been established among expert, professional economists that they are effective means of helping to shore up and grow an economy. Instead, you reject everything out of hand because your ideology and its GOPreists tell you to. It's sad really. We've missed so many opportunities to fix this mess solely for 2 reasons: (1) some GOPers/Teatrolls couldn't see the forest for the trees and (2) the rest saw only opportunity in continued deforestation.

    May 8, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |