(CNN) – President Barack Obama and Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana spoke about jobs in their Labor Day weekend weekly addresses, with Obama focused on jobs performed by members of the military and Scalise on Republican jobs proposals in Congress.
The Louisiana Republican represents part of the state hit this week by Hurricane Isaac, which left many displaced and hundreds of thousands without power Saturday, as well as by Hurricane Katrina seven years before.
“They’re always in our hearts,” he said of those who died when Katrina struck the Gulf Coast.
“During this disaster,” he continued, “we’ve seen neighbors helping each other and people coming together to ensure the safety of their loved ones. That’s what we in Louisiana do. That’s what Americans do…. One of the greatest things about our country is that we’re a resilient, hard-working people, and on this Labor Day weekend, we remember these values and the things that have made our country the greatest in the world.”
Those searching for work, he said, would be well served by the proposals advanced by his House GOP colleagues. Other congressional Republicans have also lobbied for passage of these measures in recent weekly addresses. Scalise and other Republicans have called for action to prevent the country from hitting the so-called fiscal cliff, a number of tax hikes and spending cuts which would take effect at the beginning of the year should Congress not act.
“The House has acted to stop this tax hike, so the critical test now is whether the Democratic-run Senate will act to do the same,” he said. “We sure hope they will, and in short order.”
Both Republicans and Democrats express concern over hitting the fiscal cliff, though they differ on what tax rates should automatically go up. A Congressional Budget Office report released in August predicted unemployment increasing and the economy slipping into recession should the fiscal cliff become reality.
In his address, Obama commemorated the two-year anniversary of ending major combat operations in Iraq, and commended the members of the U.S. military for the job they did.
“They met every mission and performed every task that was asked of them with precision, commitment and skill,” he said. “And now, with no Americans fighting in Iraq, it’s my privilege on behalf of a grateful nation to once again congratulate these men and women on a job well done.”
He then turned his attention to the ongoing war in Afghanistan, where U.S. and other NATO partner troops have been the target of “green-on-blue” attacks, where individuals in the uniforms of Afghan forces turn their weapons on U.S. and allied personnel.
“As long as we have a single American in harm’s way, we will continue to do everything in our power to keep them safe and help them succeed,” he said. “That means giving them a clear mission and the equipment they need on the front lines.”
And when troops return stateside, he continued, “it also means taking care of our veterans and their families. Because no one who fights for this country should have to fight for a job or a roof over their head when they come home.”
Obama was at Texas’ Fort Bliss on Friday, where he answered Republican criticism of his foreign policy by saying America’s “alliances have never been stronger.”
Both Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, are on the campaign trail in battleground states this weekend. Obama will be in Charlotte, North Carolina later in the week to accept his party’s presidential nomination, as Romney did on Thursday in Tampa, Florida.