Competing messages on jobs drive Labor Day weekend addresses
August 31st, 2013
06:00 AM ET
11 months ago

Competing messages on jobs drive Labor Day weekend addresses

(CNN) - President Barack Obama and Republican Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick marked the Labor Day weekend with weeky addresses that laid out their parties' competing visions for growing the economy.

The president outlined the priorities he pushed on a recent bus tour, including education and job creation programs.

Meanwhile Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania said Obama's health reform law as well as energy and tax policies are holding back economic growth.

Read their full remarks below the jump.

Obama said:

Hi, everybody. This Labor Day weekend, as we gather with family and friends, we'll also come together as a nation to honor some of our own – the working men and women of America who, across the generations, built this country up and helped make us who we are today.

On Monday, we'll celebrate that proud history. We'll pay tribute to the values working Americans embody – hard work; responsibility; sacrifice; looking out for one another. And we'll recommit ourselves to their cause; to securing for them a better bargain so that everyone who works hard in America has a chance to get ahead.

See, over the past four and a half years, we've fought our way back from the worst recession of our lifetimes. And thanks to the grit and resilience of the American people, we've begun to lay a foundation for stronger, more durable economic growth. But as any working family will tell you, we're not where we need to be.

For over a decade, working Americans have seen their wages and incomes stagnate, even as corporate profits soar and the pay of a fortunate few explodes. For even longer than that, inequality has steadily risen; the journey of upward mobility has become harder. And in too many communities across this country, the shadow of poverty continues to cast a pall over our fellow citizens.

Reversing that trend needs to be Washington's highest priority. It's certainly mine. That's why, over the past month, I've traveled all across America, laying out my ideas for how we can build on the cornerstones of what it means to be middle class. A good job that pays a good wage. A good education. A home of your own. Health care when you get sick. A secure retirement even if you're not rich. And more chances for folks to earn their way into the middle class as long as they're willing to work for it.

The truth is, it's not going to be easy to reverse the forces that have conspired – for decades – against working Americans. But if we take a few bold steps – and if Washington is able to come together with common purpose and common resolve – we'll get there. Our economy will keep getting stronger and more Americans will be able to join the ranks of the middle-class.

So this Labor Day, while you're out there grilling in the backyard, or taking that final trip for the summer, I hope you'll also take a moment to reflect on the many contributions of our working men and women. For generations, it was the great American middle class that made our economy the envy of the world. And as long as I'm President, I'm going to keep fighting to make sure that happens again.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

Fitzpatrick, currently in his third term, said:

Hello, I'm Mike Fitzpatrick, proudly serving Pennsylvania's eighth congressional district.

It's an honor to speak with you this weekend as we celebrate the spirit and ingenuity of America's workers.

We are a nation that builds things. From skyscrapers to smartphone apps, we live in a land where anyone can create, innovate, and pursue their American Dream.

But as I've traveled throughout my district this summer – visiting 100 local businesses in 100 days to speak with workers and business owners – it's easy to sense that Americans are frustrated.

Nearly five years into the Obama presidency, the workers who drive our economy see nothing but roadblocks coming out of Washington.

President Obama's health care law comes to mind.

It's driving up premiums, and forcing workers and their spouses out of plans that they like. Small companies say the taxes and government mandates make it more difficult for them to hire. Even doctors are warning that the law doesn't come close to addressing the real problems in our health care system.

It simply isn't working as promised – and the president knows it. He's already signed seven bills repealing or defunding parts of it. And he's been busy handing out waivers and delays.

Republicans want to protect everyone from this health care law so we can focus on step-by-step, patient-centered reforms that actually lower costs. We think it's only fair to give all Americans the same delay the president is giving to big businesses. But the president threatened to veto a bipartisan bill that would do so – why?

President Obama's energy policies are another concern.

Republicans have an all-of-the-above energy strategy that will help lower prices, boost manufacturing, and improve our national security. But the president is blocking efforts to create jobs and make energy more affordable. Case in point: the Keystone energy pipeline.

This month marks five years since the Keystone application was first filed. Since then, it's passed every environmental review. Labor unions want it. It's privately funded – no taxpayer dollars involved. And again, it has bipartisan support in Congress.

So why is the Obama administration still standing in the way of this 'shovel-ready' project?

Lastly, people in my district are also worried about the size and scope of the federal government. They're worried that the threat of higher taxes and the almost-endless stream of red tape are choking the engines of our economy.

Republicans want to get spending under control and simplify the tax code – making it flatter and fairer for everyone. And we've passed several jobs bills to eliminate excessive regulations and bring common-sense oversight to the regulatory process.

But the president is still pushing more of the same tax hikes and 'stimulus'-style policies that have left us with weak job growth, high prices, and stagnant paychecks. Again we have to ask: why?

If there's one thing I've heard a lot of these last few weeks, it's that people want Congress to focus on expanding opportunity instead of expanding the government.

That's the goal of the Republican jobs plan – and you can see it at gop.gov/jobs. It's focused on breaking down the government roadblocks that are hurting our economy, and putting Americans back in the driver's seat.

Because we want to make sure that the workers we're celebrating this weekend can keep doing what they do best: building. Creating. And preserving the American Dream for future generations.

Thank you for listening.


Filed under: House Republicans • President Obama
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. onlyfacts

    Gas and oil profits at all time high. Fracking is only growing. Mountain tops being removed all over W.V. At the same time wind energy is growing at a very fast rate, as well as solar. My premiums are going down! I will no longer have a "pre-existing condition". My taxes have gone down, as well as all my friends and family. Unemployment is at lowest point since recession, corporate profits at all time high. Fitzpatrick's "speech" sure sounds like a carbon copy of Rick Scott's load of misinformation from a few weeks ago. Some simple research of the facts will prove republicans are trying to mislead! FACT! Not opinion!

    August 31, 2013 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  2. Tampa Tim

    Typical republican crap. Despite all facts, the right wingnuts still cling to their anti American agenda. 38 attacks on women's rights and 40 attempts to repeal the ACA is not much of a jobs bill. Throw in their refusal to raise the minimum wage, and you have a party that should just keep their mouth shut on Labor Day Weekend.

    August 31, 2013 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  3. Tampa Tim

    Rep. Paul (Ayn) Ryan had a secret meeting with the Kochs in New Mexico, and our own FL governor Rick Scott also had a secret meeting with Charles and David. I guess the only secret is the marching orders given to them. Whatever their agenda, it is not good for Americans.

    August 31, 2013 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  4. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Where are the jobs,jobs,jobs,that the radical extememist winguts lied about in 2010?

    August 31, 2013 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    While I don't see either party doing much to improve jobs in America.........I think Obama is killing jobs.......not creating them.

    August 31, 2013 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  6. don in albuquerque

    The fact is (sad but true) the GOTP has no plan for jobs. They took the house on a jobs platform and have done, well, absolutely nothing but obstruct progress. Cut out all regulation, so they can finish destroying the planet (but the world economy first) for profit in the short term-fact is (sad but true) they could care less what happens to future generations or if they turned this planet into a block of dark, lifeless, rock floating in space. Their creed is too take care of me, today, and screw what happens in fifty years cause I'll probably be long dead anyway. The only thing the GOTP has shown us is they have the ability to stamp their feet, scream like a five year old, shake their fists at heaven and cry "ObamaCare", or their new favorite, "Benghazzzzi!" Oh, but in their favor they are pretty good at starting needless wars. Oh, and on a final note......Keystone Pipeline my butt.

    August 31, 2013 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  7. HenryMiller

    We've had half a decade of Obama and U3 and U6 unemployment are still scary high. It's time to dump what doesn't work and try something else.

    August 31, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  8. Winston Smith

    The only way a republican will fight for jobs for the people, is if the job pays minimal wages, and the company is allowed to take all profits off shore for maximum tax protection. And they have the guts to call themselves patriots.

    August 31, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  9. Marie MD

    Surprise! Another rethug using a law that has not completely gone into effect to bash Obamacare.
    What this PA rep should be doing is calling out his own party of JOBS, JOBS, JOBS on which they ran in 2010.
    We are on to you and your tetrolls. You will do anything to harm the country just as long as our President looks bad. It doesn't matter what you do nor do you care what happens to the millions of Americans without health care insurance.
    After all you and your crazy compatriots have almost free health care insurance at present and for life after you leave office. Why should any of your worry about medical insurance. You are over covered!

    August 31, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  10. jpmichigan

    The President is unable to leader so he does the only thing he is capable /able to do is campaign. It is his policies and ideology that has stagnated the economic front. He has painted himself in a corner regarding Syria. Disregarded Benghazi, the IRS, fast and furious etc. Time will show the American people just how wrong we were to elect this man.

    August 31, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  11. okie

    Rick McDaniel

    While I don't see either party doing much to improve jobs in America.........I think Obama is killing jobs.......not creating them.

    -------------------------------------------------

    And I suppose Mcconnel, cantor and Boehner are creating jobs?

    Both sides are to blame. Obama is trying, Not that I worship the man, but He was elected twice, and has been working a group that just says NO. When asked if they have any alternatives, the answer again is just No. I believe Newt just pointed that out recently.

    August 31, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  12. Gurgyl

    These idiots cry on Health Care–it is not killing jobs, these rethuglicans like Mitch McConnoll, Erick Cantor the thug, Borehead Bhoener are killing jobs in USA....

    August 31, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  13. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    The GOP has done nothing about hubs sence they got elected in 2010 running on jobs jobs jobs? You had your chance and haven't created one job. Your out in 2014 when you lose the house, GOP morons along with Rick the teatroll McDaniel !!!!

    August 31, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  14. Evergreen

    "Weak job growth" is better than no job growth. It is possible to have job growth and protect our water and air. . .it just takes the will to do so.

    August 31, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  15. Rich

    Right, the people see roadblocks, actually just one major roadblock, the Republicans in Congress.

    August 31, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  16. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Where's the jobs you ran on in 2010 GOP?????? And you think your going to keep the house in 2014 elections, forget about it losers!!!!!

    August 31, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  17. Getoverit

    @onlyfacts

    Gas and oil profits at all time high.
    ------
    And gas prices are still nearly $4 a gallon. You think this is good... how?

    August 31, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  18. Getoverit

    @Tampa Tim
    40 attempts to repeal the ACA is not much of a jobs bill.
    -----
    Explain to us how attempting to repeal a law that the majority of Americans are against is a bad thing.

    August 31, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  19. Getoverit

    @okie
    And I suppose Mcconnel, cantor and Boehner are creating jobs?
    -----
    Have a look in Harry Reid's trash can. You'll find those jobs bills you've been looking for.

    August 31, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  20. Gunderson

    Holy Fish Fry,
    Why all experts blasting republican's ? Everything OK. No? Things not so peachy in Paradise? Why Union's want to opt out? Killing 40 hour work week no? What your solution? Keep Putin Care, kill jobs?

    August 31, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  21. Thomas

    Mike Fitzpatrick = ENRON .

    August 31, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  22. just saying

    sad and pathetic.... five years after taking office all obama can do about jobs is talk and blather the same useless nonsense that has done nothing for 5 years. unemployment in the black community even higher now than when he took office. let's face reality, all obama knows how to do is grow the food stamp rolls. obamacare is designed to encourage part time employment and we are now seeing that in the numbers. obama doesn't have a clue about our economy and creating jobs. obama's 8 years will be known as the lost obama decade for this country. it will take this country several decades to recover from obama, if we can recover at all. in all honesty, the damage done might be too great to recover from. how do you undo 20,000 pages of obamacare rules and regulations that will cost us trillions that we do not have?

    August 31, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  23. rs

    By the total absence of Jobs bills in Congress, we know the Republicans don't care about that at all, so their complaints about Obama and jobs is pretty hollow. We see insurance costs dropping, we see more Americans able to get health insurance, and in the long run we know the ACA will save money- for Americans, insurance companies, municipalities, states and hospitals.
    That Republicans are against that speaks volumes for what they want to do to America and the middle class.
    The truth is the GOP has nothing- they are in Florida schmoozing with the Koch's, or re-upping their pledges to rich-guy Grover Norquist.

    August 31, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  24. jboh

    Why can't the TEA/GOP ever come up w/anything other than the same tired old talking points. How about an idea for a change. We can't stand anymore of propagandist Frank Luntz's clever phrases.

    August 31, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  25. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    The croch bros and the Moslem teaslag Grover nitwit quest are the death of the GOP, what are you going to do when you lose the house and senate and are totally out of power with by our loser teaparty losers and the croch bros, the garbage of America !!!!

    August 31, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
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