Obama in weekly address: Frustration with Washington understandable
October 19th, 2013
12:04 PM ET
10 months ago

Obama in weekly address: Frustration with Washington understandable

President Obama used his weekly address on Saturday to once again address Americans' frustration with policymakers in Washington, saying, not for the first time, that "there were no winners" in the protracted conflicts over the debt ceiling and the partial government shutdown.

"At a time when our economy needs more growth and more jobs, the manufactured crises of these last few weeks actually harmed jobs and growth," the president said. "And it's understandable that your frustration with what goes on in Washington has never been higher."

Obama did not directly call out Republicans for their role in the shutdown as he has in other recent statements, but rather he used the address to push forward on his second term agenda. Specifically, the president called for Congress to pass a budget that promotes economic growth, to move forward on immigration reform and to pass a new farm bill.

None of these items will be easy achievements for the president.

Congress has not passed a budget in four years, and the two political parties have vastly different budget proposals on the table.

The Democrats' plan calls for increased tax revenue and spending on a number of social programs that Republicans would like to see cut. In his address, the president makes an appeal for new investments aimed at growing the economy.

"There is no choice between growth and fiscal responsibility," Obama said. "We need both. So we're making a serious mistake if a budget doesn't focus on what you're focused on: creating more good jobs that pay better wages. If we're going to free up resources for the things that help us grow - education, infrastructure, research - we should cut what we don't need, and close corporate tax loopholes that don't help create jobs."

The president's appeal for immigration reform also will fall on deaf ears for many House Republicans who are unwilling to support any plan that would provide a pathway to citizenship for the nearly 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

Passing a new farm bill would be another tall order. Negotiations faltered earlier in the year over funding for food stamps, which Republicans want to see cut.

The president acknowledged the political difficulties these bills face, but he emphasized the need to move forward on discussions.

"We won't suddenly agree on everything now that the cloud of crisis has passed," Obama said. "But we shouldn't hold back on places where we do agree just because we don't think it's good politics, or just because the extremes in our parties don't like compromise. I'll look for willing partners from either party to get important work done."


Filed under: Budget • Immigration • President Obama
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Call or Email Former GOP Sen. Jim DeMint, president of the right-leaning Heritage Foundation,

    And tell him to get a real job , maybe doing something other then destroying America !

    Then Tax his Ass for the 30 billon it cost the American people over his foundations support of Ted Cruz !

    Financial responsibility and Fiscal spending is not in the TeaParty mantra !

    October 19, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  2. Grego

    It's his frustration, not mine. He was the one that got mad and took his kickball home and let the Govt shut down.

    October 19, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  3. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ conservatives,the garbage of America.

    The solution is simple , kick the incompetent GOP teaparty trash out of the house and give it to the dems because the GOP has proven their not interested in governing , only obstruction of Obama and the GOP and the croch bros just cost you and me 24 billon dallars, the goverment should put liens on all their assets and the NRC also!!!!!!

    October 19, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. Hector Slagg

    Well,
    I understand those 5 year plans in the old Soviet Union were pretty frustrating too. But it IS in the 5 year plan. Let's see how the r year plan work's here.

    October 19, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  5. buongiorno

    It's not over till the fat lady sings

    October 19, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  6. Harold Richards

    Congratulations Obama!!! You got the US debt over $17 Trillion! Truly an accomplishment! The interest alone will ensure China's growth and prosperity for generations!

    October 19, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  7. barryinlasvegas

    What the hell is he talking about – HE IS WASHINGTON.

    It amazes me that this guy tries to pretend that he doesn't work in Washington or is responsible for running the government. It's time for him to lead from in front instead of leading from behind. But then – without a teleprompter to read a prepared speech from – he can't function,

    The other thing it is time for his to take responsibility. He can't blame Bush on Obamacare's huge failure, huge costs increases to insurance premiums and deductible doubling and tripling in cost – to say nothing about the inability to sign up on a web site that so far has cost $300 million.

    October 19, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  8. Liz the First

    I hope the American people are getting educated on which party is trying to work for them and move this country and ALL its citizens forward and which party is trying to undo all the progress we've made over the past few decades. this shutdown should have been all the education anyone but the dimmest bulb in the box needs. anyone who votes republican votes for dysfunctional government and economic disaster. they vote for people to die because they couldn't get insurance. for their children and their children to live through the horror of rampant climate change. for more and more division in the country at a time when we should all be pulling together to fix the major problems we have. republicans proved this month that they cannot and will not govern. let's hope this lesson sticks with us through the next election. REMEMBER THE SHUTDOWN should be the rallying cry of every Dem candidate.

    October 19, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Stay the course Mr. President.

    October 19, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  10. Larry in Houston

    take a look at his hair – I'll bet a dime to a dollar, that he ain't putting any hair color on it. I can understand his frustration. figures, with the dysfunctional people, they have in D.C.

    October 19, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  11. Geordie

    Frustated alright..... , with Washington , congress and you Mr. President.
    Where is the transparancy you promised and you have lost credibility as nobody in your administration takes responsibility and shows accountability for their failed actions .
    Worst presidency in history , even Carter did better .

    October 19, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  12. Winston Smith

    Mr President, you have no idea just how frustrated many are. We (the people), are not accustomed to our "so called leaders" being so dumb. We kinda like to believe, when we go to the polls that we are getting the best person for the job. Turns out that many were sent to congress, for no other reason than to be obstructive, argumentative and yes sometimes agitators for special interest groups. We deserve better, and it's a possibility that the next midterms are going to see quite a dust up for a few that believe they are safe in their job(s). The sooner this happens the better.

    October 19, 2013 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  13. Harold Richards

    So looks like Obama endorces people that blatantly broke the law (US Code 8 Section 1325).
    If his implementation of his Amnesty Bill goes as well as Obamacare, we might as well raise the Mexican flag over the White House.

    October 19, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  14. Stuffit

    Frustration with the most corrupt, corrosive, polarizing president this country has ever had is understandable. We have a group of hard working, tax paying American citizen getting tired and frustrated about paying the bills for his dope addicted, welfare fraud followers and getting called names by the liberals and the undereducated media who cannot accept personal responsibility for their lives.

    October 19, 2013 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  15. golemmingsgo2013

    Compromise is the word of the day but i dont think we will see it. the economy is geting better so maybe it is time to wheen some people off food stamps as for immigration a pathway is alright but step by step process is in order and they have to follow the law like getting insurence on their cars and lets face it we cant add 12 million to SSI So come up with a comprmise and every state needs infrastrucre work done I wonder if it can be done and every body gets to take credit for the country doing better the Rs never got credit when they helped pass welfare reform and the way they are going they wont get credit when people find out life is getting better its not great but it is getting better

    October 19, 2013 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  16. RD

    He shows no leadership qualities whatsoever, why work with him now. He needs to take some accountability for where this country stands today and it's path to a "lost Decade" as far as job growth and middle class prosperity.

    October 20, 2013 06:01 am at 6:01 am |