White House, Republicans push opposing economic agendas in weekly addresses
April 5th, 2014
12:23 PM ET
6 months ago

White House, Republicans push opposing economic agendas in weekly addresses

(CNN) - In their weekly addresses, the White House and the Republican Party described different visions for how to fix an economy that still struggles to show consistent growth.

Friday's monthly jobs report showed the economy picking up slightly after a lull over the winter, but signaled that a healthy jobs market is still years away.

President Obama, in his weekly address from the White House, pushed for job creation and training, access to education and raising the minimum wage, while Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, in the GOP's weekly address, blamed Democrats for an approach that he says throws "billions of dollars each year" at problems in the job market without making fundamental improvements.

"We should without a doubt make sure folks get a hand up, but more importantly, that they have a solid foundation on which to stand," Scott said.

He criticized Democrats for blocking his amendment to the Senate unemployment insurance bill this week. He said that there are 4 million jobs that employers cannot fill, because of a lack of training for potential employees, and that federal job training programs are ineffective.

"Let's give states and localities the flexibility they need to develop targeted plans to help low-income families, young folks, those with disabilities and, of course, the unemployed, the long-term unemployed and the underemployed," Scott said.

"And instead of watching 4 million jobs sit empty, let's make sure those who want to work are learning the skills they need to succeed."

Obama also pushed for job training programs in his address but focused on attacking the Republican budget plan proposed by Republican House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan.

The plan, titled "The Path to Prosperity,” aims to balance the federal budget in a decade while starting to contain the national debt.

However, it also changes Medicare and significantly cuts social programs like food stamps.

"It shrinks opportunity and makes it harder for Americans who work hard to get ahead," Obama said in his address.

He said the tax cuts for wealthier households in the Republican budget would result in higher taxes for middle-class families with children and cuts to investment in education and scientific research.

Coming off a week that showed positive signs for enrollment in the Affordable Care Act, Obama also hit Republicans for continuing to push for its repeal.

"Unsurprisingly, the Republican budget also tries to repeal the Affordable Care Act, even though that would take away health coverage from the more than 7 million Americans who've done the responsible thing and signed up to buy health insurance."

Obama ended on what he sees as the fundamental difference between the Republicans’ approach and his own: a focus on the middle class.

"Our economy doesn't grow best from the top down; it grows best from the middle out. That's what my opportunity agenda does, and it's what I'll keep fighting for."

– CNN’s Cassie Spodak contributed to this report.


Filed under: Economy • GOP • Jobs • President Obama • Republican • Tim Scott • unemployment
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Vence

    Good news for the country means bad news for Republicans! They are mad this week.

    April 5, 2014 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  2. Tampa Tim

    The Scott Amendment requires a 40 hour work week in order to get health care benefits, up from the current 30 hours. Not sure what that has to do with extending unemployment benefits, but I can see why this stupidity is blocked by democrats.

    April 5, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  3. Chris-E...al

    They should bring jobs home from China ! We the U.S. has a 60 bil dollar trade deficit in world trade ! Dont worry about the not so ACa it will fail in time ! Probably shortly after the 2016 elections by design ' 0f course '

    April 5, 2014 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  4. Name jk. Sfl. THE KOCH BROTHERS GOP STOOGES PARTY NEEDS to be VOTED OUT IN NOVEMBER !!!!

    Well the GOP clowns and STOOGES are for the 1% and the dems are for the 99%, I don't know why any republicans except the 1% would even vote for the GOP because they DONT EVEb REPRESENT YOU

    April 5, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  5. Winston Smith

    I just read a headline that stated that congress,believes they are underpaid. If this is where the economic divide is being generated, the people of the nation need to state their opposition to any raise, or further compensation for the congress of the United States. When this was read, it was believed to be a joke. It's not. Talk about out of touch with reality.

    April 5, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  6. The right wing have lost their damned minds

    Republicans have no business putting anything out there as far as jobs...We all know what happened to the jobs market from the year 2000-2008.

    April 5, 2014 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  7. rs

    Meanwhile of course Republicans throw away billions of taxpayer dollars on their senseless anti-government shutdowns, and millions of dollars on senseless "investigative hearings" that inevitably turn up nothing.

    It is very, very hard to give the GOP any financial credibility when they still are the "cut-taxes-and-spend" party.

    April 5, 2014 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  8. rs

    Republican budgets- the path to redistributing all of the wealth in the United States to the 1%. Their lack of humanity, their lack of concern for average Americans whether it be overly, nutrition, education, health care or civil rights is simply unconscionable and not at all in the spirit of America or patriotism.

    April 5, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. Smitty

    More lip service about jobs from Obumbles, didn't he say he had shovel ready jobs after his stimulis??? Its got to suck being a dem and having such a failure for a leader.

    April 5, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  10. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Barack Obama will be rated as one of our most outstanding Presidents!

    April 5, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  11. Name jk. Sfl. THE KOCH BROTHERS GOP STOOGES PARTY NEEDS to be VOTED OUT IN NOVEMBER !!!!

    As for the GOP economy, we DONT WANT ANY!!!!!gop, call up the croch brothers and get your instructions!!!!!

    April 5, 2014 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  12. rla

    According to Obamas statement opportunity resides with the government– Amazing how distorted a view can arise from a Chicago pol whose only interest is keeping control so he can waste more money

    April 5, 2014 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  13. just asking

    Friday's monthly jobs report showed the economy picking up slightly after a lull over the winter, but signaled that a healthy jobs market is still years away.
    -–

    5.5 years later and this is the projection... still years away. in other words, a healthy jobs market won't occur until obama leaves office. 8 years of economic failure with the highest unemployment we have seen since the great depression. so when 2016 rolls around, we will have had 10 years of democrats controlling congress and 8 years of obama and the economy will still be stagnant and jobs growth stagnant. that is what far left democrat socialist policies get you america. if you want more and more of this, keep electing these far left democrats and pretty soon we'll be a third world nation.

    April 5, 2014 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  14. Name jk. Sfl. THE KOCH BROTHERS GOP STOOGES PARTY NEEDS to be VOTED OUT IN NOVEMBER !!!!

    Get elected GOP clowns, we don't want ANY of your 1% RYAN BUDGET. When you have a former HOTDOG CAR DRIVER as your budget GURU or CZAR,with 0 EXPErIENCE, DONT EXPECT TO BE REALECTED!!!ryan ,The FUTURE HOT DOG CAR DRIVER WONT BE, but he probably can get a job as a Koch stooge in Koch industries, oh forget it , he already HAS that JOB!!!!

    April 5, 2014 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  15. ChrisM

    Sorry repubs, your policies of opposition do nothing to help the American people. You have nothing to offer . bye bye

    April 5, 2014 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. Donna

    President Obama, in his weekly address from the White House, pushed for job creation and training, access to education and raising the minimum wage,
    -–

    Wow, Obama pushed for job creation and training! That is really nice of him! But ALL of his policies are anti-business and anti-growth which is why we are stuck in the Obama jobless stagnant economy. Education? Great... so they can be unemployed when they get out and in debt up to the neck? Minimum wage increase? At a loss of 500,000-1,000,000 jobs.

    Typical clueless socialist community organizer drivel from our idiot president who hasn't learned a damn thing in 5.5 years. Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? Well, it appears Obama is totally insane by the measure.

    April 5, 2014 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  17. drushsean

    Alert!!!! State Dept. misplaced $6B under Hillary Clinton: IG report The media are burying this story of course.

    April 5, 2014 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  18. Rick McDaniel

    Obama is forever, the Con Man.

    April 5, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  19. rs

    Donna
    President Obama, in his weekly address from the White House, pushed for job creation and training, access to education and raising the minimum wage,
    -–

    Wow, Obama pushed for job creation and training! That is really nice of him! But ALL of his policies are anti-business and anti-growth which is why we are stuck in the Obama jobless stagnant economy. Education? Great... so they can be unemployed when they get out and in debt up to the neck? Minimum wage increase? At a loss of 500,000-1,000,000 jobs.
    ------
    First off Donna at no time in American history has an increase in the minimum wage caused job loss. Never!
    Secondly, just what has the GOP and the least productive Congress EVER do about jobs? How many jobs bills have they passed?

    I believe the answer is zero.

    April 5, 2014 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  20. rs

    Truth is: the GOP has nothing to run on.
    The Ryan budget kicks the poor and elderly to the curb. The GOP had 5 years to come up with a way to fix their Bush crash of '08, and they wiffed out. No jobs bills, no recovery bills- just more tax cuts for the rich.
    Under President Obama, we've had 4 + years of job growth (more jobs created than under Mr. Bush), the stock market has gone up 100% (so much for Obama being "anti-business"); 7 + Americans have affordable heath insurance, and; the GOP's disastrous wars are almost over.
    The GOP has nothing, the GOP is nothing.

    April 5, 2014 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  21. texasnotea

    Republicans only know how to sell " the sky is falling," "the sky is falling"!!!! After that, they stand for nothing and are against everything. The tea party is a lie! The tea party message is a lie!!! I f the tea party was for real, they would have showed up when dub'ya was spending the country into oblivion but they only appeared AFTER Obama was elected. And have spent the last five years telling us that because of Obama, "the sky is falling". Really????? Where????? Truth is, if it wasn't for Obama, we might just be sleeping under a bridge in a cardboard box. Obamacare is working for millions and millions of Americans and along the way to getting quality affordable healthcare insurance have realized the republicans are lying, not the President.

    April 5, 2014 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  22. Gurgyl

    The bottom line, bring in manufacture–stop greed. Bring in call center jobs, cut immigration too. Wind energy etc needed. Pump more fuel efficient cars. Cut prices on food items, oil. These things are must. Focus on Agriculture.

    April 5, 2014 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  23. Donna

    rs
    First off Donna at no time in American history has an increase in the minimum wage caused job loss. Never!
    Secondly, just what has the GOP and the least productive Congress EVER do about jobs? How many jobs bills have they passed?
    --

    The Republican House has passed bill after bill after bill only to have dirty Harry Reid refuse to vote on them and block them. All because they don't want to show that Republican economic policies work, unlike the 5.5 years of Obama/Democrat failure. The ONLY reason the unemployment rate is down is because MILLIONS have stopped looking for jobs and dropped out of the workforce. Unemployment would be around 10-11% if the workforce was the same size as it was a few years ago.

    And about the minimum wage costing jobs, that is something you need to take up with the CBO. That is their estimate. Of course, Democrats never know how to deal with facts and figures. That is how you get record unemployment for record time as well as record debt and deficits. 5.5 years of failure.

    I know reality is very tough for you Obamabots to swallow, but the numbers are finally starting to sink in with the American people. Obama's endless speeches and finger pointing just isn't fooling anybody anymore.

    April 5, 2014 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  24. g

    in the good old days the plant was always down the street ready to put its lights back on after a down turn ,thanks to american job shippers and the republican party they are now parking lots

    April 5, 2014 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  25. J Anthony

    @Donna, just asking,etc.: if you actually paid attention to how Obama governed, you would see he is hardly "far left"...he is,in fact, a Clintonian centrist, and under his watch the plutocrats hae never had it better. We've been yanked so far to the right in this country since Reagan that even he'd be considered too liberal for today's Repubs. You people have seriously deluded yourselves.

    April 5, 2014 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
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