White House, Republicans push opposing economic agendas in weekly addresses
April 5th, 2014
12:23 PM ET
5 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. Marie MD

    Beam me up Scotty, you have anything to say about the $24BILLION your teaklans wasted when you shutdown the government?

    April 5, 2014 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  2. jonathan blakeney

    what is a racist like ted cruz going to mandelas funeral for!

    April 5, 2014 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  3. Retired Navy and proud patriot

    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?

    Why don't you check on Harry Reid's desk. I'm sure you'll find a few dozen bills that were passed in the house and fell into Reid's black hole.

    April 5, 2014 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  4. Retired Navy and proud patriot

    Sole responsibility of the minimum wage should fall onto the State. The federal government should stay out of it. What should be minimum wage in California should not be the same for Alabama. Totally different cost of living.

    April 5, 2014 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  5. HRC16

    All I know is my 401K looks a lot better than when Bush left office. If this is failure, sign me up for four more years. I will take this failure over "Mission Accomplished" any day.

    April 5, 2014 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  6. len

    Vote the GOP and Tea Party out in 2014....do not wait until 2016...vote in 2014

    April 5, 2014 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  7. wendell

    republicans refuse to accept the fact that the republican party is divide and can not function. They can not manage to pass a simple bill or come up with one good idea. The party of No is alive and well and costing the tax payers a fortune to support these clowns that do absolutely nothing but try to repeal Obama care and fight among themselves. Vote them all out. They are as dysfunctional as the ideas they put forth and the people they that come up with them. Vote them all out

    April 5, 2014 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  8. just me

    Just askin, congress has been split, not dem controlled, since 2010. And highest unemployment since the depression? Not even close. Check out Reagan's numbers.

    April 5, 2014 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  9. Chris-E...al

    rs@ Your living alll the things you posted in your comment above . Enjoy for a short time . This drink is on me . . .

    April 5, 2014 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  10. YoonYoungJo

    Enough with the wealthy tax cuts. Not suggesting we should tax the wealthy an arm and a leg but geez. If they can't buy that extra luxury car this year or a few years, they'll survive. Again I don't believe in taxing them through the roof either. That's one place the two sides could start. What is an appropriate tax level for the super wealthy. That doesn't tax them an arm and a leg but doesn't force massive cuts to social programs. I would consistently ask the wealthy to consider people who are not born with the advantages they were. And I don't just mean heritage. I mean born with the talents or abilities they possess. You need to consider there are many who just do not possess the abilities to assume management positions that pay more. Still many of them work 40 hours of hard labor each week. Should that not be rewarded? The elbow grease of labor is the engine of the economy. The elite may be the steering wheel but it is the blood and sweat if labor and min wage jobs that are the engine.

    April 6, 2014 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  11. YoonYoungJo

    And the tax code needs to consider the difference between wealthy and well off. 350K a year is vastly different then 1m a year and should be taxed differently.

    April 6, 2014 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  12. J.V.Hodgson

    Republican policies have already created a third world reality of over 35m Americans and have reduced food stamps opposed extending unemployment benefits don't want them to have any health care and cuts in education allowances affect millions of Americans. He wants states to manage job creation programs... but does not say where they get the budget from... increased state taxes?? on the middle class no doubt.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    April 6, 2014 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  13. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    rs nailed it. The GOP are running on nothing. They have nothing to offer.

    April 6, 2014 05:45 am at 5:45 am |
  14. Miami Mike

    We need to continue Obama's successful economy model.
    – keep unemployment over 6.5%
    – get more people to drop out of the job market to "lower" the unemployment rate
    – more people and more money to fund welfare
    – make it less feasible to hire with Obamacare employment taxes and minimum wage hikes
    – more money to support and comfort criminals who blatantly violated US immigration policies
    – more money for failed green companies

    We economic experts to describe the US economy as, "disappointing", "still recovering", "anemic", "poorly performing" for two more years.

    April 6, 2014 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  15. NameDana

    Its hard to fill a job that lists with "experience required" and no place wants to give you the experience.

    April 6, 2014 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  16. Gurgyl

    Raise minimum wage. Do not go to self-chech-outs, not buy movies in red-boxes–these are cutting employments greedily.

    April 6, 2014 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  17. Hector Slagg

    If you are happy with the Nanny State go no further. Keep trying to re-invent the old Soviet Union. That was a smashing success. Last but not least, get in your P.J's. You don't need nothin' else. Someone else will provide for you. Not sure who as no one will be "Making the trains run on time, but rejoice. You have it made!

    April 6, 2014 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  18. Lizzie

    The GOP Solution
    The GOP Solution: Turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Female, and Gay people into slaves.
    --the democrats solution, KEEP them poor, and make sure they stay slaves.

    April 6, 2014 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  19. bcrunner

    Where are the JOBS, JOBS, JOBS bills Republicans promised us in 2010. They have been in control now for 4 years. The only bills they passed was to repeal Obamacare.. they call that a jobs bill. So they have now passed 54 repeal Obamacare jobs bills. When I asked in the past where are the jobs bills, Republicans say they passed plenty. I went and searched for them. What I saw was bills to reduce regulations so that more coal ash can pollute our waters, more BP spills, more companies taking over people's land, less food safety and bills to reduce financial regulations to allow for even more financial crashes.. I know I have missed a few more....

    April 6, 2014 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  20. J Anthony

    Get it through your heads folks, both parties have sold us out, now it's just about the "lesser evil"...not exactly an acceptable standard. We need legislators that will stand up to the banks and plutocrats who are plunging us into a two-tier society. I don't see anyone in either party willing to go there, and if there are, they are ignored in the mainstream media.

    April 6, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  21. Lizzie

    bcrunner
    Where are the JOBS, JOBS, JOBS bills Republicans promised us in 2010. They have been in control now for 4 years.
    -- CONTROL?? The house but not the senate Harry Reid and the democrats have that in hand and not just for a few years, but apparently you have forgotten that those bills passed by the house went into the wastebasket of Harry Reid.

    April 6, 2014 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  22. Lizzie

    NATHAN WIMBERLY
    rs nailed it. The GOP are running on nothing. They have nothing to offer.
    -what are the democrats running on, bow before us, we are the ones who promise you heaven on earth, no jobs, don't worry, the government will supply everything you need.

    April 6, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  23. Winston Smith

    Yes, and when they push their agenda the wealthy get what they want and you get the crumbs, if any crumbs remain.

    April 6, 2014 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  24. just me

    Bcrunner, you are spot on. The repubs passed these poison pill bills knowing they had no chance of becoming law. Then they can tell their base " Gee, we tried ..." Not one serious jobs bill has come out of the house.

    April 6, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  25. Tampa Tim

    The house is sitting on the bipartisan senate jobs bill and the bipartisan senate immigration bill, while the only thing to come out of the house is 54 attempts to repeal ACA, a government shutdown, and a few dozen attacks on women's rights. House Republican legislation is not worth the paper it is written on.

    April 6, 2014 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
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