June 19th, 2010
10:58 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama takes on Senate GOP's 'dreary and familiar politics'

Washington (CNN) - President Obama used his weekly internet and radio address to spotlight what he called "a dreary and familiar politics" on the part of Senate Republicans.

Related: Mississippi Republican slams Obama over oil spill response

"I know the political season is upon us in Washington," Obama says. "But gridlock as a political strategy is destructive to the country. Whether we are Democrats or Republicans, we’ve got an obligation that goes beyond caring about the next election. We have an obligation to care for the next generation. So I hope that when Congress returns next week, they do so with a greater spirit of compromise and cooperation. America will be watching."

(Read Obama's full remarks after the jump)

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Weekly Address
Washington, DC

At this moment, our nation is facing a host of big and difficult challenges. And more than anything else, what’s required to meet those challenges right now is a sense of cooperation and common purpose among our leaders. What we need is a willingness in Washington to put the public’s interests first – a willingness to score fewer political points so that we can start solving more problems.

That’s why I was disappointed this week to see a dreary and familiar politics get in the way of our ability to move forward on a series of critical issues that have a direct impact on people’s lives.

In the United States Senate, we have legislation that would boost our economic recovery and help Americans who’ve been affected by the worst recession in generations. We’ve certainly made progress since we were losing 750,000 jobs per month around the time I took office. Our economy is growing again, and we’ve added jobs for five straight months. But there are still millions of Americans out of work, and millions more who are struggling to pay the bills. The legislation in the Senate right now would extend unemployment benefits to those workers who lost their job through no fault of their own. It would provide relief to struggling states that would help save the jobs of thousands of teachers and cops and firefighters. There are also provisions in this legislation that would extend the tax credit for first-time homebuyers, as well as tax cuts to keep research and development jobs here in the United States.

Unfortunately, the Republican leadership in the Senate won’t even allow this legislation to come up for a vote. And if this obstruction continues, unemployed Americans will see their benefits stop. Teachers and firefighters will lose their jobs. Families will pay more for their first home.

All we ask for is a simple up or down vote. That’s what the American people deserve. Just like they deserve an up or down vote on legislation that would hold oil companies accountable for the disasters they cause – a vote that is also being blocked by the Republican leadership in the Senate. Right now, the law places a $75 million cap on the amount oil companies must pay to families and small businesses who suffer economic losses as a result of a spill like the one we’re witnessing in the Gulf Coast. We should remove that cap. But the Republican leadership won’t even allow a debate or a vote.

And as we speak today, 136 men and women who I’ve nominated for key positions in the federal government are awaiting a vote on the floor of the Senate. All are highly qualified. Very few are controversial. The vast majority already have support from both parties. But most of them are seeing their nominations intentionally delayed by Republican leaders, or even blocked altogether. They cannot get a vote. What this means is that, at a moment when our country is facing so many challenges – a time when we need all hands on deck – we cannot get the qualified people we need to start the jobs they were appointed to do.

Look, the nature of our democracy is that we’ll always have disagreements and debates - even heated ones. That’s healthy and it’s important. But let’s argue over genuine differences – over ideas and policies. And let’s go into those debates with an open mind – a willingness to find common ground and a conviction that, in the end, one way or another, we will have a vote to decide them. Next week, I’ll be meeting with a bipartisan group of Senators to discuss how we can transition away from our dependence on fossil fuels and embrace a clean energy future. I don’t expect that we’ll agree on a solution right away. In fact, I know that there will be plenty of disagreement and different ideas. But at least it shows that Republicans and Democrats can still sit down together in an attempt to tackle the big challenges facing our nation.

I know the political season is upon us in Washington. But gridlock as a political strategy is destructive to the country. Whether we are Democrats or Republicans, we’ve got an obligation that goes beyond caring about the next election. We have an obligation to care for the next generation. So I hope that when Congress returns next week, they do so with a greater spirit of compromise and cooperation. America will be watching.


Filed under: GOP • Popular Posts • President Obama • Senate
soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. NYT:"during this election cycle big oil has paid 12.8 million in contributions, 71% to Republicans"!

    Yes, as the cons continue to prove daily, "Big Oil First, Country, oh Hell, who cares"?

    June 19, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    Rick McDaniel says that President Obama has reached across the isle.

    What rock have you been living under, Rick? The Republicans have said NO to everything.

    You and they need to accept that you are not the party in power; YOU are the ones who need to compromise.

    YOU lost in 2008. YOU do not control things. Wanting everything your way or the highway does nothing but hurt our country and its people.

    Until you and the GOP can grow the F up and put our country ahead of your own political ambitions, there will be no bipartisanship.

    June 19, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  3. Larry

    Obama is the BEST thing that has happened in this country in a very, very long time

    And I personally feel, those that think otherwise, are delusional

    June 19, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  4. Discernment


    While the President was doing a political imitation of Muhammad Ali's "Rope-a-Dope"; Liberal Democrats were having a "psycho-hissie fit" blaming Obama for being too weak on BP.

    So President 'Joe (Obama) Cool' walks into a 20-minute meeting with BP and walks out with:

    (a.) – continued termination of oil company tax breaks (aka corporate welfare);
    (b.) – continued 6-month (temporary) moratorium on offshore oil drilling until experts can confirmed what caused the BP explosion that killed 11 and destroyed the Gulf;
    (c.) – secured $20,000,000,000.00 (Billion) for thousands of Gulf States citizens and small businesses impacted by BP disasters;
    (d.) – secured $100,000,000.00 (Million) for out-of-work oil-riggers;
    (e.) – pressed BP to terminate it stock dividend give-away so that it can handle its responsibilities to the Gulf Sates citizens;
    (f.) – removed BP from the claims process because they have a conflict of interest and will drag the process;
    (g.) – forced BP to apologize from the Whitehouse to Gulf State citizens;
    (h.) – more power given to Presidential appointment Adm. Thad Allen to lead as the Whitehouse point man in Gulf State disaster recovery.

    (a.) – Liberal Democrats freak out and loose their cool and want to burn torches and riot;
    (2.) – hypocritical Republican-GOP lie on you while hiding their 8-year support of Bush/Cheney shredding of oil drilling regulations that led directly to this BP catastrophe.

    June 19, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    Dave: What exactly is President Obama's "radical plan" for our country?

    Reforming health care? Richard Nixon called for health care for every American back in 1971, because he believed,

    "Without adequate health care, no one can make full use of his or her talents and opportunities."

    Check out the 7 principles he proposed, including how the system he proposed would, "it builds on the strength and diversity of our existing public and private systems of health financing and harmonizes them into an overall system."

    Do an Internet search on Richard Nixon health care and read it for yourself.

    June 19, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  6. Randall in Torrance, CA (USN - Retired) - Obama was sent by God to fix every evil thing that Jarge Bush and the Republicans have done against God, country and humanity

    Republicans will never change from their relentless pursuit of greed, wealth, exploitation of scarce natural resources, their hatred of the middle-class (as BP exec calls us "the small ones"). Damn the Republicans! Obama must put an end to every dumb ass destructive policy enacted by the GOP led congress when Retard of the Century, JArge Bush was "acting" President. America nearly collapsed because of banking dereulation and now non-regulation of the oil industry. Enough is enough. Never trust a Republican. They are a disease and Obama is the GOD SENT CURE whether Palin, Fox News, or Senator Bonehead Boehner likes it or not.

    Republicans are maggots.

    June 19, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  7. Marie MD

    Come November the rethugs are going to pay for being in love with BP (it's in print, you can't hide from it), the death panels (we know from which dead brain that one came from), the limberger and girly beck making fun of an 11 year old, the healthcare reform which, BTW, Nixon, a repug no less, wanted to implement in 1974.
    Anyone who is calling the President obozo and saying he is dumb and stupid and the worst president ever should look in the mirror because the dumb a$$ is you and the repugs and the teabaggers who can't find their way out of a paper bag. You probably think the shrub could have walked in water in the Gulf which is now, thanks to his administration, immersed in oil.

    June 19, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  8. philthetruth

    Dreary and familiar is better than the 0-hole. The man's a deluded fool, so is anyone who still supports him...

    June 19, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  9. Charlie in Maine

    You know what? Saying the same tired lies about our President over and over does not make them true. If you Obamaphobes out there have better ideas let's here them. Y'all remind me of those kids in high school who did not put in the effort to read the book and then during discussions talked about how bad it was. Without any facts to back it up you declare him a joke. Sorry folks but the more you complain about nothing, the more you are the joke.
    The biggest problem is that some day, human nature being what it is, Obama will mess up on something. When you complain then, when it would actually do some good, like the boy who cried wolf, no one will listen to you.

    June 19, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  10. Bob

    I read people here call the Republicans the party of no. Why? The current Democratically controlled congress, since 2007, has consistently told everyone around them that disagrees with them NO. No you can not have a seat at the table. No you can't be part of the discussions with the WH. No, we will not yield to any of your demands. No, we are not going to listen to the will of the people. I think that Liberals have this backwards. The Democrats in my mind are the true party of no.

    June 19, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  11. Bill in CA.

    There exists right now, a TOTAL disconnect between DC and the rest of the country...and I blame BOTH parties for this. People on both sides of the aisle are out for one thing and one thing only....THEMSELVES!!! By voting against ALL incumbents and removing this GREED that exists as well as the "We know what's best for you" attitude toward the taxpayers, then we may possibly see a "change" in the way things get done in Washington...alas, that may be too much to hope for. What is next if this does not happen???....anarchy maybe... and it won't be pretty.

    June 19, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. thor

    A president that acts like a spoiled child instead of an adult is what we have now.Instesd of trying to move this country forward with sensible policies he puts forward legislation that he knows is divisive and blames the Republicans for not going along with his foolishness.He has used the destrution in the Gulf to try to pass a Cap and Trade bill that will put more people out of work and increase everyone's energy costs.Instead of trying to clean up the mess he wants to have as much damage as possible so that he can blame big oil and rally people to pass what is now an unpopular bill.

    June 19, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  13. Marty, FL

    President Obama correctly called on both parties for common purpose "...whether we are Democrats or Republicans..."

    Enough of the obstruction when our fellow Americans' livelihood depends on passing much-needed legislation.

    June 19, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  14. KO

    The Republicans only care about taking down Obama and getting back in power. They could care less about the problems being faced by the American people. They have literally accomplished nothing in the last two years, and drove the country and economy into the ground when they were in power from 2000 to 2006. Obama is just telling the truth when he rips them.

    June 19, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  15. Ridgeway

    "Dreary"? I looked up the definition and it simply said two and a half more years of the Obama presidency. Synamous with "bleak".

    June 19, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  16. Don Wuerl

    There's a lot of things that we all agree on; all of those ideals are in the Constitution! As long as the members of Congress-House and Senate-allow themselves to be bought by corporate heathens; then, we may just have to buy those ideals-clean air,water, and pristine land!
    A very famous person did state about a couple thousand years ago and it still holds true today, "Treat others as you yourself would wish to be treated." Regardless what side of the political spectrum you happen to be on; we should be thinking about future generations without forgetting our ancesters. If we can do away with the economic price of doing something it would look perfect to all of us; unfortunately its not in the budget!

    June 19, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  17. leanderjim

    Dave.........how can you continue being ignorant, obstinate and just plain unaware of facts. It is you and your party that President Obama is addressing here. Recognize yourself, remember that you are an American, and behave like one.

    June 19, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  18. Dave R.

    The Republican party is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall Street, Insurance co's, big oil and the big (little) 3. Their version of free market enterprise without any strong oversight and accountability is what lead to the failures in all four of these industries that the country has experienced.

    June 19, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  19. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    When the far-left refuses to compromise on its vision of establishing a culture of dependency in America, of creating an abyss of debt from which the country will be able to emerge with difficulty if at all, of endlessly eroding the rights of Americans to make their own decisions, they can expect no compromise or cooperation from those of us to whom those philosophies are utterly, profoundly, repugnant. When the far-left dismisses with contempt the proposals of those whose ideals differ from their own, the can expect no other behaviour in return.

    We do have obligations that go beyond the next election; we do have obligations to the next generation. But neither of these imply an obligation to rubber-stamp the policies of the far-left we believe imperil the country's future and impose possibly insurmountable hardships on our children.

    June 19, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  20. Don of Iowa

    I think most of the country except for Tea Baggers and tired dyed in the wool Republicans are all getting tired of the same ole story and rhetoric of the lame Republican party, They find it hard to defend their corporate interests to the American public because of how badly the American public has been taken advantage of recently by those same corporate thugs so instead the turn to the same old tired and lame tactics of attacking anything and everything the President or Democrats do hoping that if you throw up enough BS people will lose track of what the real issue is. This may work for their tired and lame constituency but Republicans are aging quickly, the deeply conservatives raised in the 50s are quickly dieing off and the rest of the country which pays attention to the real issues and does not buy into the lame Republican BS is growing very tired of these lame and rediculous DO NOTHING BUT BITCH AND WHINE TACTICS of the lamest political party in the history of the US, The GOP=Greedy Old Pigs! If it were not for hatred, bigotry, corporate interests and gun toting whacko nutjobs there would not be enough Republicans to vote in a local dog catcher, this is the party of Hatred that hates everything but white christian gun toting bubbas!

    June 19, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  21. Tom

    Now Dave knows how I felt during 8 years of Bush/Cheney. There
    has never been a bigger mistake in our nation's history than the
    election of those two.

    June 19, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  22. Gary, Hunt Valley, Md.

    all you GOP supporters and apologists out there, let's try an exercise: Name one idea, one policy position your party supports without using the words NO or DON'T or STOP or FILIBUSTER or TAX CUTS for the WEALTHY. Take your time......take a little more time.....actually you could take a week and you'd still come up with nothing. your "leaders" are intellectually bankrupt. your party is governed by corporate whores and naysayers who thirst for one thing and one thing only, and that is power. When you take your lead from people such as Palin, Rush, Hannity and a Tea Party (speaking of no ideas), you have no place to go but down a little further.

    June 19, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  23. Marcus

    Rick McDaniel – He went back on that promise? Really?
    Either you truly believe that we all have forgotten the attempts to negociate with the (proud of being called that) 'Party of NO' or you have forget that.
    Either way... you have some serious problem.

    Dave – So far he has not done one single thing that can allow a impeachment process to start. So far he can only be called 'slow-motion-reactor' if such word exists and in specific situations that had happened with and without his fault. So far he has proven that THE MAJORITY of the country did the right thing by voting in him for president.
    But, if I am not mistaken, you're that birther that denies the existence of a ruling of the SCOTUS, from 1939 if I am not mistaken, that is one of the many arguments against the paranoid and silly 'He is not American' mantra of the birthers... like you, am I wrong?

    June 19, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  24. Minnesotan

    Why do Republicans hate America and Americans? They only work for themselves, their corporate overlords and the delusional religious nuts.

    June 19, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  25. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    President Obama needs to tell Republicans that in a wake of a national diaster such as the oil spill "YOU'RE EITHER WITH THE AMERICAN PEOPLE OR YOU'RE AGAINST US". Remember 9/11 disaster we were with the President.

    June 19, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
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