Economy at center stage in weekly addresses
January 26th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
9 years ago

Economy at center stage in weekly addresses

(CNN) - It's all about the economy.

President Barack Obama and Sen. John Thune's points could hardly be more different, but each argued Saturday in their weekly address that their proposal would benefit the economy.

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Obama pushed in his weekly address for the Senate to consider - and confirm - two nominations he advanced Thursday: Mary Jo White to lead the Security and Exchange Commission and Richard Cordray for the top Consumer Financial Protection Bureau spot.

Thune, a South Dakota Republican and chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, called for Senate Democrats to draft and pass a budget.

Should White be confirmed, it would mark her return to public service from private practice. Before going to private practice, she worked for nine years as a top prosecutor in New York whose territory included Wall Street. Her office's convictions included terrorism and racketeering crimes and high-profile cases. Since 2002 she has practiced privately, defending companies from the SEC.

Cordray has led the CFPB since 2011 on a recess appointment from Obama, after the Senate would not vote on his nomination. But his appointment is running out, and a federal court decision on Friday regarding similar recess appointments puts into question Cordray's legitimacy without confirmation on the job.

"Here in America, we know the free market is the greatest force for economic progress the world has ever known," Obama said. "But we also know the free market works best for everyone when we have smart, commonsense rules in place to prevent irresponsible behavior. ...

"We also need cops on the beat to enforce the law," he continued.

The president suggested their confirmation would help him "fight for middle-class families and give every American the tools they need to reach the middle class."

Thune advocated for the Democratic-led Senate to consider and pass a budget, which he and other Republicans have pointed out has not happened for four years.

“Reducing our spending and debt will jump start our economy and create jobs and opportunities for American families and workers," he said.

Led by House Speaker John Boehner, Republicans have pointed out how long it has been since Democrats passed a budget - back then, Thune pointed out, "the iPad didn't even exist!"

When budget votes were held in the houses last spring, they were considered symbolic measures.

"The lack of a clear spending blueprint has enabled billions of dollars in wasteful spending and massive growth in the size of government," he said.

The government has operated on a series of temporary resolutions authorizing spending. The current one expires in March around the same time as two other fiscal deadlines: the trigger of the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration and a debt ceiling crisis.

He also advocated for authorizing the Keystone oil pipeline from Canada through the U.S. and for entitlement reform. Republicans have voiced support for a plan which would raise the debt ceiling but require Senate Democrats to pass a budget, which sets the government's spending priorities.

Thune called for urgency on these and other matters, saying, "we choose to leave the next generation with a far worse economy than we received from our parents and grandparents."

Filed under: John Thune • President Obama
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. just askin

    4 years later and still record levels of unemployment. the smallest workforce since the 1980's. hasn't obama pretty much proven to the country he doesn't has a flippin clue on how to get the economy humming again? what we now have is a stagnant european socialist economy with low growth, high unemployment and high taxes, soon to get higher if obama has his way. this is what you voted for america. enjoy.

    January 26, 2013 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  2. Confused

    There will always be a lower class. There will also always be a 2nd party. If obama believes there wont be a lower class, he doesnt understand economics and inflation. Anyone remember going to a candy store, and getting nearly a full bag for a quarter? Or going to a corner drug store and getting a bucket of beer for 50 cents? (I guess this dates me) How much did it cost then compared to now, and how has our wages changed? If everyone made 60k a year, a lot of things would change. just like people say that the GOP will disappear. "Light without darkness is darkness." There must always be another party, or there will be havoc.

    January 26, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  3. Ray E. (Georgia)

    A Budget, A Budget. My Kingdom for a Budget !!!

    January 26, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |