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

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"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. Bill

    Over bought stock market, messed up bond market, both of which are a bubble. Devalued currency caused by the Fed printing money like there is no tomorrow. We are on the verge of loosing our world reserve currency status. Tons of dollars sitting in Fed Reserve banks that have to be vacuumed back up causing huge inflation to come. All thanks to the Democrats and Republicans but mostly Democrats. We are pure toast.

    April 7, 2014 05:05 am at 5:05 am |
  2. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Agreed Bill. Because the democrats control the House and the purse strings... Oh wait a minute....


    April 7, 2014 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
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