Weekly Address: President Obama – It’s Time for Congress To Pass a Responsible Budget

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

From the White HouseWeekly Address

In this week’s address, the President discussed the significant progress we have made in our economy since the financial crisis seven years ago this week, and the steps we can take to build on that momentum and strengthen the economy for the long term. Thanks to the hard work and resilience of folks around the country, our businesses have created over 13 million jobs over the past 66 straight months, housing is bouncing back, manufacturing is growing again, and the unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in over seven years. We’ve come a long way from the darkest days of the financial crisis, but there is still more to be done. To keep our economy growing, we must avoid self-inflicted wounds and damaging brinksmanship: that starts with Congress passing a responsible budget before the end of the month. The President has called on Republicans in Congress to stop playing games with our economic progress and instead do its job and pass a budget that reverses the harmful cuts known as the sequester and avoids shutting down the federal government.

Transcript: Weekly Address: It’s Time for Congress To Pass a Responsible Budget

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
September 19, 2015

Hi, everybody. It’s hard to believe, but it was seven years ago this week that one of Wall Street’s biggest investment banks went bankrupt, triggering a meltdown on Wall Street and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. And in the months that followed, millions of Americans lost their jobs, their homes, and the savings they’d worked so hard to build.

Today’s a different story. Over the past five and a half years, our businesses have created more than 13 million new jobs. The unemployment rate is lower than it’s been in over seven years. Manufacturing is growing. Housing is bouncing back. We’ve reduced our deficits by two-thirds. And 16 million more Americans now know the security of health insurance.

This is your progress. It’s because of your hard work and sacrifice that America has come back from crisis faster than almost every other advanced nation on Earth. We remain the safest, strongest bet in the world.

Of course, you might not know all that if you only listened to the bluster of political season, when it’s in the interest of some politicians to paint America as dark and depressing as possible. But I don’t see it that way. I’ve met too many Americans who prove, day in and day out, that this is a place where anything is possible. Yes, we have a lot of work to do to rebuild a middle class that’s had the odds stacked against it now for decades. That’s the thing about America – our work is never finished. We always strive to be better – to perfect ourselves.

We just have to make the right choices. And if Republicans want to help, they can choose, right now, to pass a budget that helps us grow our economy even faster, create jobs even faster, lift people’s incomes and prospects even faster. But they’ve only got until the end of the month to do it – or they’ll shut down our government for the second time in two years.

Democrats are ready to sit down and negotiate with Republicans right now. But it should be over legitimate issues like how much do we invest in education, job training, and infrastructure – not unrelated ideological issues like Planned Parenthood. We need to set our sights higher than that. We need to reverse harmful cuts to middle-class economic priorities, close loopholes that benefit only a fortunate few at the top, and invest more in the things that help our entire economy grow.

There’s nothing principled about the idea of another government shutdown. There’s nothing patriotic about denying the progress you’ve worked so hard to make. America is great right now – not because of our government, or our wealth, or our power, but because of everyone who works hard every day to move this country forward. Now Congress needs to work as hard as you do.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

Bolding added.




  1. In the News: “If everyone would just learn to comply with the lawful orders from police officers” none of this would happen!!

    On Tuesday, a sobbing 16-year-old boy was hit with a baton by a cop and then forcefully arrested by three additional officers, after one of them saw him jaywalking.

    In a video circulated shortly after the arrest, an unnamed officer stands above the teenager, pressing a baton against him, as the boy screams “get off me.” When the teen tries to push the baton away, saying “get the fk off me,” the officer hits him twice with the baton and tells him to get on the ground. Seconds later, the officer calls for back-up and four officers tackle the child to the ground, handcuffing him. […]

    In the video, an unidentified woman repeatedly yells, “he’s just a kid,” and eventually tells the boy to “just stay right there before they…shoot you or some shit.”

    Well, of course that would never happen! :(

    Scott Walker, in South Carolina, said that “the men and women who wear the badge are doing the right thing, every day. All the time.” and said that THOSE PEOPLE who complain about Michael Brown and Walter Scott and Eric Garner should be like the people in Charleston who reacted to the slaughter of their families and loved ones by speaking of “unity and forgiveness”. Indeed. When THOSE PEOPLE are noisy and protest, they are bad. When they are forgiving, they are good. So sayeth the plantation master.

    • Charlie Pierce wonders if the 13-year-old black conservative (Teens for Ted Cruz!) that the Washington Post found will feel as full of himself should he discover the reality of American “justice”:

      For young CJ’s sake, I just hope no cop ever decides that he looks like the guy who just stuck up the gas station down the block. The bruises to his ideological certainty – and to his noggin – might never heal.

      I don’t get Black Teens for Ted Cruz any more than I get Log Cabin Republicans or women Republicans of any sort. Is it simply such a strong sense of self that you can’t imagine you would be treated anything but fairly by those in power? Or such a huge disconnect from reality that you fail to see what is right in front of your face?

  2. From NPR … putting the solar system to scale

    “The only way to see a scale model of the solar system,” Wylie Overstreet says, “is to build one.” So he and a group of friends did just that, tracing out the planets’ orbits and then filming a time-lapse video from a nearby mountaintop in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.

    “Every single picture of the solar system that we encounter is not to scale,” Overstreet says in a video about the project. “If you put the orbits to scale on a piece of paper, the planets become microscopic, and you won’t be able to see them.”

    Those proportions are kept honest in the scale model, in which an Earth that’s only the size of a small marble calls for a solar system that’s 7 miles wide. In this solar system, Jupiter is about the size of a miniature watermelon. The sun is a small weather balloon.

  3. Right Wing Heads To Asplode … President Obama reaches out to 8.8 million legal immigrants to pursue citizenship …

    A word from the President of the United States about the Stand Stronger campaign, a national, multilingual public awareness campaign to promote the rights, responsibilities and opportunities among eligible legal permanent residents. The campaign reflects the belief that we are, and have always been a nation of immigrants and a nation that welcomes those fleeing persecution, in addition to underscoring that immigrants and refugees make us stronger when they are able to set down roots, harness their skills, contribute to our economy, and commit to citizenship: https://committocitizenship.org

    The move is being decried as partisan. Of course it is partisan! One party is welcoming to immigrants and their offspring … the other wants to round ’em up and deport them.

    “Anytime there’s a major push for naturalization by the White House … especially when a Democratic administration does it, there’s always the allegation that this is an attempt to try to get more Democratic voters,” [Karthick Ramakrishnan, a public policy professor at the University of California, Riverside] said.

    He heard the same insinuations during the debate about immigration reform in Congress, he points out.

    “When people were talking about a pathway to citizenship,” Ramakrishnan recalled, “some Republicans were saying … if they became citizens, they’re going to be Democrats.” […]

    Manuel Pastor, director of the University of Southern California’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, points out that new citizens are leaning Democratic because of the political climate at this particular moment in history.

    “A lot of the people who became legalized … through the program President Reagan put in place, felt a real sense of gratitude toward Ronald Reagan and the Republican Party,” Pastor explained, “and so when many of those people naturalized, they leaned toward the Republican camp.” […]

    “Because the debate over immigration has gotten so polarized, and partisan … there’s a widening, deepening sense that immigrants should naturalize and should use the power of the vote to steer policy,” Pastor said.

  4. As the Pope heads to Cuba, why not us?

    From July Pew Polls: Growing Public Support for U.S. Ties With Cuba – And an End to the Trade Embargo

    Nearly three-quarters (73%) of Americans say they approve of the U.S. re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba, up 10 points since January. A similar majority (72%) favors the U.S. ending its trade embargo against Cuba, “which would allow U.S. companies to do business in Cuba and Cuban companies to do business in the U.S.” […]

    There has been a similar shift across party lines in support for ending the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba. Notably, some of the most dramatic change in views of U.S. relations with Cuba has come among conservative Republicans.

    Currently, 55% of conservative Republicans say they favor ending the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba; in January, just 40% supported the United States dropping its trade embargo against Cuba. And 52% of conservative Republicans now say they approve of the U.S. re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba, up 19 points since January.

  5. Attorney General Loretta Lynch speaks about “Criminal Justice Reform for Minorities” – Video link (CSPAN): here

    Transcript: Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch Delivers Remarks at the Congressional Black Caucus 45th Annual Legislative Conference Judiciary Brain Trust Panel

    Loretta Lynch:

    One of the things my father remembers is that there were times when he was a young boy in the ‘30s when people in the community, black people in the community, were in trouble, as my grandfather used to say, “caught up in the clutches of a law” and didn’t have a place where they could go. They would come to my grandfather and he would help hide them – until they could leave the community. Sometimes the sheriff would come by the house and ask my grandfather, “Have you seen so-and-so?” My grandfather would say, “Well not lately.” So-and-so is hiding in a closet or hiding under the floorboards. Because in those days, 1930’s North Carolina, there was no justice in the dark of night on a rural road. No Miranda warnings. No procedural protections. None of the things we take for granted today. And so despite what happened with these individuals, my grandfather knew that sometimes in order to preserve the fight for justice into the future we had to take action in the moment – you had to take action in the moment.

    Now of course things are much better now and we all get reminded of that, whenever we bring these issues you notice when you talk about these issues, whether they are of race in general or police issues in particular, when you talk about the current pain that the minority community is feeling and we are feeling it very deeply, people always say, “Well things are much better now,” and they are. In addition to giving you my apologies for being late today I can tell you that I was late today because I had a meeting with the President that ran over. I would never have been able to say that even five years ago. And the fact that my grandfather who fought so hard for justice in his own way would never have conceived that his granddaughter, the little girl he used to take out in the fields and show what tobacco looked like, would actually be sitting in a meeting with the President of the United States. We have come so far but we have so far to go. And these issues of fundamental fairness and the issues that the minority community has with the government at large and all of us in law enforcement, are still with us. They are still important today.

    I recommend reading or viewing the entire speech.

  6. Thanks for the news JanF. I haven’t been reading my usual sources so you are keeping me from being woefully uninformed!

    • Saturday mornings in quiet time is the only time I can pause long enough to pass on the news. Turns out though that much news during the week that seems important very often turns out to not be important. I wish I could identify those in advance so that I could save myself time!!

      Twitter is still a good source of news. That is where I found out about AG Lynch’s speech.

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