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President Barack Obama Weekly Address August 22, 2015 (Video/Transcript)
President Barack Obama
The White House
August 22, 2015
Hi, everybody. Seven years after the worst economic
crisis in generations, our economy continues to grow and create jobs.
In fact, our businesses have created 13 million new jobs over the past
five and a half years.
But if we want to keep this momentum going – to make sure
that working families feel like their hard work is being rewarded with a
basic sense of security – then we all need to do our part.
That’s why my Administration has been partnering with
states and cities to help grow the middle class. Over the past few
years, nearly 20 cities and counties have implemented paid sick days.
Six states have enacted paid sick days or paid family leave. Seventeen
states, and more than two dozen cities and counties, have raised their
minimum wage. All of this will help working families. And across the
country, folks are proving that preparing all our kids for the future
doesn’t have to be a partisan issue. Seattle, a city with a Democratic
mayor, just passed universal pre-k, while Indianapolis, a city with a
Republican mayor, is starting citywide preschool scholarships. All
told, 34 states have increased funding for preschool. And that’s good
for all of us.
Now, we need Congress to do its part to boost the economy,
as well. Unfortunately, Congress left town for five full weeks – and
they left behind a stack of unfinished business. For the first time
ever, Congress failed to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. That left
thousands of business owners and their employees at a serious
disadvantage compared to their competitors overseas. That’s not good
for jobs. It's not good for our economy. When it returns from recess,
reauthorizing the bank ought to be a top agenda for members of Congress.
Congress also hasn’t passed a budget – and when they
return from vacation, they’ll only have a few weeks to do so, or shut
down the government for the second time in two years. They’ve had all
year to do this. Months ago, I put forward a detailed plan to
strengthen our economy and our national security in a fiscally
responsible way. And for months, I’ve said I will veto any budget that
locks in the sequester—those senseless cuts to domestic and national
security priorities. Remember, we can’t cut our way to prosperity. We
should be investing in things that help our economy grow today and
tomorrow, like education or infrastructure or scientific research.
Democrats in Congress have made it clear they’re ready to
sit down and work with Republicans to find common ground on this. After
all, Americans expect Congress to help keep our country strong and
growing – not threaten to shut down our government. When Congress gets
back, they should prevent a shutdown, pass a responsible budget, and
prove that this is a country that looks forward – a country that invests
in our future, and keeps our economy growing for all Americans.