Weekly Address: The President's Year of Action

Washington, DC - In this week’s address, the President provided an update on the work his Administration has done to strengthen the economy and expand opportunity for hardworking Americans in this Year of Action. While Republicans in Congress are setting records in obstruction, the President is making progress for the American people and has taken more than 20 executive actions since January.

The President vowed to continue taking action on his own wherever possible, but underscored that much more progress could be made if Republicans in Congress were less interested in stacking the deck in favor of those at the top, and more interested in expanding opportunity for all.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
May 3, 2014

Hi, everybody.  My number one priority as President is doing whatever I can to create more jobs and opportunity for hardworking families.  And yesterday, we learned that businesses added 273,000 jobs last month.  All told, our businesses have now created 9.2 million new jobs over 50 consecutive months of job growth.

But we need to keep going – to create more good jobs, and give middle-class families a sense of security.  And I want to work with Congress to do it.

But so far this year, Republicans in Congress have blocked or voted down every serious idea to create jobs and strengthen the middle class.  They’ve said “no” to raising the minimum wage, “no” to equal pay for equal work, and “no” to restoring the unemployment insurance they let expire for more than two million Americans looking for a new job. 

That’s not what we need right now.  Not when there are still too many folks out of work and too many families working harder than ever just to get by. 

That’s why, in my State of the Union Address, I said that in this Year of Action, whenever I can act on my own to create jobs and expand opportunity for more Americans, I will.  And since January, I’ve taken more than 20 executive actions to do just that.

I acted to raise more workers’ wages by requiring that workers on new federal contracts earn a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour – and as long as Republicans in Congress refuse to act, I’ll keep working with cities, states, and businesses to give more Americans a raise.  I acted to encourage more pay transparency and strengthen enforcement of equal pay laws, so that more women have the tools they need to earn fair pay.  And I’m modernizing regulations to make sure that more Americans who work overtime get the pay that they’ve earned.  I’ve launched new hubs to help attract more high-tech manufacturing jobs to America – and ordered a reform of job training programs to make sure more Americans can earn the skills that employers need right now.  I’ve brought together business leaders to help us connect more classrooms to high-speed internet, and give more of the long-term unemployed a better shot at finding a job. 

Each of these steps will make a difference.  You can check out the full list at whitehouse.gov.

But we could do a lot more if Republicans in Congress were less interested in stacking the deck in favor of those at the top, and more interested in growing the economy for everybody.  They’ve now voted more than 50 times to take apart the Affordable Care Act – imagine if they voted 50 times on serious jobs bills.

That’s why I’m going to take action on my own wherever I can.  To grow our economy from the middle-out, not the top down.  To give every American who works hard a chance to get ahead. 

That’s what this Year of Action is all about, and that’s what I’m going to keep fighting for. 

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

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