President Obama: There’s Something Wrong with our Politics that We Need to Fix

Watch the President's full remarks at Johnson Control's Battery Plant here.

President Obama today urged Americans to use the current Congressional break as an opportunity to talk to their Representatives and tell them to take the necessary steps to grow our economy.

He was visiting an advanced battery manufacturing plant in Holland, MI to highlight the key role that innovative technologies will play in the future of the U.S. auto industry.  He sympathized with the frustration Americans are feeling over the inaction in Washington, and acknowledged that partisan politics are getting in the way of our nation’s ability to create jobs and erase the legacy of debt that is hanging over the economy. “There is nothing wrong with our country,” he told the audience of auto workers.  “There’s something wrong with our politics that we need to fix.”

The President outlined a series of things that can be done right now  to put more money in the pockets of American workers, and said that the best way to make sure they happen is to let Congress know “you’ve had enough of theatrics.” Among the steps Congress can take as soon as they return to Washington:

  • Extend the payroll tax cut so that middle class families have more money in their paychecks next year.  If you've got more money in your paycheck, you're more likely to spend it, and that means businesses of all sizes will have more customers.  They'll be in a better position to hire.
  • Extend unemployment benefits so that millions of workers who are still pounding the pavement looking for jobs can support their families.
  • Pass a bipartisan road construction bill. There are over a million construction workers out of work after the housing boom went bust, just as a lot of America needs rebuilding.  We can put these workers back to work by rebuilding our roads and bridges and railways. 
  • Pass the patent reform bill to help our innovators and entrepreneurs get their job-creating ideas to market faster. 
  • Pass the trade agreements that will help businesses sell more American-made goods and services to Asia and South America, supporting tens of thousands of jobs here at home.
  • We’ve got hundreds of thousands of bright, talented, skilled Americans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and the President recently proposed several initiatives to make sure our veterans are able to navigate this difficult labor market and succeed in the civilian workforce.  He proposed the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits, challenged the private sector to train or hire 100,000 Unemployed Veterans, and proposed programs to ensure the men and women in uniform are career ready and transition back to the private sector.
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