the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

Search form

Your Weekly Address

Every week, the President sits down to speak directly to the American people in a weekly address that goes live on Saturday morning.

Take a look at the President's latest address, or keep scrolling to see all of his past addresses.

September 17, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC — In this week's address, President Obama called on Republicans in Congress to do their jobs. With Congress back in session there is a lot of business that needs to get done, including funding the fight against Zika, providing resources to help the flood victims in Louisiana, and giving Supreme Court nominee Chief Judge Merrick Garland the courtesy of a fair hearing and a vote. The President said addressing these problems is all within our reach – and we need Congress to work as hard as the American people do. We should expect Republicans in Congress to do their jobs – to protect us from disease, help us recover from disaster, and keep the Supreme Court above politics. 

Remarks of President Barack Obama as Prepared for Delivery
Weekly Address
The White House
September 17, 2016

Hi, everybody.  I’ve delivered a few hundred of these weekly addresses over the years.  And you may have noticed a theme that pops up pretty often:

The Republicans who run this Congress aren’t doing their jobs.

Well, guess what?  Congress recently returned from a seven-week vacation.  They’ve only got two weeks left until their next one.  But there’s a lot of business they need to get done first.

First – even as we’re seeing more and more Zika cases inside the United States, they’ve refused to fund our efforts to protect women and children by fighting Zika in a serious way.

Second – they still need to provide resources to help the people of Louisiana recover from last month’s terrible floods, and to help communities like Flint recover from their own challenges.

Third – they have made Merrick Garland, a Supreme Court nominee with more federal judicial experience than any other in history, wait longer than any other in history for the simple courtesy of a hearing, let alone a vote.  All because they want their nominee for President to fill that seat.

There are plenty other bipartisan priorities they should finish this year, too.  Passing criminal justice reform.  Attacking the opioids epidemic.  Funding Joe Biden’s cancer moonshot.  Finishing a Trans-Pacific trade agreement that will support American jobs and boost American wages.  And passing a budget that will make sure all of America’s priorities are funded without resorting to shutdown threats and last-minute gimmicks. 

By the way, it’s been almost a decade since Congress voted to raise the minimum wage.  I’m just saying.

None of this should be controversial.  All of it is within our reach.  This is America – we can do anything.  We just need a Congress that works as hard as you do.  At the very least, we should expect that they do their jobs – and protect us from disease, help us recover from disaster, keep the Supreme Court above politics, and help our businesses grow and hire.

So if any of these priorities matter to you, let your Congressperson know.  And if they still refuse to do their jobs – well, you know what to do in November. 

Our government only works as well as the people we elect.  And that’s entirely up to you.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

###