President Barack Obama spoke briefly to the press from the Rose Garden today regarding the most recent report from the Labor Department, which showed the jobless rate rising to 9.2 percent in June. In his remarks, the President blamed natural disasters, gas price spikes and State and local job cuts for the poor condition of the job market.
Obama began his speech by saying that the “report confirms what most Americans already know,” and that the “economic challenges weren’t created overnight” and “won’t be solved overnight.” He said the private sector had added more than 2 million jobs in the past “16 months” but that the economic downturn had left “a big hole to fill” with regard to unemployment.
The speech was largely reminiscent of the President’s June 29 press conference. Obama again mentioned that “right now” Congress can pass “bipartisan” legislation to invest in infrastructure, streamline the patent process and extend the payroll tax cut from December, as well as advancing trade agreements with Asia and South America.
He said, “I urge Congress not to wait.”
Obama concluded his speech by reiterating that he has had “good meetings” with lawmakers about the deficit. He said “the sooner we get this done… the sooner that we give our businesses the certainty that they will need” to begin to grow again.
He said that Washington’s leaders should come to an agreement about a deal “not for party, but for country.”