Obama: Politics Holding U.S. Back
August 20, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
ALPHA, Ill., Aug. 20 (UPI) — U.S. President Barack Obama said Saturday politics is “what’s holding this country back” and he called on members of Congress to “put country before party.”
In his weekly radio and Internet address — recorded during his visit this week to Alpha, Ill. — the president said Washington “can learn something from the folks” he has visited during a three-day tour of Midwest cities and towns.
“I think our country would be a whole lot better off if our elected leaders showed the same kind of discipline and integrity and responsibility that most Americans demonstrate in their lives every day,” he said.
Obama, who began a vacation Thursday at Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., repeated some of the themes he has been stressing in recent weeks on the problem of unemployment — including an admonition to members of Congress, who he said need to “put aside their differences to get things done.”
Obama once again called for cutting the payroll tax, passing a road construction bill “so construction crews — now sitting idle — can head back to the worksite, rebuilding roads, bridges and airports,” and connecting Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans with employers “that could use their skills.” The president also called for passage of trade legislation “to level the playing field for our businesses.”
“These are commonsense ideas — ideas that have been supported by both Democrats and Republicans,” he said. “The only thing holding them back is politics. The only thing preventing us from passing these bills is the refusal by some in Congress to put country ahead of party. That’s the problem right now. That’s what’s holding this country back. That’s what we have to change.
“That’s why it’s so important that folks in Washington put country before party,” he said. “That’s why it’s so important that our elected leaders get past their differences to help grow the economy and put this nation back to work.”