WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama Wednesday said congressional Republicans are "trying to divide this country against itself rather than lift up our economy."
In a speech at the National Women's Law Center in Washington, the president said Senate Republicans had in recent weeks "come together three times to block jobs bills that independent economists say would boost our economy and put millions of Americans -- including women -- back to work."
"Each of these bills was made up of the same kinds of proposals that Democrats and Republicans have fought for in the past," he said. "They were fully paid for. And even though they were supported by a clear majority of the American people -- Republicans, Democrats and independents -- every single Senate Republican said 'no.'"
Obama said the bills blocked in the Senate would have put "hundreds of thousands of teachers -- three quarters of them women -- back in front of the classroom where they belong," and he said the bills would have provided more jobs in construction.
He told his audience Republicans will "get a chance to vote on whether to give a tax cut to virtually every small business owner in America -- including 900,000 women."
"The American people are with me on this -- and Republicans in Congress should be too," Obama said.
"These folks know that they can't win on the big issues, so they're trying to make it about the small ones," the president said. "They're spending their time trying to divide this country against itself rather than coming together to lift up our economy."
As he has on numerous occasions, the president urged his audience to "tell Congress to do their jobs by worrying about the jobs of the millions of Americans they were elected to serve."