WASHINGTON, June 2 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama said Saturday Congress should "get to work" on a jobs bill he proposed in 2011 "full of bipartisan ideas" to put Americans back to work.
In his weekly radio and Internet address, recorded Friday during his visit to Honeywell International Inc.'s Golden Valley, Minn., manufacturing facility, the president said his proposal for a Veterans Job Corps -- intended to promote hiring of returning U.S. military veterans -- is "another part of our effort to make sure that no American who fights for this country abroad has to fight for a job when they come home."
Following Friday's disappointing Labor Department report on hiring, Obama said the U.S. economy "is growing again, but it's not growing fast enough."
"Our businesses have created almost 4.3 million new jobs over the last 27 months, but as we learned in this week's jobs report, we're not creating them fast enough," he said.
The president said the economy "faces some serious headwinds" -- including a spike this year in gasoline prices and the European economic crisis.
The president said America may not be able to "control everything that happens in other parts of the world," but there are "plenty of steps we can take right now to help create jobs and grow this economy."
"I sent Congress a jobs bill last September full of the kinds of bipartisan ideas that would have put our fellow Americans back to work and helped reinforce our economy against those outside shocks," he said. "I sent them a plan that would have reduced the deficit by $4 trillion in a way that's balanced -- that pays for the job-creating investments we need by cutting unnecessary spending and asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more in taxes."
Obama said Congress has passed parts of the bill but hasn't "acted on enough of the other ideas in that bill that would make a difference and help create jobs right now. And there's no excuse for that.
"So my message to Congress is, get to work."
The president said Congress should pass a bill now to help states prevent more layoffs and restore employment for teachers, firefighters and police officers who have been laid off. He said Congress "should have passed a bill a long time ago to put thousands of construction workers back on the job rebuilding our roads and our bridges and our runways."