In his weekly radio and Internet address, the president reviewed proposals he has made intended to help accelerate the nation's recovery from "the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression."
"The economy is growing again, but it's not growing fast enough," he said. "Our businesses have created 4.3 million new jobs over the last 27 months, but we're not creating them fast enough. And we're facing some pretty serious headwinds -- from the effects of the recent spike in gas prices, to the financial crisis in Europe."
Obama once again called the current economic condition "a make-or-break moment for the middle class."
"The decisions we make over the next few years will have an enormous impact on the country we live in, and the one we pass on to our children," the president said.
He said America "has answers to these problems" but progress is being held back by "a stalemate in Washington."
"Last September, I sent Congress a jobs bill full of the kinds of bipartisan ideas that could have put over a million Americans back to work and helped bolster our economy against outside shocks," Obama said. "I sent them a plan that would have reduced our deficit by $4 trillion in a balanced way that pays for the investments we need by cutting unnecessary spending and asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little bit more in taxes.
"Since then, Congress has passed a few parts of that jobs bill, like a tax cut that's allowing working Americans to keep more of your paycheck every week," the president said. "But on most of the ideas that would create jobs and grow our economy, Republicans in Congress haven't lifted a finger. They'd rather wait until after the election in November. Just this past week, one of them said, 'Why not wait for the reinforcements?' That's a quote. And you can bet plenty of his colleagues are thinking the same thing.
"I think that's wrong. This isn't about who wins or loses in Washington," he said. "This is about your jobs, your paychecks, your children's future. There's no excuse for Congress to stand by and do nothing while so many families are struggling. None.
"Every problem we face is within our power to solve," Obama said. "What's lacking is our politics. Remind your Members of Congress why you sent them to Washington in the first place. Tell them to stop worrying about the next election and start worrying about the next generation."