Obama: 'Put aside partisan posturing'

June 23, 2012 at 6:00 AM
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WASHINGTON, June 23 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama Saturday said the House should "put aside partisan posturing, end the gridlock and do what's right for the American people."

In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama said the United States is "clawing our way back from the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes" and there are "things we can do -- right now -- to help put people back to work and make life a little easier for middle-class families."

He said Democrats and Republicans have taken some steps, including a tax cut, but "Congress has refused to act on most of the other ideas in my jobs plan that economists say could put a million more Americans back to work."

"There's no excuse for inaction," Obama said. "Right now, we are seven days away from thousands of American workers having to walk off the job because Congress hasn't passed a transportation bill. We are eight days away from nearly 7 1/2 million students seeing their loan rates double because Congress hasn't acted to stop it.

The president said it "makes no sense" for Congress to allow higher education costs to rise through higher education loan interest rates or to put off needed infrastructure repairs by failing to pass a transportation bill.

"So much of America needs to be repaired right now," he said. "Bridges are deteriorating after years of neglect. Highways are choked with congestion. Transportation delays cost Americans and businesses billions of dollars every year. And there are hundreds of thousands of construction workers who have never been more eager to get back on the job. So why would we let our transportation funding run out?"

Obama said his administration and the Senate have "done their part," with the Senate passing a bipartisan transportation bill in March.

"Now, it's up to the House to follow suit; to put aside partisan posturing, end the gridlock and do what's right for the American people," the president said.

"It's not lost on any of us that this is an election year," he said. "But we've got responsibilities that are bigger than an election."

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