In this week's address to the nation, President Barack Obama [pictured] criticized the Republican leadership in the U.S. Senate for opposing initiatives that would create jobs and strengthen the economy; e.g., cutting taxes for small businesses, extending unemployment insurance for Americans who have lost their jobs during the recession.
"This week," Obama declared, "many of our largest corporations reported robust earnings -- a positive sign of growth.
"But too many of our small-business owners, and those who aspire to start their own small businesses, continue to struggle -- in part, because they can’t get the credit they need to start up, grow, and hire. And too many Americans whose livelihoods have fallen prey to the worst recession in our lifetimes -- a recession that cost our economy eight million jobs -- still wonder how they’ll make ends meet.
"That’s why we need to take new, common-sense steps to help small businesses, grow our economy, and create jobs -- and we need to take them now.
"For months, that’s what we’ve been trying to do. But too often, the Republican leadership in the United States Senate chooses to filibuster our recovery and obstruct our progress. And that has very real consequences.
"Consider what that obstruction means for our small businesses -- the growth engines that create two of every three new jobs in this country. A lot of small businesses still have trouble getting the loans and capital they need to keep their doors open and hire new workers. So we proposed steps to get them that help: Eliminating capital-gains taxes on investments. Establishing a fund for small lenders to help small businesses. Enhancing successful SBA programs that help them access the capital they need.
"But again and again, a partisan minority in the Senate said 'No,' and used procedural tactics to block a simple, up-or-down vote...."
To view the video of President Obama's weekly address, titled "Filibustering Recovery & Obstructing Progress," go to: http://bit.ly/Obama07172010.
For the past 18 months, President Obama has fought to help small-business owners because -- unlike his immediate predecessor -- he truly understands that small businesses are key to getting the American people back to work. He's fought for expanded unemployment insurance because he truly understands that putting money in the pockets of the people who are most likely to spend it is a cost-effective way of boosting local economies and creating jobs.
"Unemployment insurance is a vital lifeline for many families struggling to find work in these tough times," noted David Axelrod, senior advisor to the President, in a letter to folks who actually want to see Obama -- and our nation as a whole -- succeed. "Over the past few weeks, that lifeline has disappeared for more than 2 million Americans, and if Congress doesn’t act, that number will grow to 3.2 million people by the end of this month.
"Getting our economy back on track hasn’t been easy, but passing important legislation to support small businesses and Americans looking for work has proved nearly impossible. Repeatedly, Republicans have used procedural maneuvers to deny this legislation an up-or-down vote.
"There may be a lot of controversial topics out there, but support for small businesses and unemployment insurance shouldn’t be among them.
"It’s time for an up-or-down vote on these important measures. It’s time for Congress to act."
We couldn't agree more. It's time for hard-headed and mean-spirited obstructionism to stop...NOW.
SOURCE: The White House [photo by Samantha Appleton]
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