Obama Pushing Congress to Focus on the Economy After GDP Increased 4 Percent in the 2nd Quarter

President Obama is urging Congress to make the economy a high priority after the hefty increase in the 2nd quarter.
3:00 | 07/30/14

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Transcript for Obama Pushing Congress to Focus on the Economy After GDP Increased 4 Percent in the 2nd Quarter
A taste beginning to present a business trip to -- -- -- The president -- ribs. Apart trees for people who wrote letters to the house. Discussion around -- table greasy -- is probably a bit warmer than what is the -- That's. Atlanta Dan Cutler in New York casings historic uptown theater packed today. As they are awaiting the president's speech. Mr. Obama expected to lean on congress once again -- sign off his economic agenda that includes money it would search Central American immigrants. The southern border -- will take you to the president's remarks when they begin there. But there are other issues on the minds of political -- today it's joining -- not a cover all the bases from the White House BC's Mary -- -- -- the president of course about to speak about the economy which GDP is up 4% now. What's the latest -- the White House response. Well the White House this morning touting that good news saying that it's a strong sign of the economic growth. But also saying that growth could be better if congress would act to do more using this is an opportunity to once again urge lawmakers to act. On a host of nations on the president's agenda including investing in manufacturing projects. Funding for infrastructure projects across the country so always never passing up an opportunity here to push Republicans in congress to do more even if that opportunity is good news for the economy. Right good news for the economy as well and of course as were heading until August that means congress is about to make its break. What's the possibility that -- is actually gonna go through the halls of congress before they Allred retreat to their respective districts. While I wouldn't get your hopes -- -- just a couple days left until lawmakers head home. For that August recess there are some items -- they may be able to make progress but a lot of big things on that. -- to do -- that likely will be. Unfinished that includes. Funding to deal with the border crisis the influx of migrant children crossing over the border. Funding to deal with a lot of other issues including -- highway trust fund -- replenishing that fund for infrastructure projects up and get your hopes too -- but. Keeping in mind while the president is likely -- to go ahead here -- push lawmakers to act. He's also out of town he's meeting with average Americans as we saw last night so not exactly like you're working the phones either -- right -- -- -- -- the White House. The -- sitting there with a president that podium. And I love you go into the army believe there's. Gordon's. It is good reason governor Jay Nixon -- Okay. But Emanuel -- is there. This. It's good yeah. A in your news. And it didn't have a -- feel -- to sit down. I don't -- start the ball and you don't have a -- don't suit them. But bend your knees a little bit. It's always good spent little time -- -- the city. Last night to have to give them barbecue. Arthur Bryant's. They're -- run out of coleslaw. -- -- That's that you says the -- problem. Says that no there. And events a day. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- it would. I believe I believe in god. Thanks for the first. As a lot of on record though because people have been asking me this question. I don't with a lot of tough -- I am not going to decide who makes the best barbecue -- to have is that. Bryan's barbecue with -- And victors -- I did plow through it pretty good. But I have not had enough samples. To make a definitive judgment. Summit trust mother. Mark -- stomach -- At -- -- public that there was not shy about me. Psychological it. But but let's -- I went there for the barbecue but also. I went there because I want to just talk to -- and three other people. From the area. I would took the times -- down what men and talk because they've written letters to me some humane no. -- The bad no bell ordered that you -- it took. But what what happens is every night. -- -- ten letters. That we receive we got 40000 correspondents. And then our correspondence office chooses ten. Service sample for me to take a look at and he gives me a chance to to hear directly. From the people -- -- And folks tell me the stories they tell me their worries their hopes their hardships their successes. Some say it I'm doing a good job. But other pit bull. Your immediate. No don't -- that that's how I know them. Good good -- letters. Last week -- young girl wrote to ask me why aren't there any women on our currency. And those guys didn't like -- a list. Possible women that put on our dollar bills and quarters and stuff. But pretty good regarded. And that now Victor wrote to meet. To tell me about like Butler. And he told me that. Yet been unemployed for awhile after. -- his weapon at their first child but he refused to quit he earned his degree. Found a full time job he now helps folks would just disabilities live independently. And and he's just good hearted man and and you can tell. We don't want stuff and. And Becker described I got through some tough times because of -- Christian faith and his determination. Which are things -- -- government programs. And policies can't replace. You know you've got to have that that sense of a purpose in and perseverance. -- -- to come. You know for from inside and he can't legislate that but he also said. He was able to afford health insurance because -- -- -- care. Yeah. And -- -- good. -- the the income based repayment plan that we have put in place. Where you only have to -- 10%. Of your income maximum. And -- repay your loans. Each month. That was what allowed him and his family to people -- over their -- and support themselves. And and so. I'm here because. Victor. Is the sort of person I'm working for a recycled it. Somebody -- somebody who. We're never quits. Somebody who do -- right. Somebody who believes in the American dream somebody who just want to chance to build decent life for himself -- as -- And and that's the vast majority of Americans that's the one fighting for right here in Kansas City. At all across this time. Like the played -- plug them. Now we don't know it hasn't always been easy. Now the crisis that hit. Near the end of my campaign. Back in 2008. It would end up costing millions of Americans their jobs their homes that sense of security. We have fought back. We have got. Back off our feet we have dust ourselves off today our businesses added nearly ten million new jobs over the past 52 months. Construction and as though many. That's doing is back. Talking our technology our auto industry is the -- booming. The unemployment rate is at its lowest point since September of 2008. It's dropped faster than any time in thirty. Here. This morning we filed -- found out that in the second quarter of this year our economy grew at a strong pace. And businesses are investment. Workers are building new homes. Consumers are spending. America exporting goods. Around the world. So the decisions that we -- eight. To rescue our economy to rescue the auto industry to rebuild. The economy on a new foundation. Investment. Research and infrastructure. Education. Almost things or start -- pale. The world's number one oil and gas producer that's not Saudi Arabia does not rushing up -- the United States of America. But. We've tripled. Tripled -- About electricity we get from win. The increased by ten times the amount that electricity we get from the sun -- all that is creating tens of thousands of jobs throughout the cut. Our high school graduation rate is at a record hot more young people earning their college degrees than ever before. 401K and recover the value of home prices are rising. And yes millions of families now have the peace of mind just like victors -- Getting quality. Affordable health care when they need it. It makes a difference of people -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- It's thanks to the resilience and resolve of the American people. It's also thanked him some decisions that we made early on. And now America's recovered faster and come farther than just about any other advanced country. On -- and for the first time in more than a decade if you -- business leaders around the world. What's the number one place to invest. -- -- China anymore. They say the United States of America. And this. -- -- -- -- It wasn't known but. A lot of good raise -- optimistic about where we hold the best parts. Things are getting better. The decisions we make now. Can make things even better. Respect the decisions we make now. Will determine whether the economic gains that were generated. All broad base whether they just go to to a few of the top or whether we got an economy in which. The middle class has grown folks -- -- trying to get a middle class have moral wrongs on the latter. Iraq well whether ordinary folks are benefiting from growth. That's what's at stake right now making sure our economy works for every America. -- glad that that. GDP is grown and I'm glad that corporate profits are high and I'm glad that the stock market is booming but. What really policy is. A guy working -- Not a five of them -- of small overtime. I want the government to mourn a minimum wage. Okay. There's somebody who worked for -- in thirty years been able to retire. With some dignity and some respect. Okay. What. What I really wanted it in the family. You know -- they have the capacity to save. So that when their child is -- to go to college. -- -- -- -- And that it's affordable. And that that -- not going to be burdened I would bet that that's that's the measure. Of whether the economy is work not just how well -- -- overall but is -- -- -- well for ordinary folks were working hard every single. And always get a fair shot. That's more Bible Belt while little brother that's what I'm focused on every night. Okay. And that's what. Sometimes Washington forgets. You know your lives and and what you're gone through -- today. The struggles but also the opportunities. In the hopes and the good things but summed -- the rough things that happen that's more important than. And some of in a phony. Scandals -- the you know pleading stories you -- There's the challenge of our time how do we make sure we've got economy. That is working forever. Now all you're doing your part to help bring America back you're -- your job imagine how much further along -- me. How much stronger our content would be. -- -- -- -- -- Every time I make some. Folks who've written me letters as we sit down and top and -- say. Well let's go to Washington plan. What what what they tell me is. If congress had the same priorities that. Ordinary families did -- it felt the same sense of urgency. About things like. The cost of college or -- the that the need for. You know increases in the minimum wager. You know power -- -- -- -- child care more affordable improving early childhood education. If that's what they were thinking about. We can help -- lot more families. A lot more people would be getting ahead. The economy would be doing better. We could help a lot more families. And we should. We should be relentlessly focused on what I call an opportunity agenda what one that creates more jobs by investing and what's always made our economy strong. Making sure that. Were on the cutting edge when it comes to clean energy. Making sure -- -- rebuilding our infrastructure our roads our bridges. It's -- port -- airport. I want the. Making sure the advancement. Factoring is happening right here in the United States and we can start bringing manufacturing jobs back to the midwest Norcross. -- research and science. Livingston new American industry. Trade -- -- workers. -- and a job training program. And using our Community Colleges in ways that allow people -- To constantly. Retrain. For the new opportunities -- out there and the poker. Markets for the global competition they're -- -- Making sure that hard work pays up with a higher wages and higher incomes. If we do all these things we're gonna strength in the middle class. Will help more people get into the middle class businesses by the way we'll do better. You know if if if if folks have more money in the pocket. -- businesses have more customers. This is the more customers this -- workers. Yellow more. Because they've been. But it's it's not from the top down that starts from the middle out. Bottom up. -- -- -- -- Republicans in congress keep blocking -- voting down. Just about every idea that would have some of the biggest impact on middle class of working class families. Let's at notre -- for the minimal way. The sudden halt to FairPlay and make sure that women have the ability to make sure that -- -- the same as men for drums they -- That should -- for fixing our broken immigration system. Other than investing in education. That's would vote to give another massive tax cut. The wealthiest Americans. And they've been pushing to gut the rules that we put in place after. The financial crisis to make sure big banks and credit card companies would take advantage of consumers are -- another crisis. So. They haven't been that helpful. They had not been as constructive as I would've hoped. -- you know they come at a cost. When -- when it when you bought policies that would help millions of Americans right now. If you know not only are those families are but the whole economies are. So that's why. That's -- my administration. What we said was. We want to work with congress we want to work with the Republicans and Democrats to get things going but we can't wait so. So if if they're not -- driving won't do what we cannot borrow -- taken more than forty. -- the in the open cardboard. Like you but a -- yeah when congress won't. So bill when congress failed to pass. Equal pay legislation. -- made sure that women got more protection in their fight for fair play in the workplace. They -- when women succeed everybody -- I want my daughters. -- the same. For the. Congress had the chance to pass a law that would help. Lower interest rates on student loans made impressive. I -- a -- want to give millions of Americans the chance to cap. Their payments the program the pictures taken advantage up. I don't want -- I don't want our young people just saddled with debt before -- even got started life. When it comes the minimum wage last week. Mark five years since the last time the minimum wage went up. -- you know the cost -- went up. In a white single. So I went I had all my own when it came to federal contractors -- -- you wanna get federal contractors got your workers at least ten dollars to it's that's now. -- -- -- -- -- -- With the governors the mayors and. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- And some -- And -- also since I first asked congress to raise the minimum wage. Business is like forget. You've got thirteen states and DC -- -- -- raised their their -- when it makes a difference in people's lives. Have a bottle -- now they're -- -- interest. The states that have increased their minimum wage this year. They've seen higher job growth. The mistakes -- then increase the -- what. So remember you can give a little more money that was more dozens. They got more government -- more welcome. The -- more probable that it. Americans -- -- and it's good forever but. So some of the things wardrobe that congress -- make a difference but we can do so much more. If congress had just come along and help out a little -- It's let's come on. Come on -- about -- it's Philip. The -- all the time. A Knight -- -- -- So what does that it all the time. That's what they -- -- -- this that this workforce training act and has bipartisan Republicans Democrats. Ever resolved -- they came we -- a bill signing bare all in the Simpson. I've been done this -- -- -- we're doing something. And it's like useful. Nobody shot -- each other. You know. It was really nice I thought let's do this again. -- And that I don't know. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- got W and left. Mom -- let's get. And vice president. -- today and tomorrow until congress leaves job promote. We still got -- work to do. We've still got a chance to that we got to put people to work rebuilding roads and bridges and and the highway trust fund run not -- we've got to get that done. We've got to get some resources to fight wildfires out west help -- you know that's a serious situation. We need more resources. Ought to deal with a situation. And in the southern part of the board rightward with some of those kids we got doubled -- -- -- -- -- -- So so there's a -- to stop it needs to get done. Unfortunately I think the main vote that -- if I'm wrong here congressman. The main -- that they've scheduled for today. Is. Whether or not they decide that -- -- for for doing my job. -- -- Our first -- I always say do not -- Vote. We'll. But think about this -- that -- -- -- have announced they're gonna sue me for. Taking executive actions. -- -- help people. So no. There. They're mad because I'm doing my death. And -- and the. And by the way. I've got to all of us that can -- -- -- would you. So Bill -- is under -- most of you don't do haven't. But if you want let's let's work to -- And -- -- recognizes there's a political stunt. But it's worst -- that because. Every -- they're taking like that means. A vote or not taken to actually help you. -- -- -- when they've taken fifty votes to repeal the affordable care bet that was time that could have been spent working constructively. To help you -- -- And by the way. You know who's been through this -- -- gunfire. Not these -- your pay for it. And it's estimated the by the time the thing was done I would already left office. So it's not it's not a productive thing to do. But but but but but here's here's yeah I just want -- I want people -- remember every every single day. And as the present sometimes is what goes on Washington may be. I see the inherent goodness and generosity American I -- it every day. I see it in -- all of you I saw that before people that I. I had dinner with last night in addition -- -- One guy who joined -- was -- Mark Turner. -- he works with a high school dropouts to help. I get them back on track used to be -- -- it's successful corporate executive. Decided he wanted to give something back. You got the salary. -- -- -- The single mom engineer all the small business. To Don Gregg thinks it -- even though sometimes struggle making sure that if she keeps -- business afloat she's persevered. And is helping her side. Get his college education. They got back to forestry she's -- fire plug she's -- president of that. The town for -- neighborhood association. She's got so many things going on after school programs -- mentoring programs and basketball -- -- all got things of the commuters. I could keep track ball. And and to listen to them talk did make optimistic. It reminded you -- good people out as -- out there. Trying to do their best trying to look after their friends trying to raise their kids try to give something back. More from -- church working -- synagogues work. Work or other places of faith. Just tried to give something back in and give -- meaning to their lives. In the responsible. And we all make mistakes. You know we all have regrets but the journalistic and people are decent. -- and so the question is. How can we do a better job capturing that -- In Washington. In our government of the American people -- working harder than ever. To -- families to strengthen communities. And so and instead of suing me for doing my job let's let's I want congress to do its job and make life a little better for the Americans who sent them there in the first. -- -- -- By the -- just that they're well let's start I talked about this last week but I want to talk a little more. Right now there's a -- all the tax code that -- A small but growing group of corporations. Leave the country say that -- they declare themselves no longer American companies. Just get out of paying their fair share of taxes even though. Most of their operations are here they've always been American company that took advantage of all the benefits of being American government but. Now that there -- -- convinced maybe they get out -- taxes. You know they're renouncing their citizenship even though there -- -- most the businesses. -- And it's just an accounting trick but it hurts our country's finances and it -- -- the deficits. And it sticks you with the -- because it if they're not paying their fair share -- stash their money offshore. Your -- you you don't have that option. -- -- -- Not only is -- not right it ain't right. And. Provides clear on the distinction there something that I. And then there's some things -- Let's just say right. You don't have accountants bigger and all the stuff out for you try to game the system -- -- -- either. And they shouldn't turn their back on the country that made their success possible. By the way this can. Thanks for the last two years output -- plans to cut corporate taxes make close loopholes make it more reliable make it clear. And to have Republican -- -- let let let let's work to close this unpatriotic tax loophole for good. Let's use the savings that we get from closing a -- to invest in things like education they're good forever but it. Don't double down on top down economics let's let's -- fight to make sure that. Everybody gets -- chance and by the way that everybody plays by the same rules. We -- do so much more we got that kind of economic patriotism. That says we rise or fall of one nation and -- wanted. And that's what that normally. Don't when Victor Romeo -- I believe regardless of political party we can all do something to help our citizens to have a chance that a job. Pet food in their stomachs. Have access to grade education and helped. That's what. What economic sentiment of the -- That's what we should all be more you know. Instead of that -- For folks who don't need them. -- that's -- the working -- Group to help -- paper towel here and come. Don't reward companies took the dog over but it it was w.'s commitment right. Good. -- Give every citizen -- at the pre school and college of at a portable health care and let's make sure women get a fair way. But sure anybody would more than -- time. This eleven of poverty. -- -- A good idea -- that that's not a -- there is always good to America. Just remember that's the hardest thing to do. Is to bring about real change -- are. -- you -- stubborn status quo. And -- folks in Washington sometimes -- focused on everything but your concerns. And and and -- special interest their lobbyists and and there are paid to maintain the status quo is working for somebody. And they're counting on you. Getting Senecal. So you don't vote you don't get involved people to say you know what. That others don't make a difference. And the more you do that and more power the special interest. And a more -- the status quo become. You can't afford. To be -- Cynicism as fashionable sometimes you see it all over our culture all over to -- -- -- but it. Likes. Just put stuff about being cynical and -- negative that show somehow you're sophisticated you're cool you know what cynicism that put man on the more. Cynicism. -- when women the right to vote. -- of them did not get a civil rights that. Excellent cynicism has never -- -- war citizens -- that -- Jordan that the cynicism has -- started the business cynicism of the other thread I don't mind. Do not -- In a cynical American Idol even optimistic America that is but the program. Quite unyielding. But mention the workers right now would not -- that had before because what we've done until you gotta look good haven't become the work that we've done. And still don't go to college when the portable -- And troops who've come home that it took the took to -- don't have time to be political. -- with a better choice. That's what you for thank you very much everybody -- It. President wrapping up some remarks so fired up crowd. Kansas City where he overnight last -- had a little bit of barbecue meaningless. -- lead at the White House now. Say his goodbyes to Kansas City -- Washington DC and that is where I went ahead right now where ABC's senior Washington correspondent -- Sonny standing by -- the president. Covering a lot of ground in that speech what. Struck you most. We'll dead animals senate like he's running for something else that sound like he was back on the campaign trail we've heard and so many times in 2008. And -- it when he twelve. Whenever the president is out in America he almost has a sense of relief about it because he knows that that things are not quite as easy as he explains them out back in Washington but. Look he is basically laying out the ground work cut the road map if you will for what Democrats should do -- in this midterm election. He's talking about the you know -- a minimum wage he's talking about. Protecting. The -- middle class. But the reality is congress you know just in the last few hours in the final days before it leaves for its five week August recess. It's not doing them much of that so a big reality check two what the president said but as you heard -- he was the most fired up. About fountain losses that's coming up today the above wanted to ask you about that -- -- -- today just about but first -- -- -- talk about this possibility. Democrats talking about the possibility of -- impeachment talk now speaker Boehner says it's not happening. What is happening in this debate that's on the house floor today. What we've heard the president answered basically go -- -- -- -- -- impeachment and he is definitely trying to fire up Democrats but. This is the reality of what's happened in the house -- trying to break it down for you here speaker John Boehner and house Republicans are going to -- foot forward. A bill basically a resolution that does. The full house is going to vote on all Republicans are most Republicans expected about four. It is authorizing a lawsuit and this is a lawsuit between the legislative branch congress and the executive. -- -- White House so once the house approves this today it will go to a group of outside lawyers and they're going to say look we think the president overstepped his constitutional authority. On health care. They had a variety of things they were considering using this in overreach that they have decided to focus only on health care. And what they're talking about specifically -- all those changes we heard of the health care. The law over the past year -- the president was making these executive actions. Congress says the which Republicans here in congress say look he was doing that without the consent of us where the lawmakers that we pass the laws that's out stamping his authority. I'm so speaker Boehner is going to go forward with a lawsuit. Some call -- a political gimmick. You know but that's where things stand here both sides are trying to make a little hay out of it. Well New York Democrat Louise Slaughter spoke yesterday what does she tell you about the Republican plans. That's right and we did a sit down with the congress -- the Louise Slaughter she's the lead Democrat on the rules committee. What that means is that she's the one. Who is going to birth. In fact who's going to argue on behalf -- the Democrats this afternoon when we hear that to Watson. And she really zeroed in on how expensive this -- it is -- -- cost millions we sat down with her in her office let's take a listen. Cost 24 million dollars a week from us so fond of plunges fifty -- -- kill health care. He wasn't going to -- You can't call me thing in the -- -- -- waste. She says it's a waste of time in a waste of money so that's the democratic line on this that. But house Republicans are simply wasting time and and we heard President Obama saying it himself he was reminding Americans that they are paying for this lawsuit. You know the act act and taxpayers are funding this so lawsuit. What they think it'll be a probably two or three million dollars who knows that the -- -- go anywhere but. Again it's a lot of politics on this a lot of us cynical politics here over this whole idea of a lawsuit and then again talk of impeachment. Cynicism the key that the president is hard -- -- about right exactly yeah now. So the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is actually looking to cash in on this lawsuit debate here is their latest clip. This -- his -- and you'll notice Minnesota resident whose -- I was mechanics -- -- expansive president of the United States sir how much -- you Reuters Tennessee resident. He's reserved only for -- -- -- on this lawsuit against president. And so it continues I'm like that's how much money have -- and it -- successfully raised. Almost something new game show buzzer there but I -- able to raise a couple million dollars so we're told a million dollars alone. Yesterday in an online appeal. And what Democrats hope this is going to do -- -- -- a wake up -- sleeping liberals sleeping Democrats were tuning out this midterm election and get them to. Pay attention to this but -- I'm not sure that anything anyone other than the he had based on both sides are really listening to -- this it is a fundraising appeal. But -- in the that the fact of the matter is Democrats. Have little chance of winning back the control of the house Republicans have a wide majority. But there are some Republicans who believe that or who -- slightly worried that this could change the conversation. Enough to a rally the democratic base to change things a little bit but and every Republican I talk to they simply want to a move ahead vote on this. And then basically. Shut down and go home for this long a five week -- recess what -- Let's -- ought to put you on the spot on this but I wanna ask you because everyone's going to be seen their local representatives come back -- their district as they're gonna go on that five week break and what is the message that minted Democrat is gonna bring back and the Republican is gonna bring back to their hometown. Well -- that's really a question I think the the message that a Republican we'll say is look we are trying to stop this president from overreaching. He has done it again and again and again on immigration on health care we are trying to stop him in his tracks now a question of voter might say what what is congress doing. Why didn't you vote on any immigration bills why this is immigration crisis of the border still happening. In the answer to of that will be a Republican will say look it's the democratic controlled senate. That's the problem so that's politics a democratic member of congress going home might say look we are trying to fight against these Republicans we are trying to knock down any attempt to sue the president. You know two -- impeach the president which is a bit of an overreach and then and we're trying to fight for you. The problem here in all the stand is that house districts are drawn in such a way in most in the vast majority of the country. That they are basically preaching. -- to members of the now. Of their own party there are not many competitive house races so pace -- the Republicans go home they're talking to audiences were like minded same thing with Democrats which is why more of our focuses on the senate side. Of the capital and Republicans are trying to pick up those six seats needed to win control. The majority and I can tell -- and Republicans on the Senate's I would rather this talk of a lawsuit in impeachment go away because they do not once more Democrats to -- come out. And be fired up in this midterm election season. Well listen despite preaching to their own -- at least we know now for the next five weeks we're going to be looking forward to and -- -- -- into the represented on the street or glad handing their parades or anything like that what the message will be whether they'll be on point edge ABC's senior Washington correspondent -- done in Washington Jeff thanks so much I was appreciate it. -- thank you of course you can get up at the sort real time by download -- ABC news outlets are stories sports updates on the go for now. -- -- that's -- New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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