Obama: Jobs Bills Stalled in Congress By Party Before Country Mentality

Aug 20, 2011 6:01am

ABC News' Devin Dwyer (@devindwyer) reports:  

Before leaving town for his 10-day family vacation to Martha’s Vineyard, President Obama taped his weekly media address to the American people in which he reprised themes from his Midwest bus tour, including a call on lawmakers to “put aside their differences to get things done.” 

“I think Washington, D.C., can learn something from the folks in Atkinson and Peosta and Cannon Falls,” Obama said, referring to some of the stops on his three-day, three-state trip.

“I think our country would be a whole lot better off if our elected leaders showed the same kind of discipline and integrity and responsibility that most Americans demonstrate in their lives every day," he said.

“We need folks in Washington – the people whose job it is to deal with the country’s problems, the people who you elected to serve – we need them to put aside their differences to get things done.”

The president renewed his call on Congress to pass several pieces of pending economic legislation upon their return from recess in September, including a payroll tax extension, three international trade deals, and an infrastructure package, among other things.  

He said the primary impediment to progress on the bipartisan measures has been politics. 

“The only thing preventing us from passing these bills is the refusal by some in Congress to put country ahead of party,” he says. “That’s the problem right now. That’s what’s holding this country back. That’s what we have to change.” 

Obama said earlier this week that when Congress returns to Washington he will offer a "very specific plan to boost the economy, to create jobs and to control our deficit."

"If they don't get it done," he said, referring to lawmakers, "then we'll be running against a Congress that isn't doing anything for the American people and the choice will be very stark and very clear."

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