With Default Averted, Obama Looks To Jobs

Aug 2, 2011 2:36pm

ABC News’ Mary Bruce (@marykbruce) reports:

Now that Washington has resolved the “manufactured crisis” surrounding the debt ceiling, President Obama pivoted to jobs today, urging Congress to focus on growing the economy.

In a Rose Garden speech, Obama said that the compromise to avoid default was “an important first step” to ensuring the nation lives within its means and called on Congress to take additional steps to boost job creation.

“When Congress gets back from recess, I will urge them to immediately take some steps — bipartisan, commonsense steps — that will make a difference, that will create a climate where businesses can hire, where folks have more money in their pockets to spend, where people who are out of work can find good jobs,” Obama said pointing to tax cuts for the middle class, patent reforms and trade deals.

“There's no reason for Congress not to send me those bills so I can sign them into law right away, as soon as they get back from recess. Both parties share power in Washington, and both parties need to take responsibility for improving this economy.  It's not a Democratic responsibility or a Republican responsibility; it is our collective responsibility as Americans,” Obama said in a speech that struck the tone of a lecture more than a presidential statement.

The president also called on Congress to pass legislation to end the Federal Aviation Administration shutdown. “It's another Washington-inflicted wound on America, and Congress needs to break that impasse now — hopefully, before the Senate adjourns — so these folks can get back to work,” he said.

Obama made clear that going forward it should not take coming to the brink of “a default that would have devastated our economy” to get Congress to work in a bipartisan manner. “We've seen in the past few days that Washington has the ability to focus when there is a timer ticking down and when there is a looming disaster.  It shouldn't take the risk of default, the risk of economic catastrophe, to get folks in this town to work together and do their jobs,” he said.

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