On the heels of Friday's positive jobs report, President Obama said the economy is "moving forward again" but that Republicans in Congress are standing in the way of further growth and need to "finally start doing something to actually help the middle class get ahead."
"After losing about 800,000 jobs a month when I took office, our businesses have now added 5.2 million new jobs over the past two and a half years," the president said in his weekly address. "And on Friday, we learned that the unemployment rate is now at its lowest level since I took office. More Americans are entering the work force. More Americans are getting jobs.
"Too many of our friends and neighbors are still looking for work or struggling to pay the bills - many of them since long before this crisis hit," he said. "We owe it to them to keep moving forward. We've come too far to turn back now. And we've made too much progress to return to the policies that got us into this mess in the first place."
The president touted his administration's efforts to "make sure that the kind of crisis we've been fighting back from never happens again," including Wall Street reform and new consumer protections.
"But for some reason, some Republicans in Congress are still waging an all-out battle to delay, defund and dismantle these common-sense new rules," he said. "Why? Do they think undoing rules that protect families from the worst practices of credit card companies and mortgage lenders will make the middle class stronger? Do they think getting rid of rules to prevent another crisis on Wall Street will make Main Street any safer?
"Republicans in Congress need to stop trying to refight the battles of the past few years, and finally start doing something to actually help the middle class get ahead," he added.
To keep the economy growing, the president urged lawmakers to extend tax cuts for the middle class, pass his housing refinance plan and act to create a veterans jobs corps.
"If we're going to keep this economy moving forward, there's no time for political games," he said. "Even in a political season. Everyone needs to do their part."