Taking his economic message on the road, President Obama said Wednesday that he won't rely on Congress alone to pass measures to boost the economy.
"Long-term, the challenge of making sure everybody who works hard can get ahead in today's economy is so important that we can't wait for Congress to solve it," Obama said at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday. "Where I can act on my own, without Congress, I'm going to do so."
"This can be a breakthrough year for America," he said. "The pieces are all there to start bringing back more of the jobs that we've lost over the past decade."
One day after the Senate failed to clear a procedural hurdle to advance a vote on unemployment insurance, the president pressed Congress to continuing working on the issue.
"In the short term, one thing Congress could do is listen to the majority of the American people and restore the unemployment insurance for Americans who need it," Obama said.
The president traveled to North Carolina on Wednesday to unveil a new economic initiative to help boost the manufacturing sector and create new jobs.
"Today I'm here to act to help make Raleigh-Durham and America a magnet for the good high-tech manufacturing jobs that a growing middle class requires and that are going to continue to keep this country on the cutting edge," he said.
The president first outlined his plans to launch three manufacturing institutes in his 2013 State of the Union Address, and on Wednesday he announced plans for the first manufacturing innovation institute to be led by North Carolina State University. The North Carolina program will include a consortium of businesses and universities that focus on creating energy-efficient, high-power electronic chips and devices used in items like motors, consumer electronics, and devices used in power grids.
While in Raleigh, the president also toured Vacon, a company that manufactures AC drives, solar inverters, and wind power converters.