Obama: 'Congress Should Stop Standing in The Way of Our Country's Success'

The president chides Congress' for lack of action as a five-week vacation begins for legislators.
3:00 | 08/01/14

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Transcript for Obama: 'Congress Should Stop Standing in The Way of Our Country's Success'
This morning we learned that that our economy created over 200000. New jobs in July. That's on top of about 300000. New jobs in June. So we are now in a six month streak with -- at least 200000. New jobs each month. That's the first time that's happened since 1990 -- Over the past year we've added more jobs than any year since 2006. All told our businesses -- created nine point nine million new jobs over the past 53 months that's the longest streak of private sector job creation. In our history. And as we saw on Wednesday the economy grew at a strong pace in the spring. Companies -- investment. Consumers are spending. American manufacturing. Energy technology. Autos. All -- booming. Thanks to the decisions that we made -- very grit and resilience of the American people we've recovered faster and come farther. From the recession than almost any other advanced country on -- So the good news -- the economy. Clearly is getting stronger. Things are getting better. Our engines -- -- a little bit louder. And the decisions that we make right now can sustain and keep that growth and momentum going. Unfortunately. There are a series of steps that we could be taken. To maintain momentum and perhaps even accelerated. There are steps that we could be taking that would result in more job growth. Higher wages higher incomes more relief for medical middle class -- -- And so far at least in congress. We have not seen them willing or able to take those steps. I've been pushing for common sense ideas like rebuilding our infrastructure in ways that. Our sustained over many years and support millions of good jobs and help businesses compete. I've been advocating on behalf of raising the minimum wage. Making it easier for working folks to -- off -- student loans. -- Paid leave. All these policies have two things in common all of them would help working families feel more stable and secure. And all of them so far have been blocked or ignored. By Republicans in congress. That's why my administration keeps taking. Whatever actions we can take on our own to help working families. Now it's good that congress was able to pass legislation to strengthen the BA and I want to thank. The chairman and ranking members were involved in that. It's good that. Congress was able to at least fund transportation projects for a few more months before leaving town. Although it falls far short of the kind of infrastructure. Effort that we need it would actually accelerate the economy. But for the most part. The big ticket items that things that would really make a difference -- -- middle class families those things just are not getting done. Just take a recent example. Immigration. We all agree that there's a problem that needs to be solved in a portion of our southern border. And we even agree on most of the solutions. But instead of working together. Instead of focusing on the 80%. Where there is agreement between Democrats and Republicans. -- between the administration and congress. House Republicans as we -- are trying to pass the most extreme and unworkable. Versions of a bill that they already know. Is going nowhere. They can't pass the senate and that it were -- that I would -- they know what. But -- trying to actually solve the problem this is a message bill that. They couldn't quite pull -- yesterday estimated -- more extreme so maybe they can pass it today. Just so they can check a box before -- leaving town for -- month. And this is on an issue that they all insisted had to be a top priority. Now our efforts administratively. So far helped to slow the tide of child migrants trying to come to our country. But without. Additional resources and help from congress. We're desire to have the resources we need to fully solve the problem. That means -- there -- out on vacation I'm gonna have to make some tough this choices to meet the challenge. -- -- -- And yesterday even though they've been sitting on a bipartisan immigration bill for over a year. House Republicans suggested. That. Since they don't expect to actually pass a bill that I can sign that -- actually should go ahead and act on my own assault brought. Keep in mind that. Just a few days earlier they voted assuming. For acting on my own. And then when they couldn't pass a bill yesterday. They put out a statement suggesting I should act on -- because they couldn't pass a bill. For immigration has not gotten done. A student loan bill that would help folks who have student loan debt consolidate. And refinance at lower rates. That in past. The transportation bill that they did -- gets us through the spring when we should actually be planning years in advance. States and businesses are raising minimum wage for the workers. Because this congress is failing to do so. Even basic things like. Approving career diplomats for critical ambassadorial posts. Are getting -- last night for purely political reasons senate Republicans. For a certain period time blocked our new ambassador to Russia. It -- such an uproar that finally they want. Hadn't left. Our Russian ambassador has at a time when we are dealing every -- -- that the crisis in Ukraine. They're still blocking our ambassador to Sierra Leone where there is currently an Ebola outbreak. They're blocking our ambassador to Guatemala even as they demand that we do more to stopped. The flow of unaccompanied children from -- -- There are a lot of things that we could be arguing about on policy that's what we should be doing as a democracy but we shouldn't be having an argument. About placing career diplomats. -- bipartisan support. In countries around the world where we have to have a presence. The -- -- this we have come a long way over the last five and a half years. Our challenges are nowhere near as daunting as there were when I first came in office. With the American people demand and deserve. The strong and focused effort. On the part of all of us to keep moving the country forward and to focus on their concerns. And the fact -- we could be much further along and we could be doing even better in the economy could be even stronger and more jobs could be created. If congress. Would. Do the job that the people. Sent them here to do. And I will not stop try to work -- both parties to get things moving faster for middle class families and those trying to. Get into the middle class. When congress returns next month. My hope is that instead of simply trying to pass. Partisan message bills on party lines. -- don't actually solve problems. They're going to be willing to come together to at least focus on some key areas where there is broad agreement. After all the we've had overcome. Our congress should stop standing in the way of our country success.

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

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