In weekend addresses Obama, GOP focus on jobs

President Obama delivers his weekly address on July 7, 2012. WhiteHouse.gov

(CBS News) Coming off a week containing political highs and lows for Republicans and Democrats alike, representatives of both parties used their weekly addresses on Saturday to emphasize their party's commitment to creating jobs and improving the economy - while attacking their opponents' ability to do so.

In his Saturday video address, President Obama touted measures included in a law he signed Friday that will prevent the doubling of interest rates on new student loans, and which authorizes $100 billion in highway and transportation spending over the next two years, which backers estimate will save or create 2.8 million jobs, mostly in construction.

"Those steps will make a real difference in the lives of millions of Americans. But make no mistake: we've got more to do," Mr. Obama said, according to prepared remarks. "The construction industry was hit brutally hard when the housing bubble burst. So it's not enough to just keep construction workers on the job doing projects that were already underway."

Multiple times in his remarks, the president noted that he had been "calling on Congress" for months to act on issues like student loan reform, domestic construction projects and other job creation measures.

"Our mission isn't just to put people back to work - it's to rebuild an economy where that work pays; an economy in which everyone who works hard has the chance to get ahead," he said.

Meanwhile, Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, R-N.Y., criticized the president for refusing "to change course" on his economic policies despite Friday's lower-than-expected jobs report and an unemployment rate that remained at 8.2 percent.

"The American people know what has to be done - get Washington out of the way, empower individuals and small businesses, let them flourish - but the president still refuses to change course," Buerkle said in the weekly Republican address. "He's doubling-down on policies that are holding us back and making things worse, starting with his health care law, which is driving up costs and making it harder for small businesses to hire workers."

The Affordable Care Act, she argued, "carries an astronomical price tag and a mess of regulations, taxes and fees, fosters a climate of uncertainty and instability throughout our economy."

"The Court's decision and yesterday's jobs report add to the urgency of repealing the president's health care law in its entirety, and next week, the House will vote to do just that," Buerkle said.

House Republicans plan to hold a vote next week to repeal the health care law, but the legislation is almost certain to fail in the Democratic-led Senate.

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