Obama: GOP hasn't lifted a finger to create jobs

  • (CBS News) In his weekly address Saturday, President Obama criticized Republicans in Congress for thwarting passage of his jobs bill - which he believes contains "the answers" to stimulating sluggish economic growth and job creation - and for postponing action that would benefit the economy until after the November election.

    The American Jobs Act, Mr. Obama said, is "full of the kinds of bipartisan ideas that could have put over a million Americans back to work and helped bolster our economy against outside shocks." He did credit Congress with passing "a few parts" of the bill since it arrived on Capitol Hill last September, but blamed partisan gridlock for holding up the remainder of his plan.

    "On most of the ideas that would create jobs and grow our economy," President Obama said, "Republicans in Congress haven't lifted a finger. They'd rather wait until after the election in November."

    Remaining elements of the bill that President Obama would like to see passed, he said, include grants to states that would put teachers, firefighters, and police officers back to work; tax breaks for small-business owners who hire more workers; and an opportunity for homeowners to save an average of $3,000 a year by refinancing their mortgage.

    "This isn't about who wins or loses in Washington," Mr. Obama said. "This is about your jobs, your paychecks, your children's future. There's no excuse for Congress to stand by and do nothing while so many families are struggling - none."

    Delivering the Republicans' weekly address, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker - still fresh off a historic win in the state's recall election - argued that President Obama's ideas are cemented in big government which, he said, is "not the answer."

    "Sadly, the president and many of his allies seem to measure success by how many people are dependent on government programs," Walker said. "Those policies have failed. In contrast, I and many other Republicans define success in just the opposite way - by how many people we can free from government dependence by growing the private sector.

    "Now that doesn't mean we want to throw folks off of unemployment," Walker added. "Instead, we want people no longer dependent on government because they have a job. When more of our fellow citizens have work in the private sector there will be more freedom and more prosperity in our country. That's a good thing - a very good thing."

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    Lindsey Boerma is senior video producer for CBSNews.com.