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Speaking in the Rose Garden in the heat, the President began his remarks this morning on the economy by once again noting that for all the progress that's been made since "that terrible September when our economy teetered on the brink of collapse," there is much left to do -- and that millions of Americans are still struggling:
That’s why my administration remains focused, every single day, on pushing this economy forward, repairing the damage that’s been done to the middle class over the past decade, and promoting the growth we need to get our people back to work.
So, as Congress prepares to return to session, my economic team is hard at work in identifying additional measures that could make a difference in both promoting growth and hiring in the short term, and increasing our economy’s competitiveness in the long term. Steps like extending the tax cuts for the middle class that are set to expire this year. Redoubling our investment in clean energy and R&D. Rebuilding more of our infrastructure for the future. Further tax cuts to encourage businesses to put their capital to work creating jobs here in the United States. And I’ll be addressing these proposals in further detail in the days and weeks to come.
Having laid out this broader agenda, though, and making clear that no one bill would be the silver bullet, the President zeroed in on the obstruction that is standing in the way of even the most immediate and obvious of steps:
And there’s currently a jobs bill before Congress that would do two big things for small business owners: cut more taxes and make available more loans. It would help them get the credit they need, and eliminate capital gains taxes on key investments so they have more incentive to invest right now. And it would accelerate $55 billion of tax relief to encourage American businesses, small and large, to expand their investments over the next 14 months.
Unfortunately, this bill has been languishing in the Senate for months, held up by a partisan minority that won’t even allow it to go to a vote. That makes no sense. This bill is fully paid for. It won’t add to the deficit. And there is no reason to block it besides pure partisan politics.
Small business owners and the communities that rely on them, they don’t have time for political games. They shouldn’t have to wait any longer. In fact, just this morning, a story showed that small businesses have put hiring and expanding on hold while waiting for the Senate to act on this bill. Simply put: holding this bill hostage is directly detrimental to our economic growth.
So I ask Senate Republicans to drop the blockade. I know we’re entering election season. But the people who sent us here expect us to work together to get things done and improve this economy.