President Obama used the news that the unemployment rate has dropped to 8.3% to warn John Boehner and the GOP against any attempts to wreck the economy.
Video courtesy of C-SPAN:
Here’s the transcript,
Now, this morning, we received more good news about our economy. In January, American businesses added another 257,000 jobs. The unemployment rate came down because more people found work. And altogether, we’ve added 3.7 million new jobs over the last 23 months.
Now, these numbers will go up and down in the coming months, and there’s still far too many Americans who need a job, or need a job that pays better than the one they have now. But the economy is growing stronger. The recovery is speeding up. And we’ve got to do everything in our power to keep it going.
We can’t go back to the policies that led to the recession. And we can’t let Washington stand in the way of our recovery. We want Washington to be helping with the recovery, not making it tougher.
The most important thing Congress needs to do right now is to stop taxes from going up on 160 million Americans at the end of this month. They’ve got to renew the payroll tax cut that they extended only for a couple of months. They need to pass an extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance — and do it without drama, without delay, without linking it to some ideological side issues. They just need to get it done. It shouldn’t be that complicated. Now is not the time for self-inflicted wounds to our economy. Now is the time for action.
So I want to send a clear message to Congress: Do not slow down the recovery that we’re on. Don’t muck it up. Keep it moving in the right direction.
The Labor Department’s January jobs report was packed full of good news. The economy created its highest number of jobs in nine months. In the last three months employers have added 201,000 jobs a month, which is 50,000 jobs a month more the economy averaged last year. Hiring improved in many different areas of the economy, and pay increased.
President Obama not only sent the message to congressional — specifically House –Republicans not to screw up this recovery, but he also set them up to be the cause of any future tumble that the economy might take. Obama’s point was that he got the economy on the right track again, and if it goes off the rails because Republicans in Congress continue to play their obstruction games, it will be their fault.
President Obama also let it be known that he is about to tolerate John Boehner’s plan to attach Keystone XL to any bill extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits. This is what the president was referring to when he said, “no ideological side issues.” Obama was sending a message to Speaker Boehner that he can forget about Keystone XL.
Most importantly, Obama didn’t ask Congress to do anything. He told them what he wanted done. He didn’t request that Congress pass the long term payroll tax and unemployment insurance extensions, he told them to get it done, or else. The American Jobs Act marked the change in Obama’s tone, and his recent series of victories on the payroll tax extension, and SOPA have House Republicans on the run.
The economic recovery is gaining steam, his political fortunes have turned, and the Republican plan to make Barack Obama a one term president looks like it headed for failure.