President calls out Republicans, says they are obstructing progress

A very common theme took focus in this week’s Presidential Address, and it can be summed up by the following charge . . .

“. . . gridlock as a political strategy is destructive to the country.”

Those were President Obama’s words in his Weekly Address, which called out Republican filibuster on a host of issues from unemployment benefits to political appointments.

The President warned,

“The legislation in the Senate right now would extend unemployment benefits to those workers who lost their job through no fault of their own. It would provide relief to struggling states that would help save the jobs of thousands of teachers and cops and firefighters. There are also provisions in this legislation that would extend the tax credit for first-time homebuyers, as well as tax cuts to keep research and development jobs here in the United States. Unfortunately, the Republican leadership in the Senate won’t even allow this legislation to come up for a vote. And if this obstruction continues, unemployed Americans will see their benefits stop. Teachers and firefighters will lose their jobs. Families will pay more for their first home. (emphasis added)

The blow came late this week when legislation was blocked by another filibuster (aided by two Senators who caucus with the Democrats — Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Ben Nelson (D-NE)).

The Washington Post:

by Lori Montgomery and Brady Dennis

Democratic leaders, who had predicted victory less than 24 hours earlier, vowed not to give up on the measure, but acknowledged that they have no clear path to securing the one or two Republican votes needed to push it to final passage. Though the sprawling package contains a number of must-pass provisions, Republicans have been steadfast in their opposition, insisting that the full cost of the measure be covered by cutting existing government programs.

“Americans are frustrated with the amount of spending and borrowing around here,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said after the vote. “Let’s not wave on through legislation that is going to worsen the deficit and dig an even deeper hole than we are in.”

You can read the rest of the article here.

Here is the President’s weekly address:

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