President talks auto industry, pushes for Small Business Jobs Act

Speaking from a GM factory in Michigan, President Obama praised some of the successes coming out of the auto industry . . . success, which the President argues stems from a very controversial, if not unpopular, decision last year:

“We said to the auto companies, if you’re willing to make the hard decisions necessary to adapt and compete in the 21st century, we’ll make a one-time investment in your future. Of course, if some folks had their way, none of this would be happening at all. This plant might not exist, because there were leaders of the ‘just say no’ crowd in Washington who argued that standing by the auto industry would guarantee failure.”

But, despite the critics, the President continues to champion the progress that has been made in the industry:

“Since GM and Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy, our auto industry has added 55,000 jobs — the strongest period of job growth in more than 10 years. For the first time since 2004, all three American automakers are operating at a profit. Sales have begun to rebound.”

President Obama went on to praise the new technology being used in the auto industry to advance clean energy and adapt to the changing times and new demands of the 21st century. The President also tied the success of the auto industry and its effect on the economy with a continued push to assist small businesses. Of primary importance for President Obama was a call to pass the Small Business Jobs Act:

“I can’t imagine anything more common-sense than giving additional tax breaks and badly-needed lending assistance to America’s small business owners so they can grow and hire. That’s what we’re trying to do with the Small Business Jobs Act — a bill that has been praised as being good for small businesses by groups like the Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business. It’s a bill that includes provision after provision authored by both Democrats and Republicans. But yesterday, the Republican leaders in the Senate once again used parliamentary procedures to block it. Understand, a majority of Senators support the plan. It’s just that the Republican leaders in the Senate won’t even allow it to come up for a vote. That isn’t right.”

And here is the President’s Weekly Address (followed by a video of President Obama’s visit to an auto plant in Detroit, MI):

And here is the President in Detroit, MI:

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