On Saturday in his weekly address at the White House, U.S. President Barack Obama yet again called on congressional members from both sides of the aisles to “cooperate, and compromise, and act in the best interests of this country we love" by passing a long-term budget bill, a farm bill, and an immigration reform bill.
Since the end of the shutdown earlier in the week, the President has been pitching these three items of legislation as highly crucial in order to move the nation’s economy forward and to build incentive for companies to create more jobs at better pay rates. In order to do so in a fiscally responsible manner, he said that Congress needs to invest in our future through education, research and infrastructure repair and expansion while closing the unfair tax loopholes which the wealthy and corporations presently enjoy.
He also stated that the 16-day long shutdown of the government by republicans as well as the republican threat of default on the nation’s debt ceiling “actually harmed jobs and growth.”
According to the Washington Post, Standard and Poor's has estimated that the shutdown cost the U.S. economy approximately $24 billion, while Moody’s Analytics has calculated the damage to be around $23 billion.
“The way business is done in Washington has to change,” the President stated, as he had done earlier in the week as well. He continued, “Now that these clouds of crisis and uncertainty have lifted, we need to focus on what the majority of Americans sent us here to do – grow the economy, create good jobs, strengthen the middle class, lay the foundation for broad-based prosperity, and get our fiscal house in order for the long haul.”
President Obama had no false illusions in the present political atmosphere stating that there will still be political disagreements, though remarking, “We shouldn’t hold back on places where we do agree, just because we don’t think it’s good politics, or just because the extremes in our parties don’t like compromise. I’ll look for willing partners from either party to get important work done.”
“There’s no good reason why we can’t govern responsibly, without lurching from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis,” he said in closing, adding, “Because that isn’t governing, it’s just hurting the people we were sent here to serve."