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Obama challenges GOP in Congress to build stronger America

After his speech in Denver, Colo. U.S. President Barack Obama hugs a young girl in attendance, July 09, 2014.
After his speech in Denver, Colo. U.S. President Barack Obama hugs a young girl in attendance, July 09, 2014.
White House/Pete Souza

On Wednesday in direct response to obstructionist congressional republicans who have criticized him for taking legal executive actions to help build a stronger America, U.S. President Barack Obama in his speech in Chessman Park in Denver, Colo. yet again invited republicans in Congress to work with him and congressional democrats to build an America which gives all an opportunity to advance.

“Some of the Republicans in Congress are mad at me for going ahead and doing things,” President Obama stated.

“I don't know which things they find most offensive, whether it's creating jobs, or easing student loan burdens, or raising wages, but it's really bothering them. They have a plan to sue me. They have plans to sue me for taking executive actions that are within my authority while they do nothing.

The President continued, “I have a better idea. They should do something. I will work with them. Rather than engage in political stunts that waste time and taxpayer money, join me. Let’s do some things together. Let’s build some roads. Let’s give America a raise. Let’s help families with childcare costs. There are all kinds of things we can do. Don't be mad at me for doing something. How about teaming up with me. Let’s all do something. Let’s all get America working.”

The President was introduced by a Coloradan worker who had written to him to tell him that her employer raised her wage to $10.10 an hour after hearing the State of the Union Address in January where Obama encouraged private business employers to raise their low wage workers’ pay.

Obama also discussed the story of a husband and wife in Colorado who had written to him that through a Small Business Administration loan available because of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA), also known as the “stimulus bill,” they were able to start a business which now employs approximately 100 workers.

Other letters he received about which he discussed were from a preschool teacher who discussed the importance for all children to receive early education and from a middle-class college student who is presently struggling with her education bills, remarking that she feels like politicians in Washington D.C. view her as “not significant enough to be addressed, not poor enough for people to worry about, and not rich enough to be cared about.”

President Obama is in the midst of a three-day road trip, visiting Colorado and Texas with a focus on the economy, in particular to how it affects middle-class and working-class families and on immigration.

Warning that cynicism plays into the hands of the special interests in Washington, D.C. through increased voter apathy and reduced citizen involvement, the President remarked, “We’re better off now than we were five years ago. We’re going to be better off five years from now than we are right now. Despite the unyielding opposition of a few, there are workers who have jobs who didn’t have them before. There are families who have health insurance who didn’t have it before. There are students who can afford to go to college who couldn’t afford to go before. There are troops who are home with their families after serving tour after tour of war. Don’t get cynical. Don’t do it.

“Cynicism is a popular choice these days," he added. “It’s what passes off for wisdom. But cynicism isn’t wise. And remember that it is a choice … and hope is a better choice. And it’s a choice that I make every time I sit down with these incredible people that I had dinner with last night. They make me hopeful.”

On Thursday July 3 the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced net job gains of 288,000 in June, the 52nd straight month of private sector job growth with approximately 9.7 million net new jobs created over that period. This period also marks the longest period of continual private sector job growth in the last 75 years.

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