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The president, as he did during his address to the nation three days earlier, also pushed for making a college eduction more affordable to average Americans. He praised House Democrats for backing his efforts to expand the federal Pell Grant tuition program while House Republicans push for cuts in the program.
Repeating one of his popular election-year themes, the president called on congressional Democrats to push back Republican attempts to “obstruct” and play politics.
“Where they’re unwilling to act, where they’re more interested in party than they are in country, more interested in the next election than the next generation, then we’ve got to call them out on it,” he said, as the receptive crown broke out in applauses. “We’ve got to call them out on it. We’ve got to push them. We can’t wait. We can’t be held back.”
And while presidential elections years often result in little meaningful legislation passed in Congress, the president urged the lawmakers to “not to forget that there’s still work that we can do right now,” such as extending the payroll tax holiday that expired after Feb. 29.
Mr. Obama also thanked House Democrats — who lost control of the chamber after the 2010 elections — for their efforts in advancing his agenda and pushing the economy forward.
“You guys have had my back through some very tough times,” Mr. Obama said. “I’m going to have your back, as well. And together we’re going to move this country forward.”
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About the Author
Sean Lengell covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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