President Obama railed against Washington gridlock and Republican obstructionism in his weekly radio address, once again pointing to the military as providing the best example for public service.
"Just two days ago, a senator from Utah promised to obstruct every single American I appoint to a judgeship or public service position — unless I fire the consumer watchdog I put in place to protect the American people from financial schemes or malpractice," Obama said.
On Thursday, Utah Sen. Mike Lee said he would retaliate against the president's decision to appoint Richard Cordray as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in an unprecedented way during the winter break by blocking Senate consideration of judges and other nominations. Senate Republicans contend they were in recess so Mr. Cordray's appointment was unconstitutional.
"Given this president's blatant and egregious disregard both for proper constitutional procedures and the Senate's unquestioned role in such appointments, I find myself duty-bound to resist the consideration and approval of additional nominations until the president takes steps to remedy the situation," Mr. Lee said.
In his weekly address, Mr. Obama blasted Mr. Lee and other Republicans for obstructing his nominees just to get political attention.
"One of his aides told reporters that the senator plans to, and I'm quoting here, 'Delay and slow the process in order to get the president's attention,' " Mr. Obama said. "This isn't about me. We weren't sent here to wage perpetual political campaigns against each other. We were sent here to serve the American people. And they deserve better than gridlock and games. One senator gumming up the works for the whole country is certainly not what our founding fathers envisioned."
The combative remarks come just days after Mr. Obama's campaign shifted into high gear with his State of the Union speech Tuesday night. During the address, he said all White House nominees should receive an up or down Senate vote within 90 days, and called on Congress to pass a bill that would restrict lawmakers from owning stock in companies affected by their legislation.
"During my address on Tuesday night, I spoke about the incredible example set by the men and women of our armed forces," he said. "At a time when too many of our institutions have let us down, they exceed all expectations.They're not consumed with personal ambition.They don't obsess over their differences.They focus on the mission at hand.They work together."
Obama address: www.whitehouse.gov
GOP address: http://www.youtube.com/gopweeklyaddress
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