Obama, in weekly address, rips Congress for leaving town

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President Obama slammed House Republicans Saturday for leaving Washington without passing a slate of bills the president said would have strengthened the economy and created jobs.

“Last week, without much fanfare, members of the House of Representatives banged a gavel, turned out the lights, and rushed home, declaring their work finished for now,” Mr. Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address. “If that frustrates you, it should, because their work isn’t finished.”

“When they skipped town, members of Congress left a whole bunch of proposals sitting on the table … these ideas have been around for months. The American people want to see them passed. But apparently some members of Congress are more worried about their jobs and their paychecks this campaign season than they are about yours,” the president said.

The Republican-led House adjourned on Friday, and many of the members left Washington to spend the next month campaigning in their home districts ahead of the November elections, when every seat in the chamber will be up for grabs.

The president, who is scheduled to hit the campaign trial again himself today, urged House Republicans and Democrats to return to Washington after the Nov. 6 elections and pass several White House-backed initiatives, including a jobs program for veterans, a farm bill and a proposal to ease mortgage refinancing for underwater homeowners.

“After going home and listening to their constituents for a few weeks, members of Congress should come back in November and do this work,” Mr. Obama said.

The president pointedly — and repeatedly — placed the blame for legislative gridlock in Washington on congressional Republicans. “Republicans in Congress have dragged their feet. And now they’re gone,” he said.

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