President Obama urged Americans Saturday to pressure Republican lawmakers who are on vacation in their districts to support his economic agenda, including a hike in the federal minimum wage.
“If you see your Member of Congress around home this month, tell him or her what’s on your mind,” Mr. Obama said in his weekly address. “Ask them why they haven’t passed bills to raise the minimum wage or help with student loans or enact fair pay for women.”
Congress adjourned for its traditional August recess Friday night after the House approved a border security bill opposed by the president, and also voted to stop Mr. Obama’s program of deferred deportations for young illegal immigrants. Mr. Obama blasted the GOP’s actions and warned that he will act on his own soon to deal with the surge of illegal immigrants at the Mexican border.
But Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, chairman of the House Republicans’ campaign arm, said Mr. Obama refuses to work with the GOP on measures that would grow the economy.
“We’ve focused on solutions to rein in big government, and help grow our economy,” Mr. Walden said in the weekly Republican address. “The House has passed more than 40 jobs bills, but the president and his party refuse to give them a hearing.”
Mr. Walden accused the president of being “disengaged when he should be leading.”
“Especially when we have an economy leaving people behind … a debt bigger than the size of our economy … a humanitarian crisis at our southern border … the IRS targeting Americans for their political beliefs … the rolling disaster that is ObamaCare,” Mr. Walden said. “These are the problems he promised to solve, but instead he’s become a part of them.”
He said the most certain way to improve the situation will come in November’s mid-term elections.
“In 94 days, we get to do more than just hope,” Mr. Walden said. “We have the chance to deliver the accountability that cannot come soon enough.”
In his address, the president hailed the new employment report Friday that showed the creation of more than 200,000 jobs in July, on top of about 300,000 jobs in June.
“The economy is clearly getting stronger,” he said. “Things are clearly getting better. But imagine how much farther along our economy would be — how much stronger our country would be — if Congress would do its job.”
Mr. Obama said if voters pressure lawmakers during the month of August, “when they return from vacation next month, instead of trying to pass partisan bills on party lines, hopefully we can come together with the sense of common purpose that you expect.”