by BYRON TAU, Politico
Despite being in the midst of a heated presidential campaign, President Barack Obama isn’t letting Congress off the hook.
“Their work isn’t finished,” Obama said in his weekly address released Saturday. But, “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.
“If that frustrates you, it should,” Obama said. “When they skipped town, members of Congress left a whole bunch of proposals sitting on the table — actions that would create jobs, boost our economy and strengthen middle-class security. 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.”
Obama specifically noted that the farm bill, the veterans job corps and a mortgage refinancing program were items left undone.
He also prodded Congress to take up his proposal to extend just the middle- and lower-income portions of the Bush tax cuts.
“If Congress had listened to you, they could have given 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small business owners a guarantee that your taxes won’t go up next year by a single dime,” Obama said. “This is something we all agree on. It should have gotten done a long time ago.
“But Republicans in Congress have refused to budge. They’re holding tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans hostage until we pass tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. And now, middle-class families and small business owners are left wondering what their tax bill will look like next year.” [MORE]