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The President's Weekly Address

September 17, 2011

I've spent some time lately traveling the country and talking with folks outside of Washington. And the number-one issue for the people I meet is, how can we get back to a place where we're creating good, middle class jobs that pay well and offer some security?

That's the idea behind the "American Jobs Act." It's a jobs bill that does two simple things: put more people back to work, and more money back in the pockets of people who are working.

This jobs bill puts construction workers back to work rebuilding our roads and bridges and modernizing our schools. This jobs bill puts teachers back in the classroom and keeps cops and firefighters on our streets. This jobs bill gives tax credits to companies that hire our veterans, because if you sign up to fight for our country, the last thing you should have to do is fight for a job when you come home. This jobs bill connects the long-term unemployed to temporary work to keep their skills sharp while they look for a job, and it gives hundreds of thousands of young people the hope of a job next summer.

This jobs bill cuts taxes for every small-business owner in America. It cuts them even more for small-business owners that hire new workers and raise workers' salaries. And it cuts taxes for every working family in America so you'll have more money in your pockets and businesses know they'll have more customers to buy what they sell.

That's the "American Jobs Act," and you can check it out for yourself on

It will create new jobs. It will cut taxes for every worker and small business in the country. And it will not add to the deficit; it will be paid for.

On Monday, I'll lay out my plan for how we'll do that, how we'll pay for this plan and pay down our debt, by following some basic principles: making sure we live within our means and asking everyone to pay their fair share.

But right now we've got to get Congress to pass this jobs bill. Everything in the "American Jobs Act" is the kind of idea that's been supported by Democrats and Republicans before. And if they're ideas you agree with, then every one of you can help make it happen by telling your Congressperson to pass this jobs bill right away.

I know some of them would rather wait another year to wage another election than work together right now. But most Americans don't have the luxury of waiting. It was 3 years ago this week that a financial crisis on Wall Street made things much more difficult for working folks on Main Street. And too many are still hurting as a result.

So the time for action is now. No more games, no more gridlock, no more division or delay. It's time for the people you sent to Washington to put country before party, to stop worrying so much about their jobs and start worrying more about yours.

It's time to get to work and show the world once again why the United States of America remains the greatest nation on Earth.


Note: The address was recorded at approximately 5:10 p.m. on September 16 in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House for broadcast on September 17. The transcript was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary on September 16, but was embargoed for release until 6 a.m. on September 17.

Barack Obama, The President's Weekly Address Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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