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The President's Weekly Address

August 22, 2015

Hi, everybody. Seven years after the worst economic crisis in generations, our economy continues to grow and create jobs. In fact, our businesses have created 13 million new jobs over the past 5½ years.

But if we want to keep this momentum going, to make sure that working families feel like their hard work is being rewarded with a basic sense of security, then we all need to do our part.

That's why my administration has been partnering with States and cities to help grow the middle class. Over the past few years, nearly 20 cities and counties have implemented paid sick days. Six states have enacted paid sick days or paid family leave. Seventeen States, and more than two dozen cities and counties, have raised their minimum wage. All of this will help working families. And across the country, folks are proving that preparing all our kids for the future doesn't have to be a partisan issue. Seattle, a city with a Democratic mayor, just passed universal pre-K, while Indianapolis, a city with a Republican mayor, is starting citywide preschool scholarships. All told, 34 States have increased funding for preschool, and that's good for all of us.

Now we need Congress to do its part to boost the economy as well. Unfortunately, Congress left town for 5 full weeks, and they left behind a stack of unfinished business. For the first time ever, Congress failed to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. That left thousands of business owners and their employees at a serious disadvantage compared to their competitors overseas. That's not good for jobs. It's not good for our economy. When it returns from recess, reauthorizing the Bank ought to be a top agenda for Members of Congress.

Congress also hasn't passed a budget, and when they return from vacation, they'll only have a few weeks to do so or shut down the Government for the second time in 2 years. They've had all year to do this. Months ago, I put forward a detailed plan to strengthen our economy and our national security in a fiscally responsible way. And for months, I've said I will veto any budget that locks in the sequester, those senseless cuts to domestic and national security priorities. Remember, we can't cut our way to prosperity. We should be investing in things that help our economy grow today and tomorrow, like education or infrastructure or scientific research.

Democrats in Congress have made it clear they're ready to sit down and work with Republicans to find common ground on this. After all, Americans expect Congress to help keep our country strong and growing, not threaten to shut down our Government. When Congress gets back, they should prevent a shutdown, pass a responsible budget, and prove that this is a country that looks forward, a country that invests in our future and keeps our economy growing for all Americans.

Thanks, everybody, and have a great weekend.

NOTE: The address was recorded at approximately 11:15 a.m. on August 7 in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House for broadcast on August 22. In the address, the President referred to Mayor Edward B. Murray of Seattle, WA, and Mayor Gregory A. Ballard of Indianapolis, IN. The transcript was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary on August 21, but was embargoed for release until 6 a.m. on August 22.

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

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