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The President's Weekly Address

August 02, 2014

Hi, everybody. My top priority as President is doing everything I can to create more jobs and more opportunities for hard-working families to get ahead.

On Friday, we learned that our economy created over 200,000 new jobs in July. That's on top of about 300,000 new jobs in June. We're now in a 6-month streak with at least 200,000 new jobs each month. That hasn't happened since 1997. All told, our businesses have created 9.9 million jobs over the past 53 months. And that's the longest streak of private sector job creation in our history.

Because of you—because of your hard work and determination—America has recovered faster and come farther than almost any other advanced country on Earth. The economy is clearly getting stronger. Things are clearly getting better. And the decisions we make now can keep things moving in that direction.

That's what's at stake right now: making sure our economy works for every working American, making sure that people who work hard can get ahead. That's why I've been pushing for commonsense ideas like rebuilding our infrastructure in a way that supports millions of good jobs and helps our businesses compete. That's why I've been pushing to raise the minimum wage; to make it easier for working folks to pay off their student loans. That's why I've been pushing for fair pay and paid leave.

These policies have two things in common. All of them would help working families feel more stable and secure. And unfortunately, all of them have been blocked or ignored by Republicans in Congress.

And that's why my administration keeps taking what actions we can on our own to help working families, because Congress is doing so little for working families. House Republicans actually got together this week and voted to sue me for taking actions on my own. And then they left town for the month without settling a bunch of unfinished business that matters to working families across America.

The bottom line is this. We've come a long way these past 5½ years. Our challenges are nowhere near as daunting as they were back then. But imagine how much farther along our economy would be—how much stronger our country would be—if Congress would just do its job.

I'll never stop trying to work with both parties to get things moving faster for the middle class and everybody who's working to get into the middle class. And I could use your help. If you see your Member of Congress around home this month, tell him or her what's on your mind. Ask them why they haven't passed bills to raise the minimum wage or help with student loans or enact fair pay for women.

And 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. And in the meantime, I will not stop and will never stop doing whatever I can, whenever I can, not only to make sure that our economy succeeds, but that folks like you succeed. Thanks, and have a great weekend.

NOTE: The address was recorded at approximately 3:15 p.m. on August 1 in the Map Room at the White House for broadcast on August 2. The transcript was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary on August 1, but was embargoed for release until 6 a.m. on August 2.

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

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