President Obama, in his weekly address, lamented the fact that the Republican Party-led Congress is not doing its job.
He said, “Congress recently returned from a seven-week vacation. They’ve only got two weeks left until their next one. But there’s a lot of business they need to get done first.”
He listed a number of agenda items that warrant Congress immediate attention and action accordingly:
One — the approval of funding to help protect women and children by fighting Zika in a serious way.
Two — provide resources to help the people of Louisiana recover from the recent flood disaster as well as help communities like Flint recover from their own challenges.
Three — confirmation of Merrick Garland as Supreme Court judge.
The President noted that the nominee Garland has more federal judicial experience than any other in history; yet, he had to wait longer than any other in history for the simple courtesy of a hearing, let alone a vote. “All because they want their nominee for President to fill that seat,” the President surmised.
He also noted, “There are plenty other bipartisan priorities they should finish this year, too. Passing criminal justice reform. Attacking the opioids epidemic. Funding Joe Biden’s cancer moonshot. Finishing a Trans-Pacific trade agreement that will support American jobs and boost American wages. And passing a budget that will make sure all of America’s priorities are funded without resorting to shutdown threats and last-minute gimmicks.”
The President pointed to the fact that it has been almost a decade since Congress last voted to raise the minimum wage.
“None of this should be controversial. All of it is within our reach. This is America – we can do anything. We just need a Congress that works as hard as you do. At the very least, we should expect that they do their jobs – and protect us from disease, help us recover from disaster, keep the Supreme Court above politics, and help our businesses grow and hire,” President Obama reasoned.
He said that if people are concerned about the foregoing priorities, then they should let their Congressperson knows and if they still refuse to do their jobs — “well, you know what to do in November.”
“Our government only works as well as the people we elect. And that’s entirely up to you,” the President concluded.
Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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