Obama ups pressure on Republicans over jobs

VINEYARD HAVEN, MASSACHUSETTS - US President Barack Obama on Saturday again accused Republicans in Congress of putting politics before their country and blocking his efforts to create jobs.

By (AFP)

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Published: Sat 20 Aug 2011, 11:49 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 8:29 PM

In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama renewed his push for an extension of a payroll tax cut, spending on infrastructure to employ construction workers and jobs help for Iraq and Afghan war veterans.

“These are common sense ideas — ideas that have been supported by both Democrats and Republicans,” Obama said.

“The only thing holding them back is politics.

“The only thing preventing us from passing these bills is the refusal by some in Congress to put country ahead of party. That’s the problem right now. That’s what’s holding this country back. That’s what we have to change.”

The address was recorded last week in Illinois on the final stop of a three-state bus tour by Obama dedicated to the economy, as 9.1 percent unemployment and fears of a new recession cloud his political prospects.

Obama, who spent Saturday in his rented farmhouse on the well-heeled resort island of Martha’s Vineyard, is planning a major speech in early September to lay out a jobs and deficit cutting initiative.

But Republicans have already signaled that the package will have a tough reception in Congress, arguing Obama should cut regulations that they say are shackling the private sector and impeding job creation.

As the president relaxed on his vacation, the White House told reporters that he had brought a varied list of books with him.

He can dip into “The Bayou Trilogy,” a collection of detective stories by Daniel Woodrell set in Louisiana, and “Rodin’s Debutante,” by Ward Just, about a boy who comes of age in 20th Century Chicago, Obama’s adopted home town.

Obama bought both books on Friday in Vineyard Haven, a picturesque town on the island off the coast of Massachusetts.

The president, who appears to be a voracious reader, also brought several books with him from Washington.

They include “Cutting for Stone,” a novel by Abraham Verghese, “To the End of the Land,” by Israeli novelist David Grossman, and “The Warmth of Other Sons,” a history of migration by African Americans away from prejudice in southern states.

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