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In this week’s address, President Obama called on Democrats and Republicans to work together to grow the economy and get Americans back to work. The President has outlined a number of steps Congress can take right now to spur growth and create jobs, including extending tax cuts for working and middle class families, cutting red tape to encourage new businesses to grow and hire, passing trade deals that will support tens of thousands of jobs, and giving our out-of-work construction workers opportunities to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure.

Remarks of President Barack Obama

Weekly Address

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Washington, DC


This week, Congress reached an agreement that’s going to allow us to make some progress in reducing our nation’s budget deficit. And through this compromise, both parties are going to have to work together on a larger plan to get our nation’s finances in order. That’s important. We’ve got to make sure that Washington lives within its means, just like families do. In the long term, the health of our economy depends on it.


But in the short term, our urgent mission has to be getting this economy growing faster and creating jobs. That’s what’s on people’s minds; that’s what matters to families in this country. And the fact is, this has been a tumultuous year for the economy. We’ve weathered the Arab Spring’s effect on oil and gas prices. The Japanese earthquake and tsunami’s effect on supply chains. The economic situation in Europe. And in Washington, there was a contentious debate over our nation’s budget that nearly dragged our country into financial crisis.

So our job right now has to be doing whatever we can to help folks find work; to help create the climate where a business can put up that job listing; where incomes are rising again for people. We’ve got to rebuild this economy and the sense of security that middle class has felt slipping away for years. And while deficit reduction has to be part of our economic strategy, it’s not the only thing we have to do.


We need Democrats and Republicans to work together to help grow this economy. We’ve got to put politics aside to get some things done. That’s what the American people expect of us. And there are a number of steps that Congress can take right away, when they return in September.

We need to extend tax cuts for working and middle class families so you have more money in your paychecks next year. That would help millions of people to make ends meet. And that extra money for expenses means businesses will have more customers, and will be in a better position to hire.


Yesterday, I proposed a new tax credit for companies that hire veterans who are looking for work after serving their country. We’ve got a lot of honorable and skilled people returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and companies that could benefit from their abilities. Let’s put them together.

We need to make sure that millions of workers who are still pounding the pavement looking for jobs are not denied unemployment benefits to carry them through hard times.


We’ve got to cut the red tape that stops too many inventors and entrepreneurs from quickly turning new ideas into thriving businesses – which holds back our whole economy.


It’s time Congress finally passed a set of trade deals that would help displaced workers looking for new jobs, and that would allow our businesses to sell more products in countries in Asia and South America – products stamped with three words: Made in America.


And we ought to give more opportunities to all those construction workers who lost their jobs when the housing boom went bust. We could put them to work right now, by giving loans to companies that want to repair our roads and bridges and airports, helping to rebuild America.


Those are a few commonsense steps that would help the economy. And these are ideas that have been supported by both Democrats and Republicans in the past. So I’m going to keep calling on both parties in Congress to put aside their differences and send these bills to my desk so I can sign them right away. After all, both parties share power. Both parties share responsibility for our progress. Moving our economy and our country forward is not a Democratic or a Republican responsibility; it is our responsibility as Americans.


That’s the spirit we need in Washington right now. That’s how we’ll get this economy growing faster and reach a brighter day.


Thanks for listening, and have a great weekend.

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Guest Randy Hall

President Obama should have discussed the downgrade during his weekly address. He either does not want to fuel the fire or forgot to bring the water.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest Samuel Galifankos

I think if the Republican party would go back to a more centrist conservative point of view and rethink globalization I would join their ranks again.

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A stimulas like the last one that uses "Made in China" goods is going to be another huge waste of money. Obama already lost his FDR moment with poor planning on infrastructure projects. What this administration does not understand is materials and the labor to assemble goods must be made here in the USA to help put Americans back to work and stimulate economic growth. When I see actual bridges built in China that are coming to New York and San Francisco, it shows government knows how to save money. But, it also shows government does not really understand the meaning of a stimulas.

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Mr. Speaker stop the political jousting and let the President speak to Congress.


Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 8/31/2011


James S. Brady Press Briefing Room


12:26 P.M. EDT


MR. CARNEY: Hello, everyone. Good afternoon. Anybody want to ask me when and where the speech is going to be? (Laughter.)


Q Have they accepted? Are they going to let him --


MR. CARNEY: I don't want to speak for the leaders of Congress, but I know you all did learn that the President requested of the leaders that he speak to a joint session of Congress next week on September 7th at 8:00 p.m.


Beyond that, I don't have any announcements, so I'll start with your questions.


Q Can you talk a little bit about why he's going to do the speech before a joint session of Congress as opposed to some other venue?


MR. CARNEY: Sure. The President feels that we are at a moment when we need to take significant action to spur economic growth and to create jobs, to accelerate hiring, and that that action can be -- there are significant things we can do if we work together in Washington. And that requires working with Congress. And he believes that if members of Congress, while they've been on their recess, have been hearing the same things from regular Americans that he heard when he was on his bus tour, then they will come back with a sense of urgency and a focus and determination to do the kinds of bipartisan things that we can do right now to increase growth and increase job creation. So he believes that the venue is appropriate because of the actions that need to be taken.


Q Is the timing of the speech -- there's also a Republican debate that night in California. Did the White House specifically choose the date and time --


MR. CARNEY: No, of course not. There were a lot of considerations that once you decide you want to do a speech to Congress, and you have to deal with congressional schedules and there are many other factors here. And obviously one debate of many that’s on one channel of many was not enough reason not to have the speech at the time that we decided to have it.


Q Did you check with Chuck Todd or anyone -- (laughter.)


MR. CARNEY: We make consultations obviously with networks all the time about the timing of presidential speeches.


Q Can I follow real quick -- I'm sorry.


MR. CARNEY: Do you yield, Alister? (Laughter.)


Q The gentleman from Reuters. (Laughter.) Any concern that -- as you know, it's at the Reagan facility. Any concern of potentially upsetting Nancy Reagan by stepping on this?


MR. CARNEY: I think that the -- the sponsors of the debate control the timing of it; they can make a decision based on how they want to handle this. There are many channels, there are many opportunities for the public to hear the President speak, to watch this debate -- one of many -- and we'll let that sort itself out.


Q Two questions on the speech. The President said yesterday in a radio interview that the government could take steps that could spur growth by up to 1.5 percentage point and add a million new jobs. Is that an indication of the scale of the proposals he's going to lay out?


MR. CARNEY: No, I think if you look at the full quotation, the full context of that comment by the President, he was speaking generally about economic models -- economic analysis and models that say every one -- roughly -- I'm not an economist -- but every 1 percent of growth equals -- generally equals T-K number of jobs, this many million jobs or 100,000 jobs. So that was not a reference to his proposal. I'll leave the details and the projections of added growth and job creation to the speech itself and to the analysis afterwards. That was more a reference to general economic analysis says if you take measures to increase economic growth by this percentage, it will result in this many jobs.


Q Okay. And then, secondly, is this a job speech, or is it a jobs and deficit speech? Because the President has referenced the importance of bringing down the deficit over time. Is it going to include proposals for the super committee?


MR. CARNEY: The President made clear his commitment to present to the so-called super committee, special committee, joint committee in Congress that's going to deal with further deficit and debt reduction his own specific and detailed proposals. He will do that.


This speech next week, he will certainly put the need for jobs -- job creation and economic growth within the context of an overall long-term plan for dealing with growing our economy and getting our fiscal house in order. But the speech tomorrow -- rather next week will focus on the immediate need to create jobs and spur economic growth.


It will obviously -- it will contain -- there will be many elements of it. I don't want to over-preview it here, but the commitment to present a detailed proposal on deficit reduction remains. And as you know, I believe the committee meets for the first time the following week. Next week he will focus on jobs and growth.


Q So it will not lay out a goal for --


MR. CARNEY: Again, I’m not going to get into the specifics. It will be a significant speech with many elements to it, but I don't want -- I want to be clear that the President is focused very much on steps we can take together -- Congress, the administration -- to grow the economy and create jobs at this important time in the American economy.


Q On housing, Jay, is the White House working on a new proposal at this point?


MR. CARNEY: As you know, restoring the health of the housing market after its dramatic collapse is an important goal and it’s not an easy task. We have been committed since the day this President was sworn into office to taking measures -- taking steps that will help us do that, and we continue to look at new ideas for how to do that. There’s many measures that we have taken that have resulted in many, many families being able to stay in their homes, to restructure their mortgages and to allow themselves to stay in their homes. And we think that’s very important, and we’ll continue to look at measures.


Most recently over the summer, as you know, the President put forward an initiative of expanded forbearance for unemployed homeowners to allow them to stay in their homes, and he began a process to deal with the excess of foreclosed properties, to help stabilize communities and home values. And we continue to look at new ideas.


Q But HAMP and the unemployed, underwater, and the states’ help -- I mean, those things are sort of incremental and have -- for HAMP especially -- have served many fewer people, millions fewer people than the administration initially said they would. How imperative is it from the President’s perspective to help those people, millions of people who are underwater on their home loans, to refinance?


MR. CARNEY: The President, as I said, continues to be focused on this issue. It’s not an easy task. I would note that over 760,000 homeowners have obtained permanent remodifications -- modifications, rather, to their mortgages under the HAMP program you reference, and that on average over the past six months, 25,000 to 30,000 more homeowners are obtaining permanent modification each month. And when you combine that with the assistance provided through HUD and the steps that the private sector has taken, another 5 million families have been offered modifications between April 2009 and December 2010.


And we will continue to look at measures and to take steps that can improve the prospects for homeowners and to allow them to stay in their homes, including -- evidence of the fact that we’re constantly looking for new ideas on this issue are the two measures that I just referenced.


Q It sounds very decoupled, though, from jobs and deficit reduction. It’s something, maybe, that is a lesser priority than those other things when you look at the timing?


MR. CARNEY: I think these are all priorities. And the housing challenge that we continue to face is part of the economic challenge that we face, there’s no question. And he is focused on that as part of his overall highest priority, which is the economy and jobs.


Q Have Leader Reid and Speaker Boehner accepted the President’s request to address the joint session?


MR. CARNEY: I have not -- obviously, we just submitted this letter. I have not heard from them yet, personally.


Q The President is requesting this time to address the joint session of Congress at the same Republicans are holding a debate. Would you describe that timing as coincidental?


MR. CARNEY: I was already asked this, actually, by the first question -- by Darlene and I think I answered it. It is coincidental. There is -- the President committed to speaking next week after the Labor Day holiday and immediately upon Congress’ return. And there are a lot of factors that go into scheduling a speech before Congress, a joint session speech. And again, you can never find a perfect time. There are major events that occur on television. There are other issues that you have to deal with, as well as congressional scheduling and the President’s scheduling. So as I just noted, there are many channels, there are many opportunities for people to watch the President, and obviously, an opportunity for people to watch the debate. And I leave -- the network involved here can decide how it wants to deal.


Q You mentioned congressional scheduling. So there was something that Leader Reid or Speaker Boehner suggested that date and --


MR. CARNEY: I’m saying that Congress isn’t in session, is not back on Monday, for example -- or on Friday. It’s not -- there are other issues that have to go into any of these kind of scheduling decisions.


Q The President has a lot of things he’s talked about, about ways to jumpstart the economy. Some of the proposals would cost tens of billions of dollars, hundreds of billions of dollars -- like the payroll tax cut. Is the President planning to send -- pose something that would be deficit neutral, in other words would be paid for --


MR. CARNEY: The President has already made clear that precisely because we need to take measures to enhance growth, accelerate hiring, he will call on the committee dealing with the need for fiscal soundness to overshoot its goals, to pass a program that -- his program will call for greater deficit reduction, greater savings than the target set by the legislation that created the super committee.


Q I'm just trying to decouple these two things -- one is the jobs speech and --


MR. CARNEY: The answer is, yes, it will be paid for.


Q -- and one is the long-term deficit reduction.


MR. CARNEY: Absolutely paid for.


Q But the jobs speech stuff will be paid for?




Q Jay, so given the scheduling, other things in the air on the speech, but is there an added bonus for the White House to step -- I mean, for you to say there's no --


MR. CARNEY: Look, again, there's one President; there's 20-some odd debates. This is an important moment for our economy. Congress is just coming back. He is addressing an issue that is of great significance to the American people as well as to the Congress. And there are many opportunities for the American people -- there's the choice they can make to watch the President, to watch a debate. The debate could be -- again, the network could make a decision to alter the timing of the debate by an hour if it so decided -- or the sponsor of the debate. Again, it can't -- you know how this works because you work in television. There is no perfect time -- there's not been a time in my short time in this job where I have called the networks and said, how about now -- does this time work for the President to speak? There's always a, well, it works for two of us, but not the other three of us --


Q I understand. We also work in a political world where it's not like this White House doesn’t know that the Republicans are trying to trump the President that night. So that didn’t play a factor at all?


MR. CARNEY: It did not. I can honestly tell you -- and again, the President -- this is about the President addressing the American economy, the need to grow the economy, the need to create jobs. This is the right time to do it, the right day to do it, given all the other considerations. So that's why we asked for it.


Q And on the economy and jobs, you say in the speech he wants to talk about bipartisan proposals, things that Republicans could support. It seems like he started the ball rolling today with the highway jobs. But we heard the same talk from the President in January 2009 with the stimulus -- shovel-ready projects, this was going to create a lot of jobs -- that didn’t pan out. So what's really new about this? Why would the American people be confident that the jobs are going to be created?


MR. CARNEY: Well -- and I know that you know the history better than that, that every independent economist attests to the fact that the Recovery Act added, what, 3 million jobs, I believe, to the economy, created a safety --


Q I'm not saying it did not create jobs. I'm just saying it didn’t create as many as you said --


MR. CARNEY: I understand there's a political issue that some folks are arguing that it didn’t do enough; obviously others on the other side argue that it should have been bigger and could have done more. What is an indisputable fact is that the hole created by the recession that this President took office during was 8 million jobs large. That is a fact -- that the recession that was in full bloom, if you will, when the President took office ended up costing the American economy 8 million jobs; 8 million Americans lost their job because of that recession. And that is the economic environment in which this President took office and began to take measures to address that problem. And the measures he's taken have -- working with Congress -- have resulted in, again, over 2 million private sector jobs being created, economic growth as opposed to economic contraction.


Recovery is not happening fast enough. Job creation is not happening fast enough. That is why he will address the American people and the Congress next week to talk about measures that we can take together to do right now to enhance growth and job creation.


Q I guess I’m referring less to -- I know Republicans have been saying even before the stimulus passed that they didn’t think it was going to do enough. They’ve made that argument over and over again. But the President himself, a couple months ago, said shovel-ready didn’t turn out to be so shovel-ready. So put aside the -- the President himself has acknowledged publicly --


MR. CARNEY: I think you’re confusing --


Q -- that it didn’t create as many jobs.


MR. CARNEY: You’re confusing two things. When the President spoke today with the CEO -- the COO of the Chamber of Commerce and the head of the AFL-CIO by his side, as well as many others, he was referring to a clean extension of the Surface Transportation bill, the highway bill, if you will, that has had broad bipartisan support for years, that has been extended without issue seven times in the last two years, and that the failure to do that would -- could potentially jeopardize up to a million American jobs. That is separate from the jobs and growth proposals he’ll put forward next week and has nothing to do with whether or not projects are ready to build.


This is a program that has been in place for years, that has been supported by Democratic and Republican Presidents, Democratic and Republican congresses. The reason why the President came out today to talk about it is that, unfortunately, we do not live in the kind of political environment that we used to, where you cannot take for granted that things that had bipartisan support will have it going forward, and you cannot take for granted, after we went through the debt ceiling debate, where some members of Congress seemed willing to threaten the American economy and the global economy to make a political point -- you can’t take anything for granted.

So the President went out today to say, look, Congress has to do this. We should not create any more self-inflicted wounds. We certainly have to take action to grow the economy and create jobs, and we absolutely must not take action that will result in the loss of jobs. We saw this in the FAA thing. It was a wholly unnecessary, self-inflicted wound that resulted, for a time period, in people losing their jobs and not getting a paycheck.


Q That brings up a question. FEMA funding, highway bill, FAA -- normally things that are popular in Congress, or relatively non-controversial anyway -- the President told Tom Joyner yesterday he’s going to communicate with the American people and he wants the next election to be a referendum on a Republican Congress, as opposed to a referendum on his presidency, I assume. Is this an effort, the venue, probably the most conspicuous of all venues, in prime-time, to sort of go big and put Republicans in a very public box on this?


MR. CARNEY: As I said I believe the other day, and again yesterday on Air Force One when we were flying to Minneapolis, the President’s goal is for Congress to act and act quickly to pass the proposals he will put forward next week. And there, again, if we -- in normal times, the proposals he puts forward next week would gain substantial, broad bipartisan support, especially in an economic situation like we face now.

He is hopeful that members of Congress of both parties will, during their recess, have heard from their constituents the same things that the President heard from Americans in Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa, when he was on his bus trip a few weeks ago, and the week before that when he was in Michigan -- the American people -- Republicans, Democrats, independents -- are fed up with the kind of political posturing and gamesmanship that used to just result in gridlock and what’s perceived to be incompetent, but proved itself during the debt-ceiling debate to be dangerous, that did harm to the American economy, and therefore did harm to average Americans.


We can’t have that. We can’t afford it. And the President believes that members of Congress will come back, having heard from their constituents, and will understand the need to take action -- sensible action -- to grow the economy and create jobs.


Q Since I jumped the line, I’ll pass --


MR. CARNEY: You yield to the Wall Street Journal?


Q Will the President include an estimate of how many jobs his plan will create or what sort of growth it might produce when he lays out his proposal?


MR. CARNEY: We’ll see. (Laughter.)


Q Is that something that you think is important --


MR. CARNEY: The President will -- I can just say generally without getting into the specifics of the speech that will not be delivered for another week, that the President is confident that outside economic analysts will judge his proposals to be beneficial to the economy and beneficial to job creation. And they will make those measurements.


As far as what projections we make, that remains to be seen. But we are absolutely confident the kinds of proposals the President will make will be judged by reputable, nonpartisan, independent economic analysts to be pro-growth, pro-job creation.


Q And considering the weight the housing market has on the economy, is he going to offer any new proposals for getting -- for the housing market --


MR. CARNEY: I was just asked this question, and again, we -- the President believes that and understands that the challenges facing the housing market after its collapse remain, and we will continue to take steps as we’ve taken since the beginning of this administration to try to alleviate that, to help homeowners stay in their homes. And we are constantly evaluating new ideas and taking action, as he has just this summer with the two programs I mentioned. And by "constantly," I mean not just in the past, but going forward.


Q Just one more thing on the debate. Would the President prefer, would he like that the organizers to move it up so that it doesn't coincide with his speech?


MR. CARNEY: I’m not -- we’re not going to get into the scheduling for sponsors of debates or television. Given the options we had, the fact that we believe that it is the right venue and the right time to speak for this kind of a speech, we asked for the time that we asked for.


Q I know, but the reason I asked was because --


MR. CARNEY: We would be perfectly happy to have --


Q -- we’ve heard a lot about democracy and the importance of the American --


MR. CARNEY: Absolutely, I mean, we --


Q -- voting process. And a debate like this is an important piece of that process.




Q And so I’m just wondering is he at all concerned that by him delivering his speech at the same time as this debate that he’s somehow depriving them --


MR. CARNEY: As his press secretary and somebody involved in his communications -- putting aside what else, whatever the competing opportunities on television are, whether it’s the wildlife channel or the cooking channel or political -- but I would be -- I wish that I could say --


Q Are you comparing Republicans to --


MR. CARNEY: Maybe the wildlife -- but the -- (laughter.) What I mean is that would it were so that I could be sure simply by having the President of the United States speak at a certain hour that every American who is watching TV would be watching him. I wish that were the case. Certainly, a substantial number of Americans will. I would personally, and I’m sure the President feels the same way, welcome -- if the sponsors so chose, and the candidates so chose to adjust the timing of their debate so that it didn't conflict, that would be completely fine with us in the spirit of democracy and that.


But, again, I think that we live in such a world of choices in terms of getting information and watching media, that there will be ample opportunity for Americans to hear and see the President, ample opportunity for Americans to hear and see candidates for office. And so we’ll just carry forward with our plan.


Q Jay, you and the President and others keep using the term "bipartisan" to describe the ideas that he’s going to announce --


MR. CARNEY: By any historical measure, yes.


Q Okay, by any historical measure, the Republicans, especially in the House, have rejected almost every idea that he has proposed up until now. What makes you think that they're going to --


MR. CARNEY: It is an excellent point that you make that even when the President has put forward ideas that have been historically affiliated with the Republican Party, that suddenly they have been unappealing to some members of Congress.


Q So what makes you think they’ll see this as bipartisan?


MR. CARNEY: Because they will have heard from their constituents. They will have heard that the vast majority of Americans, whether they voted Democratic or Republican, whether they're registered Democrats or Republicans or independents, just want their elected representatives to get to work and to get things done. They do not care who wins the ideological debate. They do not care who scores the most political points. In fact, they're infuriated when they see that take precedence over the need to do the things that need to be done to help them, to help the American economy grow, to help the private sector grow and create jobs.


Look, I think it is entirely likely that most representatives of Congress will have heard that message from their constituents during the recess. Now, I can’t predict behavior, but the President certainly hopes that, having heard that, lawmakers will return to Washington with a sense of purpose and seriousness that will enable us to do things in a bipartisan way to grow the economy and create jobs.


If that's not the case, we will continue to push -- the President will continue to push to get it done. But he certainly hopes that it will be the case. Because, again, as I said, I think in answer to Mike’s question, it used to be that political gridlock and partisanship when it reared its head and it made Washington dysfunctional, people were like, oh, my God, it’s just so incompetent and it’s frustrating. Now, they were treated to the spectacle of Washington politics threatening to do direct and immediate harm to their livelihoods and to the American economy. And that's just not acceptable.


Q To what extent will this speech be a follow-up to the message that we heard on the bus tour asking people to enlist -- enlist people in a fight if Republicans continue to reject --


MR. CARNEY: Well, I think what the President was doing then and will continue to do is to call on the American people to insist that Washington, Congress, their representatives, respond to their desire that action be taken. And it’s not about winning a fight or a political battle. It’s about insisting that things that have broad bipartisan support, things that make eminent sense to assist the economy to create jobs, get passed and signed into law, for the sake of all the American people.


Q Do you have any other further schedule updates to give us?


MR. CARNEY: I don’t.


Q And nothing this weekend, no plan of looking at any of the hurricane damage or tropical storm damage?


MR. CARNEY: I don’t have anything for you on that now. Thanks.


Q Jay, I’m just a little confused between the disconnection between the deficit part of this, which you say he’s going to give his ideas to the super committee at some other time, and this jobs speech.


MR. CARNEY: Well, let me just -- I don’t mean that in a literal sense. I simply meant that the President made an explicit commitment to provide the joint committee that will be -- that is tasked with finding further ways to reduce the deficit and deal with our long-term debt, a specific, detailed proposal. He will do that.


Now, I was asked about will that be part of the speech next week. And, again, without getting into details, I just want to make clear that the reason he is going forward to Congress, to the American people, next week is to talk about actions that we can take to create jobs and grow the economy now.


There is the broader context, without question, that we need to -- Congress can, if it behaves rationally, we can do things not just to grow the economy and create jobs, but as was demonstrated by the process over the debt ceiling debate, that there is ample bipartisan -- could be ample bipartisan consensus for getting our long-term fiscal house in order.


Q But you could make the argument as a --


MR. CARNEY: These are related. There’s no question they’re related. The immediate task here is to spur growth and accelerate hiring.


Q Right, but because the Republican argument is the best way to spur growth is to cut government immediately and not spend any more money, he has to answer that argument on Wednesday night, doesn’t he?


MR. CARNEY: Well, look, again, I don’t want to get into the specifics. There’s no question that within the context of this he will, as he has in the past, talk about how we can take actions now to enhance growth and accelerate hiring within the context of doing the things that we need to do for the long term to get our deficits under control, our debt under control, and to create the kind of economic environment we need to dominate the 21st century in the same way we did the 20th. And that includes investments in infrastructure, education, clean energy and the like.


Q But just -- when you said to Norah that, yes, this will be paid for, I’m assuming you’re saying it will be paid for over the long term. These are short-term immediate investments to spur job creation. The pay-fors are long term --


MR. CARNEY: I’m not going to get into specifics about the line items within the proposals and how they --


Q I’m not asking -- I’m just --


MR. CARNEY: Well, I mean, and how -- the President is committed, as he made clear, to more deficit reduction than has been mandated by Congress. And one of the reasons to do that is to pay for the measures that need to be taken to grow the economy and create jobs now.


Q And he will discuss that on Wednesday?


MR. CARNEY: I think I’ve said -- I mean, I think the answer is yes. But, again, I want to be understood that the focus here is on jobs and economic growth -- which is not to say -- all of these are of a piece. What the American -- what needs to be done now is Congress needs to come back, having heard from their constituents, and do the things that the President will put forward that should have bipartisan support, that will be judged by economists and independent analysts to be pro-growth and pro-job creation, and to take action quickly so that those things can have an effect.


Also, Congress has mandated as part of the agreement that was reached to raise the debt ceiling that this super committee take action by shortly before Thanksgiving that would further reduce the deficit and reduce the debt. And the President is going to be very engaged with a specific and detailed proposal about how he believes we should do that in a balanced way, in a way that will actually enhance growth, enhance confidence, and not balance the back on the budget -- balance the budget, rather, on the backs of individual sectors of society so that some sectors can continue to get broad tax cuts or enjoy loopholes in the tax code or subsidies. So that will be all part of the package.


Q Three of the Republican candidates for President are sitting House members. Where would the White House expect them to be next Wednesday night?


MR. CARNEY: The White House has no expectations. We’ll leave that to individual choice.


Q Foreign affairs -- Syria. You have already called --


MR. CARNEY: Foreign what? Affairs?



Q Jay, two questions about the speech. The media sponsors for the debate are big boys and they can sort of take care of themselves on this, but it’s also sponsored by the Reagan Library and Mrs. Reagan is very much involved.


MR. CARNEY: I was asked already. I feel like there’s a lot of echo effect.


Q But I just wanted to know, did you give any consideration to that? Did you, for instance -- did anyone in the administration reach out to officials at the library or Mrs. Reagan’s office to inform her --


MR. CARNEY: Well, I don't want to prescribe an answer here, but I think that we’re talking about 8 p.m. East Coast time; 5 p.m. West Coast time. It doesn't seem terribly complicated to --


Q They could always --


MR. CARNEY: We could all -- Republicans might enjoy the prospect, the candidates might enjoy the prospect of responding to the President. Again, but it’s not for us to decide how that plays itself out. And everyone will decide according to their own best interests, I’m sure.


Q On to the speech itself. We spent a fair amount of time on that bus tour talking about bipartisanship.


MR. CARNEY: You know you enjoyed every minute.


Q I enjoyed it. It was wonderful. The corn dogs were terrific.


MR. CARNEY: Fantastic pie.


Q The pie was great. You guys talked a lot about bipartisanship. The Republicans are always accusing the President of being Professor Obama, standing up at a lectern, telling them what to do. How does this particularly move this process along of actually getting a negotiated deal?


MR. CARNEY: He will put forward specific proposals that can be acted on by Congress. Congress legislates, right? They take legislation, they debate it, they work on it, they pass it, and it gets signed into law. I mean, this is the way the system has worked since its creation. So --


Q Yes, but we’ve also had Presidents who have negotiated more directly and had a better working relationship with members of Congress. Has the President --


MR. CARNEY: Not in my time.


Q Has the President spent any -- over this summer period, has the President reached out to any of the leadership? Have there been -- is there any attempt to sort of build these private bridges, as opposed to having these large public events?


MR. CARNEY: Glenn, as you know, and as you exhaustively covered, and everyone here, and as the American people witnessed and probably grew exceedingly tired of, the President spent an inordinate amount of time with the leaders of Congress earlier this summer -- in telephone conversations, in private meetings, and meetings that you all were brought into at the top of or bottom of. I don’t think the American people, or, for that matter, members of Congress, are looking for more quality time with the President or anyone else. They want things done.

The President will put forward proposals that should in a normal world have broad support, and he hopes that they will once he puts them forward next week, and Congress will act. Because the American people want Washington to work, and are fed up with Washington not working. And when it becomes a question of harm as opposed to incompetence, it's even more frustrating.




Q Jay, as the President has considered the options for the jobs initiatives that the advisors have gone over with him, can you describe how he has weighed what job creation could be available immediately, if that’s the imperative? And I’m thinking in terms of what he learned from the not enough shovel-ready jobs. In other words, he’s not talking about jobs in 2014, he wants them now.


MR. CARNEY: Well, I think it’s fair to say that we want action to be taken soon so that -- because those actions will have a direct and quick effect on economic growth and job creation. The slowing of our recovery, the slowing of job creation needs to be addressed now. So, yes, we’re interested in measures that would have quick effect.


Q But he applied that template when he was weighing them, right? In other words --


MR. CARNEY: Well, I think the whole economic team was looking for -- led by the President -- was looking for -- has been examining proposals, listening to ideas from outside -- people the President has met with and spoken with, as well as members of his team -- that are effective; that, again, judged by independent, outside economists and analysts will be judged pro-growth and pro-job creation, and will take effect quickly -- because the need is now.


But within the context of his overall vision that he has discussed frequently, about the need to make wise -- even as we get our fiscal house in order, to make -- I mean, one of the reasons why you need to take a balanced approach to deficit reduction is so that the burden of it is fairly shared, but also to allow for the kinds of investments in innovation and infrastructure and education that will ensure that we grow economically not just next year or the year after, but into the next decade and beyond.


So that’s part of his overall vision, because we need to -- that’s why we need to dominate the industries of the future, the innovative industries of the future. That’s why we need to educate -- to take measures to invest in education, because education is directly related to your capacity to compete globally.


I mean, the Chinese, the Germans -- nobody else is waiting around to win this competition. So we have to move quickly, in concert with Congress, to do the things necessary to assure that America remains the most powerful economy in the world.

Q If Congress worked with him to enact legislation this fall --


MR. CARNEY: We’d be very happy.


Q -- could he credibly make the case that Americans could see jobs before the end of the year, that it would --


MR. CARNEY: Again, I don’t want to -- I think it obviously depends on how quickly Congress acts, what the specifics of the legislative proposals are, and how they get implemented. But I do say, yes, to your question, which is --was the focus here on proposals that would take effect quickly -- yes.


Q Just to clarify on Glenn’s question, realizing what happened earlier in the summer, are you saying that there has not been private consultation with Republican leaders over the most recent recess on the President’s expectation for what will happen after Congress gets back? That’s A. And B, do you envision the timeline for Congress to respond to the President to be the same one that the special committee is working off of, that is it goes through Thanksgiving and then action in December --


MR. CARNEY: That’s on the deficit reduction --


Q Correct, correct. Do you see that same timeline for jobs or --


MR. CARNEY: The President believes we can get that -- no, the Congress should -- on measures that can be taken, that should have bipartisan support, that could grow the economy and create jobs, Congress could and should act quickly, and should not wait until Thanksgiving or Christmas.


Q What do you think is the realistic window for Congress either to act or not act on this?


MR. CARNEY: I’ll leave that to you to decide or to analyze. Again, I think it goes back to questions I took in the beginning -- it depends on the disposition of lawmakers as they return from their recess, and what they heard from the constituents, and the kind of imperative they’re operating under when they get back and what their priorities are.


Q And on Glenn’s point, no additional -- beyond what happened before the break, no additional private consultation with Republican members?


MR. CARNEY: The President is -- well, you called them private consultations, so if I talked about them they wouldn’t be private. So the President is in conversation with leaders of Congress frequently -- or has been, again, broadly speaking, over the last weeks and months. I’m not going to get into specific conversations he has had about these proposals that he’s putting together, except to say, as I did I believe the other day, that he’s consulted with folks outside of the administration as well, obviously, as with his economic team.


Q New subject? Could you take one --


MR. CARNEY: I think I was just was called to a conclusion here. Thanks.



1:14 P.M. EDT

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President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington DC 20500


Dear Mr. President:


Thank you for your letter requesting time to address a Joint Session of Congress next week. I agree that creating a better environment for job creation must be our most urgent priority. For months, the House has been implementing an agenda designed to reduce economic uncertainty, remove unnecessary government barriers to private-sector job creation, and help small business, and we welcome the opportunity to hear your latest proposals.


As your spokesperson today said, there are considerations about the Congressional calendar that must be made to prior to scheduling such an extraordinary event. As you know, the House of Representatives and Senate are each required to adopt a Concurrent Resolution to allow for a Joint Session of Congress to receive the President. And the Majority Leader announced more than a month ago, the House will not be in session until Wednesday, September 7, with votes at 6:30 that evening. With the significant amount of time - typically more than three hours - that is required to allow for a security sweep of the House Chamber before receiving a President, it is my recommendation that your address be held the following evening, when we can ensure there will be no parliamentary or logistical impediments that might detract from your remarks. As such, on behalf of the bipartisan leadership and membership of both the House and Senate, I respectfully invite you to address a Joint Session of Congress on Thursday, September 8, 2011 in the House Chamber, at a time that works best for your schedule.


We look forward to hearing your ideas and working together to solve America's jobs crisis.




John Boehner

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Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 9/1/2011

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room


2:15 P.M. EDT


MR. CARNEY: Good afternoon, everyone. Thanks for coming to the White House for your daily briefing.


I have no announcements at the top, so we’ll go straight to questions.




Q Thank you. The new budget projections that just came out predict 9 percent unemployment next year when the President is facing reelection, 1.7 percent growth for this year. Does the White House believe that the jobs initiatives the President is going to announce next week will change those projections for the positive?


MR. CARNEY: Yes. Absolutely. As I mentioned yesterday, I think as I mentioned earlier this week, the President will come forward with specific proposals that by any objective measure would add to growth and job creation in the short term. And that will be part of a broad package that reflects his commitment to grow the economy now and to build a foundation for economic growth for the future to ensure that we win the future. So the answer to that is yes.


Q So if Congress were to pass the package that the President is going to announce, unemployment would be under 9 percent?


MR. CARNEY: I think based on -- when you’re talking about economic predictions, yes, economic analysts, economists, will be able to look at this series of proposals and say that based on history, based on what we know, based on their collected expertise, that it would add to economic growth and it would cause an increase in job creation.

Q Given the flap yesterday over the date and timing of this speech, is there anything --


MR. CARNEY: What flap? (Laughter.)


Q There was a bit of a flap. Is there anything that the White House would have done differently, in retrospect, in terms of consulting with the Hill or announcing the joint session?


MR. CARNEY: Our focus from the beginning was to have the President have the opportunity to speak to the American people and to Congress, in front of Congress, at the soonest possible date upon Congress’s return from its long recess. Wednesday seemed to be the best option. When that wasn’t available -- or when that seemed to be a problem, Thursday was fine with us. And we are just looking forward to -- the President is looking forward to the opportunity to talk about what the American people really care about: the economy and the need to create more jobs. So we’re focused on that.


Q So you would have gone through that process the same way?


MR. CARNEY: All we care about here is that we address the issues that are most important. We’re certainly not interested in sort of inside-the-beltway political gamesmanship. What we are interested in is coming up with proposals that make sense, that can grow the economy, can create jobs, that by historical standards would have broad bipartisan support, and that if Congress comes back from their districts -- members of Congress come back from their districts and their states with the same sense of urgency that the President has, and having heard from their constituents the same things that the President heard when he went on his bus tour through the upper Midwest, everyone will come back with the same amount of urgency and focus to get this done -- because what the President will propose can get done, should get done and will benefit the country.



Q Jay, Democrats are unifying around the advice that the President needs to go bold in his speech. Is that the way you would characterize the proposals that he’s going to roll out? And are there certain high expectations that one creates when you do a joint session of Congress speech?


MR. CARNEY: I’ll leave it to you and others to characterize the speech in the terms that you just described. What will be the case, and the reason why the President wants to speak before Congress, is because this is an important moment in our economy and it is an important moment for the American people who are demanding that Washington put an end to the gridlock and bickering that has paralyzed the process here and take action to help the economy, to create jobs -- to help them.


That’s what they want. They don’t want -- they’re not out there scoring political points. They want -- the vast majority of Americans, whether they voted Democratic or Republican, whether they’re registered with a party or not, they want Washington to work for them. They want them to take sensible actions to work for them -- to create jobs, to grow the economy. That’s what this speech will be about. That’s what the concrete proposals the President puts forward will be about.


Q Economists, when you talk to them and ask them what would constitute “bold,” throw out figures like $400 billion in fiscal stimulus. Is he looking at anything on that scale? Is he going to give specifics about how many jobs he thinks this package might create when he unveils it?


MR. CARNEY: I will not preview the speech any more than I really have, except to say that it will focus on the need to grow the economy and create jobs. It will be a collection of proposals that, again, should have bipartisan support, have had a similar -- at similar times have had bipartisan support, that will be, by any objective standard, pro-growth, pro-job creation, and that can be acted on right away if members of Congress come back from their recess ready to do things to help the American people. Beyond that, I’m not going to characterize it.


Q You talked about bipartisan ideas that should have bipartisan support. Do you have any indication that some of these ideas will get bipartisan support, like are people in the White House consulting with people on the Hill about some of these specific proposals and have gotten some indication that they would be accepted?


MR. CARNEY: In previous days, when you haven’t been here, I’ve been asked that question in a variety of ways. The President has consulted widely, as he had throughout his presidency, very interested in ideas that folks might have outside of his administration, in Congress, outside of Washington -- consults frequently with businessmen, with CEOs, with workers. And he has done that in this process. But beyond -- I’m not going to detail conversations he’s had or lay out which policy proposals may or may not have support from this segment or that segment of Congress.


Q One more question. How has the President reacted to the whole debate yesterday over -- the issues over the scheduling of the speech?


MR. CARNEY: I spent a great deal of time with him this morning and it never came up. Honestly.


Q You’re not asking the right questions. (Laughter.)


Q But Jay, if you can’t --


MR. CARNEY: I know you guys love this stuff. I know it’s catnip. But we’re really not focused on it.


Q But there’s a basic question here. If you can’t even get the Congress to agree on a date for a speech without a political sideshow, how can we expect -- how can the American people expect that you can do something much more difficult, come up with a jobs plan, deal with the deficit?


MR. CARNEY: Because the sideshows don’t matter. The economy matters. The American people matter. Jobs matter. And that’s what we’re focused on. That’s why -- you know, if Thursday is the day, Thursday is the day. We want to give this speech. The President wants to talk to the American people. The President wants to call on Congress to act. That’s what we’re going to do.


Q But what does it say about your ability to get anything out of this Congress? I mean, you can’t work on a scheduling date for a speech.


MR. CARNEY: John, it’s irrelevant and it’s -- this is small stuff. The issue is whether it’s -- we were -- Wednesday was the soonest possible day upon their return from their recess. Thursday is fine with us. He’s going to give the speech Thursday.


Q So on the --


MR. CARNEY: The issue about -- look, going back to what I said before, the cooperation, it’s about -- do the members of Congress return next week to Washington, having heard from their constituents that they’re fed up, right? They’re tired -- you and I have been in Washington long enough and covered this stuff long enough that the cycles of gridlock, cycles of partisanship -- not new, right? And people get frustrated with it because they think Washington is incompetent or broken. What they saw this summer is that it’s not incompetence, it’s dangerous. The incompetence, the gridlock, actually threatened and harmed the American economy, harmed the American people. That’s just not acceptable.


So what I think and what we hope will happen upon Congress’s return is that they will have heard from their constituents that enough is enough and that it is time to actually do things that are productive, do things that are helpful to the economy, rather than retreat to your corner and hope that you win the partisan political battle for an ideological band within your own political party. That’s just not going to cut it.


So the American -- so the President believes -- again, because he will put forward proposals that we believe should have bipartisan support, that faced with that imperative -- because everyone here is working for the American people, and the members of Congress, like the President, were elected by the American people -- will do the right thing and actually focus on the issues that matter, which -- the economy and jobs.


Q But the only indications are bad, right? I mean, you had this kerfuffle over the speech, the super committee has had -- the only thing -- they haven’t even had a meeting of the full committee but the two sides have been off to their own corners, Democrats meeting with Democrats, Republicans meeting with Republicans. This doesn’t seem to be an auspicious start.


MR. CARNEY: Well, I think you’re too focused on what’s happening within the narrow confines of not just this town but the handful of blocks between here and Congress. I think, again, members of Congress have to answer to their constituents. The President answers to every American citizen. They have heard -- they will have heard the imperative from the American people to put an end to the nonsense and get to work. And I think there is an opportunity here for the American people to drive this process, to have their demands heard, to -- we’re faced with a challenging situation. There’s no question that the recovery is moving too slowly, that we need to do something to boost growth, to boost job creation. That’s a number one priority, and any data you can come across that the American people have, number one priority of Democrats, independents and Republicans.


So with that information, we should act. And the President is hopeful that Congress will want to join him in doing that.


Yes, Norah.


Q Jay, you blame partisanship, but isn’t this -- isn’t the real culprit here an inability to just communicate on the most simple terms?


MR. CARNEY: No. No. We communicate all the time with Congress. We obviously spent a lot of time this year communicating with Congress. And this President has since he took office.


The problem -- the problem -- I mean, you don’t need a civics lesson from me but I’ll give you one anyway. (Laughter.) No, but I think the problem is -- and I think everyone in here is aware of this -- is that the partisanship that -- and the apparent polarization that is sometimes observed here and felt here, is actually not very reflective of what’s happening out in the country, that the country is pretty unified when it comes to their priorities, when it comes to their belief that compromise is necessary, when it comes to their acceptance that the far ends of either spectrum don’t have the answers necessarily. So if you look back over our history, we’re closer together in many ways than we’ve ever been, and we ought to take advantage of that instead of fabricate false divides that prevent us from getting things done.


Q Well, would you concede -- I mean, compromise requires effective communication between the two parties. And my understanding of what happened yesterday was that the President’s Chief of Staff first reached out to the Speaker at about 10:30 in the morning and delivered a message that the President wanted to speak to a joint session of Congress, but there was no give-and-take that is part of the regular give-and-take that goes on between a White House and the Congress about delivering a joint session of Congress. You cited from the podium congressional scheduling yesterday as one of the concerns and yet it appears that there was no one who checked with Congress about what’s the -- whether they could get everybody back in time to hear from the President, so you conceded on that point.

MR. CARNEY: Well, again, I think the focus on the details of this --


Q What has happened with the communication between the President and his staff and the Speaker’s staff?


MR. CARNEY: We have fine communication. And I think the focus on this is really yesterday’s story; it is not what people care about. We were interested in speaking Wednesday because Congress was returning, both houses, first day after Labor Day -- Wednesday -- after a long recess, that was the first day they were back. There were no initial objections to that. When problems were expressed, we said -- we talked about it and we said, fine, Thursday will work for us fine. Because the -- it’s just not very relevant. What matters is moving as quickly as possible to raise and then address the issues the American people care about -- the economy, jobs, the need to build a foundation that includes getting our fiscal house in order while we invest in key areas like innovation and education and infrastructure, building the capacity to compete in the 21st century against a world that’s growing more competitive.


So I think that’s what people care about. They don’t care about what happened at 11 o’clock versus what happened at 4 o’clock. They care about what are we doing to make the economy grow, to help the private sector hire, and make sure that their kids are getting educated.


Q Given yesterday’s failure to work this out behind the scenes, before there was this very public kerfuffle or spat, and given what happened during the debt ceiling, where there were people who are elected members who hung up on one another and wouldn’t return phone calls, what can you say today that would give confidence to the American people that Republicans and the President can actually work together to solve whatever hard problems facing this country, based on that track record?


MR. CARNEY: I will go back to what I said to John and I think to Julie and others, that we believe that members of Congress -- House and Senate -- will have heard from their constituents what the President heard in Minnesota -- in small towns in Minnesota, in Iowa, in Illinois, what he heard the previous week in Michigan, which is that the American people -- Democrat, Republican, independent -- are tired of the bickering and they want reasonable compromise solutions to the problems that face the country. They want the government to do things that help the economy grow, that help private sector hire, and they don’t expect and they get frustrated by politicians who don’t listen to them.

So I think everyone will have gotten an earful from the very people who sent them to Washington about what their priorities are, and I think that, because everyone here works for the American people, that that will have a salutary effect on their behavior -- we hope.


Q Jay, following on that, you’re absolutely right. Obviously everyone knows sideshows matter less than helping people who are unemployed -- obviously. But you don’t seem to be acknowledging that there’s a process in Washington that has to be dealt with to help those people who are unemployed. And I think what John and Norah are suggesting is if the President is having this much trouble with the date -- you have James Carville saying on ABC today, “The last thing the White House needed was to appear to cave in to the Speaker, and that’s what happened.” So if there’s a perception even among Democrats that he doesn’t have enough clout with the Hill to figure out what day it is, how is he going to pass a plan to help the American people?


MR. CARNEY: Look -- Ed, you guys, I honestly think that your obsession with this is --


Q It’s not an obsession.


MR. CARNEY: -- is not -- what the American people expect the President to do, what the American people expect their senators and congressmen and women to do, is listen to them and take action. They do not give a lick about what day next week the President speaks before Congress. They want to hear from him. They want to know what his proposals are. They want to know that he has reasonable, sound, serious ideas to grow the economy and to create jobs, and that he’s going to pay for it and that he has a plan for getting our fiscal house in order in the long term. That’s what they care about. And they care whether or not Congress has similar ideas and is willing to take action on those ideas. They simply do not care about this stuff.


Q Okay. So let me concede your point -- they don’t give a lick about what day it is, what time it is. Why doesn’t he give a speech from the Oval Office tonight saying, here’s my plan?


MR. CARNEY: He wants to speak before Congress because he recognizes that while there are things he can do without Congress -- and he will do them -- there are actions that need to be taken with Congress that require legislation to grow the economy and create jobs. And he wants to go to Congress, speak directly to members of Congress, and lay out his proposals.


The first opportunity to do that is next week, so that’s when he’ll do it.


Q Okay. Last thing. The President visited the solar company Solyndra in May of 2010. He said, “It’s here that companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future.” You probably heard overnight that yesterday this company, after getting half a billion dollars in government money, attention from the President, a visit, is filing for Chapter 11 and laying off 1,100 people. What does it say about the President’s policies so far, as he gets ready for this new plan, if this company he promoted, gave government money to, is going bankrupt and is laying off 1,100 people?


MR. CARNEY: The whole purpose of this program, which has a broad portfolio of many companies that are doing well, was to invest in cutting-edge technologies that with some government assistance, with some government loan guarantees, would help us establish a beachhead in vital industries that will allow America to compete in the future.


There are no guarantees in the business world about success and failure. That is just the way business works, and everyone recognizes that. And that’s why -- there’s over 40 companies, as I understand it, 40 guarantees involved in this program that merit looking at. There’s no individual -- you cannot measure the success based on one company or the other.


Q You’ve said several times today and yesterday that the President wanted to speak to Congress at the soonest possible opportunity when they get back. Was this the plan all along, to give a speech to a joint session?


MR. CARNEY: Well, obviously we discussed this as the President worked on his proposals and this was the idea settled upon. And once we thought -- the conclusion was made, the President decided that this is what he wanted to do, then we moved forward.


Q And that decision was made yesterday?


MR. CARNEY: It was made this week.


Q It was made this week. Not to put too fine a point on it, but let me just ask you straight up -- did the President give in or capitulate to the Speaker on the schedule?


MR. CARNEY: The President wanted to speak to Congress. Congress is back next Wednesday. That’s the first day that both houses -- senators and Congressmen -- are back in session. Therefore he requested that he speak Wednesday. If Wednesday doesn’t work, Thursday is fine with us, as long as he gets to speak to Congress. And he looks forward to doing it.


Q And I know you are loath to get into some of the details that are being discussed for the speech, whether you’re going to go big, small, whatever, but the Mid-Session Review -- we’ve just been treated to a conference call that forecasted an average unemployment rate of 9 percent through the course of 2012. And you said that the President’s policies, if enacted, will lower that rate. Correct?


MR. CARNEY: Well, again, I will say that objective outside economic analysts will look at it and say, if enacted, this plan will have a positive impact on growth and a positive impact on job creation.


Q And what is the target for growth and the target for the unemployment --


MR. CARNEY: I’m not going to make projections here, nor am I going to get into details of the proposals.


Q Well, we’ve just been treated to a conference call where projections were -- that was what the call was about. So --


MR. CARNEY: That’s the Mid-Session Review; that’s not -- this is a new series of proposals the President is making next week. And rather than preview them now --


Q And are those proposals predicated on certain results, though, that he’d like to see, and what is --


MR. CARNEY: Again, I’m not going to get into projections or show any more leg on the details of the speech. What I am going to say is that there will be a series -- it will contain a series of proposals that are aimed at having a quick impact on economic growth and job creation.




Q Are they updating the Mid-Session Review? I mean, it’s going to be --


MR. CARNEY: You’ll have to ask OMB. I’m not -- I don’t know how that process works.


Q But you guys put it out a month and a half late, a week before the President delivers a new economic plan, making it completely --


MR. CARNEY: There are a lot of factors here. This has obviously been quite an interesting budget year. But these are separate issues here. The President is moving forward with a job and growth proposal next week, and the obligations to put out a Mid-Session Review that came out today -- these are not connected in any specific sense.


Q So should we or shouldn’t we expect an updated economic report --


MR. CARNEY: Again, I just said you have to ask OMB. I’m not sure how that works.


Q Do you have a time for the speech on Thursday?


MR. CARNEY: I don’t. I can assure you that, for all you football fans, that he will be completed before kickoff between the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers.


Q And then if you could just clarify -- you said yesterday and you’ve said today that the President and his team have consulted with Republicans on the Hill as he puts together this plan.


MR. CARNEY: I’m sorry, what?


Q You said yesterday and today that the President and his team have consulted with Republicans on the Hill as he puts together --


MR. CARNEY: I think that’s a slight --


Q So he hasn’t?


MR. CARNEY: I think I’ve answered this about six times this week, but as I just said to Athena, the President has consistently throughout his presidency and including in recent weeks and months consulted with a wide array of folks within his administration, outside of his administration, in Congress, both parties, business and elsewhere, about economic ideas, proposals for growing the economy and creating jobs. That has been true throughout. It’s been true through this process.


Q Right, but he’s putting forward a new plan with new ideas --


MR. CARNEY: But I’m not going to get into did he have specific conversations with individual lawmakers --


Q Because they say he hasn’t. And wouldn’t that be something that he would want to do?


MR. CARNEY: Have you talked to every member of Congress?


Q The Republican leadership in Congress said that they have not been consulted as he was putting together his plan.


MR. CARNEY: He’s consulted widely, as he always does. He’s gathered ideas. His economic team and he have put together proposals that we are quite confident, if Congress comes back to Washington filled with a righteous sense of urgency about the need to grow the economy and create jobs, they will act on it and do the right thing by the American people.


Q But you can’t definitively say whether or not he’s talked to Republicans --


MR. CARNEY: I think I answered that question a half dozen times.




Q Jay, in the hours between the letter from Speaker Boehner and your statement at about 9:18 last night, it didn’t seem as though you were saying, well, if Wednesday doesn’t work, Thursday is fine with us. Did it go to the President and he said, all right, fine, we’ll do it on Thursday? Is that what happened?


MR. CARNEY: No, I think we were -- it was clear that we were in conversation with the Speaker’s office and looking at what the alternatives were. And I think, again, we’re talking about a matter of hours here, we’re not talking days and weeks -- resolved that Thursday would be the day, and that was fine with us.


Q And the President made that decision last night?


MR. CARNEY: The President makes all the decisions here. So we were discussing among ourselves, we were talking with the Speaker’s office -- we decided to go with Thursday.


Q And if the address is done by kickoff, does that mean he sees the speech as the pregame show? (Laughter.)


MR. CARNEY: It means that he’ll have the opportunity to watch the game like millions of other Americans.


Q Jay, just one question on Solyndra. Should we assume that whatever money the taxpayers put into that in terms of loan guarantees, that is not going to be returned, that can’t be returned, it’s lost?


MR. CARNEY: I don’t know the technical details of it, but I can take that or refer you to OMB -- or Department of Energy probably.


Q And a question about the speech next week. You keep on saying that the proposals the President is going to lay out should have bipartisan support. That’s quite different than saying you’re designing a package that would have the best chance of passing. I’m wondering, what is the goal? Is the goal to just put out the proposals he believes --


MR. CARNEY: I think you asked me this yesterday --


Q Yes, and I -- well, no, I asked you on the plane --


MR. CARNEY: Tuesday.


Q -- and it seemed like you said that they were designed to pass, which is what really worries a lot of your supporters, that you’re designing a package that can pass and therefore will --


MR. CARNEY: I think that it is a difficult process to know precisely what is in the hearts and minds of 535 elected members of Congress as they consider legislation. What we know with great confidence is that the proposals the President will put forward next week are reasonable and reflect, based on historic precedent, historical precedent, what should be bipartisan -- should receive bipartisan support, and I think that will be judged that way when he unveils it on -- on Thursday, rather.


Q That’s different than saying these are designed -- this is a package designed to get Congressional support --


MR. CARNEY: I don’t -- I think it’s a distinction without a difference, because you could say that nothing could get congressional support, or you could say anything could get congressional support. I don’t know -- I mean, I think that, again, if members of Congress come back focused on the need to address the economy and hiring, they will view this proposal as an excellent path to take to grow the economy and create jobs, and a reasonable one, and one that merits broad support. That’s what we believe, and that’s why we’re coming forward with it next week.


Q Just one last question following up on what Jonathan was asking, this idea that the President can’t get something out of this Congress, not even a date to speak. Is it fair to judge this President on what he gets out of this Congress? Or is it fair to judge him just on the proposals he lays out and his vision?


MR. CARNEY: I think it is fair to judge the President on the actions he takes and the determination he shows to do what he was elected to do, which is, first and foremost, protect the American people and help the American people and the American economy. And he has done that since he took office, and he will demonstrate that again next week. That is his focus: What can I do as President, either administratively or with Congress legislatively, to ensure that the American economy is best positioned to grow, that the private sector has the conditions that will allow it to hire and encourage it to hire, and that the American people can go back to work?


We have been through a horrible situation -- the worst recession since the Great Depression. We here, I think -- Americans in general, we can have short-term memory, I mean, it’s part of what makes us great -- we don’t spend our time wallowing in the past; we look towards the future. It is important to remember what we are emerging from and how serious the economic recession was. And this President has been focused on this since the day he took office, and he’ll be focused on it until, as he says, he knows that every American who wants a job and is looking for a job has a job.




Q Jay, could you say that -- could you just explain a little bit about what the President expects to do and see and hear when he goes to Paterson, New Jersey, on Sunday?


MR. CARNEY: Well, he, I think as you saw throughout the process -- Hurricane Irene -- very concerned about the devastation the storm was likely to cause and did cause. And the fact that it was not as severe as it could have been may be true, but we cannot lose sight of the fact that many, many Americans were severely affected by it, and some lost their lives. And obviously New Jersey was a very hard-hit state.


Q Is he going to take a tour of the town or --


MR. CARNEY: I think we’ll come out with more details about what his itinerary will look like on Sunday a little later.


Q I mean, does he -- is going sort of for moral support or does seeing it firsthand better help him foment the government’s continuing response?


MR. CARNEY: I think it’s very important that he’s -- to see up close and personal what the effects of a storm like this were, to talk to local officials, talk to affected Americans, talk to first responders and to those officials who are working on recovery, and hear from them. So he looks forward to doing it.




Q Jay, does the White House feel that this President has gotten the respect from Congress that the office of the presidency deserves, with yesterday’s incident?


MR. CARNEY: The White House spends zero time worrying about that. It spends its time -- we spend our time, the President spends our time focused on the job at hand. The job at hand is to come up with, propose and act on the things that we can do to help the economy and to help job creation, specifically for next week -- and obviously all the other responsibilities that the President has and the White House and the administration have.

Q So there’s no worry at all that there -- about the whole idea of the office of the presidency being demeaned? I mean, it’s virtually unheard --


MR. CARNEY: You guys are making --


Q -- virtually unheard of for --


MR. CARNEY: -- you’re really making so much more of this than is merited, okay? The President will speak to the Congress in a joint session and to the American people next week. It’s an important time for our country; it’s an important time for the economy. He will speak directly to the people about what we need to do to grow the economy and create jobs, and he looks forward to doing it.




Q One on Solyndra. Does the President have any regrets about having made such a big deal about this company?


MR. CARNEY: The President -- the administration, the President is committed to, as I think I said, the idea that we need to make investments in clean energy technology, in the kind of industries that will be the -- that are the industries of the future, and that will be the job-creation engines in American in the future. If we intend to be number one in the 21st century the way we have been in the 20th and the early part of this century, we need to make those key investments.


American history is full of examples of the federal government providing seed money in areas that allowed for explosive and economy-changing growth in certain areas, whether it’s the Transcontinental Railroad or the Internet. So the President is very committed to that, and, as I said before, that does not mean that each individual investment we made -- we do not change the rules of business by doing this. And by nature these can be high-risk but also very high-reward investments, and we are committed to that process.


Q Does he have any regrets about this particular company --


MR. CARNEY: I haven’t spoken to him about it.


Q And just -- you know that some Republicans said they thought this particular company was a dubious proposition from the start --


MR. CARNEY: Well, I think there were Republicans who thought investments in clean energy were a mistake, that they were ready to cede that vital industry to foreign competition, they were ready to cede the automobile industry to foreign competition, a million jobs there. We just disagree on that front.


Q Are you satisfied that this company got the scrutiny that it should have had from the outset?


MR. CARNEY: I refer you to DOE on the particulars of the process. We’re satisfied that this program was necessary and is working.




Q Jay, thank you. When you say that the President will make some proposals in his address next week that will be things that he could do administratively, doesn’t he -- would that make up the bulk of his recommendations?


MR. CARNEY: I simply said that obviously -- what I meant, or meant to convey through that, is that he’s -- I think I was asked why Congress, and that’s because we need to act with Congress. Much of -- some of what -- much of what we need to do requires legislation, requires action by Congress. That is why it’s important to go to Congress.


He can also do things, as he has in the past, administratively that can help the economy grow, that can -- for example, the regulatory look-back that can free -- relieve businesses from burdensome regulations; other measures he can take administratively that don’t require legislative action, he will continue to do that as well.


So that was not -- there are many pieces to this that are both legislative and administrative.


Q And do you think if he finishes by the time the kickoff comes at 8:35 p.m., he might also leave enough time for a Republican response during that time? (Laughter.)


MR. CARNEY: I have not -- again, we don’t have a specific time yet for when he will begin speaking, so I don’t have an answer to that.




Q Jay, just to follow on two points that you made. You told Helene a couple minutes ago that you felt -- the President has sort of zero interest in the notion that the prestige of the office has been dented by this. Should he have zero interest? Isn’t the prestige of the office a significant component of having leverage in these negotiations?


MR. CARNEY: Let’s just –- what he has zero interest in, and what the American people have zero interest in, is the petty political gamesmanship that goes on in here and that gets chronicled quite assiduously by the press, which is fine. But it is not what the American people care about, right? It’s just not.


And, in fact, when they are forced to pay attention to it, they recoil in disgust. And they -- (laughter) -- you know, go out there and talk to regular folks.


Q I do.


MR. CARNEY: I know you do, and I think that’s what you hear. That’s what –- when you go out into the country and you talk to ordinary Americans who are struggling to make ends meet, who are making sure they can get their car payments, ensuring that they’re saving money for their kids’ college education, who are coming up with great new ideas for -– to increase the productivity in their small business, tilling the field or working in the shop, they do not have any time for this. They do not have any time for the pettiness, the smallness, the posturing. And mostly they don’t even pay attention to it.


And I think one of the things that I think that was so frustrating about what happened this summer is that because of the seriousness of the consequences of the posturing, they were forced to pay attention to it, and they were appalled by and scared by it. So that’s what -– look, the President is focused on the big things, the things that matter. And I think that’s what the vast majority of the American people are focused on. And I think that with any luck, that’s what members of Congress will be focused on when they come back.


Q The other thing I wanted to follow on, you described the communication between the White House and the Hill as being “fine.” I think this might be the only room in Washington where you could say that without folks shouting you down. To what extent do you think the fact that there was a communications gap with the Speaker’s office -- it appears that this was done at the staff level -– do you have any regrets that the President himself didn’t call up Speaker Boehner –-


MR. CARNEY: I’m not going to -- first of all, I think you need to fine tune your reporting on what happened, but I –- and who was involved, but it is irrelevant. It really is. The President will speak to the nation and the Congress next week, as he hoped to do, and he will talk about some very important things that have nothing to do with communication gaps.

Q But do you really think communications between the White House and Hill Republicans are fine? I mean, do you not see that there’s a problem?


MR. CARNEY: What I think is that the issues trump that kind of stuff. And as you know, the President has a working relationship with the Speaker of the House. They’ve spent an awful lot of time together in person and on the phone this year. They will continue to do that. The same is true with the Democratic leaders of the House and the Senate, as well as obviously the Senate Republican leaders. So -– and other leaders and members of Congress. That will continue. The issues matter far more than this.


Q But you don’t think something has to be fixed? You think the communications is fine?


MR. CARNEY: I think politics needs to be fixed. Yes, the President says politics is broken. The American people are fed up with this. So we’re going to focus on the stuff that matters. And I think, listening to their constituents, that Congress is going to focus on it, too.




Q Thank you, Jay. Yes, the Boston Globe reported today on the President’s uncle that had been arrested. Was the President aware that his uncle was in the United States as an undocumented –-


MR. CARNEY: He became aware of this story when I walked into his office and among other subjects mentioned it to him, and it was new to him on Monday.


Q And also, is the administration committed to seeing that all U.S. laws are enforced in this case?


MR. CARNEY: Absolutely. We expect it to be treated –- I refer you to ICE and DHS and expect it to be handled like any other immigration case.




Q And I have a follow-up –-


MR. CARNEY: Steve.


Q On the things the President can do without Congress, you mentioned regulations. Can you give us some other examples of things he can do administratively or by executive order to create jobs?


MR. CARNEY: I don’t want to ruin the surprise.


Q So he’s going to --


MR. CARNEY: I mean, of course the President has certain powers. The executive branch has certain things it can do, and we’re always looking -- I refer to you –- I talked yesterday about – on the housing front, the measures that were taken to assist the unemployed; unemployed homeowners. That’s a measure that can be taken at the executive level, administrative level to help homeowners on an economic issue. There are just a variety of things we can do.


Q Thanks, Jay.


MR. CARNEY: Thanks, you guys.

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Remarks by the President at Detroit Labor Day Event

GM Plant Parking Lot


Detroit, Michigan


Please see below for a correction (marked with an asterisk) to a typo in the transcript.


1:30 P.M. EDT


THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Detroit! (Applause.) Thank you, Michigan! (Applause.) Oh, this is a --


AUDIENCE: Four more years!


THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you, everybody. It is --


AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!


THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. Thank you.


AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!


THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you, everybody. I can tell Ghana got you fired up. (Applause.) Thank you, Ghana, for that introduction. Thank you all for having me. It is good to be back in Detroit. (Applause.) I'm glad I was able to bring a friend -- a proud daughter of the Teamsters, your Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, in the house. (Applause.)


We’re thrilled to be joined by so many other friends. I want to acknowledge, first of all, two of the finest senators in the country -- Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow are in the house. (Applause.) Outstanding members of the congressional delegation -- John Dingell Bingham*, John Conyers, Sandy Levin, Gary Peters, and Hansen Clarke. (Applause.)


The president of the Metropolitan Detroit Central Labor Council, our host, Saundra Williams. (Applause.) AFL-CIO president, Rich Trumka. (Applause.) President of the Michigan AFL-CIO, Mark Gaffney. (Applause.) And some proud sons and daughters of Michigan representing working people here and across the country -- SEIU President Mary Kay Henry, Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa, UAW President Bob King, Utility Workers President Mike Langford. (Applause.) We are proud of them and we're proud of your congressional delegation who are working every single day with your state and local elected officials to create jobs and economic growth and prosperity here in Michigan and all across the country.


I am honored, we are honored, to spend this day with you and your families -- the working men and women of America. This day belongs to you. You deserve a little R&R, a little barbecue -- (laughter) -- little grilling -- because you’ve been working hard. (Applause.) You’ve been working hard to make ends meet. You’ve been working hard to build a better life for your kids. You’ve been working hard to build a better Detroit. (Applause.) But that’s not all I’m going to talk to you about.

I also want to talk about the work you’ve been doing for decades: Work to make sure that folks get an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. (Applause.) Work to make sure that families get a fair shake. The work you've done that helped build the greatest middle class the world has ever known. (Applause.) I’m talking about the work that got us a 40-hour workweek and weekends, and paid leave and pensions, and the minimum wage and health insurance, and Social Security and Medicare -- (applause) -- the cornerstones of middle-class security. That's because of your work. (Applause.)


If you want to know who helped lay these cornerstones of an American middle class you just have to look for the union label. (Applause.)


That’s the bedrock this country is built on. Hard work. Responsibility. Sacrifice. Looking out for one another. Giving everybody a shot, everybody a chance to share in America’s prosperity, from the factory floor to the boardroom. That’s what unions are all about. (Applause.)


And that’s something that’s worth keeping in mind today. We’ve come through a difficult decade in which those values were all too often given short shrift. We’ve gone through a decade where wealth was valued over work, and greed was valued over responsibility. And the decks were too often stacked against ordinary folks in favor of the special interests. And everywhere I went while I was running for this office, I met folks who felt their economic security slipping away, men and women who were fighting harder and harder just to stay afloat. And that was even before the economic crisis hit, and that just made things even harder.


So these are tough times for working Americans. They’re even tougher for Americans who are looking for work –- and a lot of them have been looking for work for a long time. A lot of folks have been looking for work for a long time here in Detroit, and all across Michigan, and all across the Midwest, and all across the country. So we’ve got a lot more work to do to recover fully from this recession.


But I’m not satisfied just to get back to where we were before the recession; we’ve got to fully restore the middle class in America. (Applause.) And America cannot have a strong, growing economy without a strong, growing middle class and without a strong labor movement. (Applause.)

That’s the central challenge that we face in our country today. That’s at the core of why I ran for President. That’s what I’ve been fighting for since I’ve been President. (Applause.) Everything we’ve done, it’s been thinking about you. We said working folks deserved a break -- so within one month of me taking office, we signed into law the biggest middle-class tax cut in history, putting more money into your pockets. (Applause.)


We said working folks shouldn’t be taken advantage of -- so we passed tough financial reform that ended the days of taxpayer bailouts, and stopped credit card companies from gouging you with hidden fees and unfair rate hikes, and set up a new consumer protection agency with one responsibility: sticking up for you. (Applause.)


We said that if you’re going to work hard all day to provide a better life for your kids, then we’re going to make sure that those kids get the best education possible. So we helped keep teachers on the job. (Applause.) We’re reforming our public schools, and we’re investing in community colleges and job-training programs. (Applause.) And we ended wasteful giveaways that went to the big banks and used the savings to make college more affordable for millions of your kids. (Applause.)


We said that every family in America should have affordable, accessible health care. (Applause.) We said you shouldn’t be discriminated against because you’ve got a preexisting condition. We said young adults without insurance should be able to stay on their parents’ plans. We got that done -- for you. (Applause.)


And here’s what else we said, Detroit. We said that American autoworkers could once again build the best cars in the world. (Applause.) So we stood by the auto industry. And we made some tough choices that were necessary to make it succeed. And now, the Big Three are turning a profit and hiring new workers, and building the best cars in the world right here in Detroit, right here in the Midwest, right here in the United States of America. (Applause.)


I know it. I’ve seen it. I’ve been to GM’s Hamtramck plant. (Applause.) I’ve been to Chrysler’s Jefferson North Plant. (Applause.) I’ve seen Detroit prove the cynics and the naysayers wrong.


We didn’t just stop there. We said American workers could manufacture the best products in the world. So we invested in high-tech manufacturing and we invested in clean energy. And right now, there’s an advanced battery industry taking root here in Michigan that barely existed before. (Applause.) Half of the workers at one plant in Detroit were unemployed before a new battery company came to town. And we’re growing our exports so that more of the world buys products that are stamped with three simple words: “Made in America.” (Applause.)


So that’s what we’re fighting for, Michigan. We’re fighting for good jobs with good wages. We’re fighting for health care when you get sick. We’re fighting for a secure retirement even if you’re not rich. We’re fighting for the chance to give our kids a better life than we had. That’s what we’re doing to restore middle-class security and rebuild this economy the American way -- based on balance and fairness and the same set of rules for everybody from Wall Street to Main Street. (Applause.) An economy where hard work pays off and gaming the system doesn’t pay off, and everybody has got a shot at the American Dream. That’s what we’re fighting for. (Applause.)

On Thursday, we’re going to lay out a new way forward on jobs to grow the economy and put more Americans back to work right now. I don’t want to give everything away right here, because I want you all to tune in on Thursday -- (applause) -- but I'll give you just a little bit. (Applause.)


We’ve got roads and bridges across this country that need rebuilding. We’ve got private companies with the equipment and the manpower to do the building. We’ve got more than 1 million unemployed construction workers ready to get dirty right now. There is work to be done and there are workers ready to do it. Labor is on board. Business is on board. We just need Congress to get on board. Let’s put America back to work. (Applause.)


Last year, we worked together, Republicans and Democrats, to pass a payroll tax cut. And because of that, this year the average family has an extra $1,000 in their pocket because of it.




THE PRESIDENT: But that’s going to expire in a few months if we don’t come together to extend it. And I think putting money back in the pockets of working families is the best way to get demand rising, because that then means business is hiring, and that means the government -- that means that the economy is growing. (Applause.)


So I’m going to propose ways to put America back to work that both parties can agree to, because I still believe both parties can work together to solve our problems. And given the urgency of this moment, given the hardship that many people are facing, folks have got to get together.


But we’re not going to wait for them. (Applause.) We’re going to see if we’ve got some straight shooters in Congress. We’re going to see if congressional Republicans will put country before party. (Applause.) We’ll give them a plan, and then we’ll say, do you want to create jobs? Then put our construction workers back to work rebuilding America. (Applause.) Do you want to help our companies succeed? Open up new markets for them to sell their products. You want -- you say you’re the party of tax cuts? Well then, prove you’ll fight just as hard for tax cuts for middle-class families as you do for oil companies and the most affluent Americans. (Applause.) Show us what you got. (Applause.)


The time for Washington games is over. (Applause.) The time for action is now. No more manufactured crises. No more games. Now is not the time for the people you sent to Washington to worry about their jobs; now is the time for them to worry about your jobs. (Applause.)


Now, let me say a word about labor in particular. Now, I know this is not going to be an easy time. I know it’s not easy when there's some folks who have their sights trained on you. After all that unions have done to build and protect the middle class, you’ve got people trying to claim that you’re responsible for the problems middle-class folks are facing.




THE PRESIDENT: You’ve got Republicans saying you’re the ones exploiting working families. Imagine that.


Now, the fact is, our economy is stronger when workers are getting paid good wages and good benefits. (Applause.) Our economy is stronger when we've got broad-based growth and broad-based prosperity. That’s what unions have always been about -- shared prosperity.


You know, I was on the plane flying over here, and Carl Levin was with me, and he showed me a speech that Harry Truman had given on Labor Day 63 years ago, right here in Detroit -- 63 years ago. And just to show that things haven't changed much, he talked about how Americans had voted in some folks into Congress who weren’t very friendly to labor. And he pointed out that some working folks and even some union members voted these folks in. And now they were learning their lesson. And he pointed out that -- and I'm quoting here -- “the gains of labor were not accomplished at the expense of the rest of the nation. Labor’s gains contributed to the nation’s general prosperity.” (Applause.)


What was true back in 1948 is true in 2011. When working families are doing well, when they're getting a decent wage and they're getting decent benefits, that means they're good customers for businesses. (Applause.) That means they can buy the cars that you build. (Applause.) That means that you can buy the food from the farmers. That means you can buy from Silicon Valley. You are creating prosperity when you share in prosperity. (Applause.)


So when I hear some of these folks trying to take collective bargaining rights away, trying to pass so-called “right to work” laws for private sector workers --




THE PRESIDENT: -- that really mean the right to work for less and less and less -- when I hear some of this talk I know this is not about economics. This is about politics.


And I want everybody here to know, as long as I’m in the White House I’m going to stand up for collective bargaining. (Applause.)


AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!


THE PRESIDENT: That’s why we’ve reversed harmful decisions that were designed to undermine those rights. That's why we passed the Fair Pay Act to stop pay discrimination. (Applause.) That's why we appointed people who are actually fulfilling their responsibilities to make sure that the offices and factories and mines workers that clock in each day, that they're actually safe on the job.


And we’re going to keep at it. Because having a voice on the job and a chance to organize and a chance to negotiate for a fair day’s pay after a hard day’s work, that is the right of every man and woman in America -- not just the CEO in the corner office, but also the janitor who cleans that office after the CEO goes home. (Applause.) Everybody has got the same right. (Applause.)


And that’s true for public employees as well. Look, the recession had a terrible effect on state and local budgets -- we all understand that. Unions have recognized that; they’ve already made tough concessions. In the private sector, we live in a more competitive global economy -- so unions like the UAW understand that workers have to work with management to revamp business models, to innovate so we can sell our products around the world. We understand that the world is changing; unions understand that the world is changing. Unions understand they need to help drive the change, whether it’s on the factory floor, or in the classroom, or in the government office. (Applause.)


But what unions also know is that the values at the core of the union movement, those don’t change. Those are the values that have made this country great. (Applause.) That’s what the folks trying to undermine your rights don’t understand. When union workers agree to pay freezes and pay cuts -- they’re not doing it just to keep their jobs. They’re doing it so that their fellow workers -– their fellow Americans -- can keep their jobs. (Applause.)


When teachers agree to reforms in how schools are run at the same time as they’re digging into their pockets to buy school supplies for those kids, they do so because they believe every child can learn. (Applause.) They do it because they know something that those who seek to divide us don’t understand: We are all in this together. That’s why those crowds came out to support you in Madison and in Columbus. We are one nation. We are one people. We will rise and we will fall together. (Applause.)


Anyone who doesn’t believe it should come here to Detroit. It’s like the commercial says: This is a city that’s been to heck and back. (Applause.) And while there are still a lot of challenges here, I see a city that’s coming back. (Applause.)

You ask somebody here if times are tough, they’ll say, yeah, it’s tough, but we’re tougher. (Applause.) Look at what we’re doing to overcome. Look at what we’re doing to rebuild and reinvent and redefine what it means to live in this great city. Look at our parents who catch the first bus to work, and our students who stay up late to earn a degree. Look at our workers on the line at Hamtramck and Jefferson North who are building the best cars in the world. Look at our artists who are revamping our city, and our young people who are thinking up new ways to make a difference that we never dreamed of. Look how we look out for one another. (Applause.)


That’s why we chose Detroit as one of the cities that we’re helping revitalize in our “Strong Cities, Strong Communities” initiative. (Applause.) We’re teaming up with everybody -- mayors, local officials, you name it -- boosting economic development, rebuilding your communities the best way, which is a way that involves you. Because despite all that’s changed here, and all the work that lies ahead, this is still a city where men clocked into factories. This is the city that built the greatest middle class the world has ever known. (Applause.) This is the city where women rolled up their sleeves and helped build an arsenal for democracy to free the world. (Applause.) This is a city where the great American industry has come back to life and the industries of tomorrow are taking root. This is a city where people, brave and bold, courageous and clever, are dreaming up ways to prove the skeptics wrong and write the next proud chapter in our history. (Applause.)


That’s why I wanted to be here with you today. Because for every cynic and every naysayer running around talking about how our best days are behind us -- for everybody who keeps going around saying, “No, we can’t" --


AUDIENCE: Yes, we can!


THE PRESIDENT: -- for everybody who can always find a reason why we can’t rebuild America, I meet Americans every day who, in the face of impossible odds they’ve got a different belief. They believe we can. You believe we can. (Applause.)


Yes, times are tough. But we’ve been through tough times before. I don’t know about you, but I’m not scared of tough times. (Applause.) I’m not scared of tough times because I know we’re going to be all marching together and walking together and working together and rebuilding together. And I know we don’t quit. (Applause.) I know we don’t give up our dreams and settle for something less. We roll up our sleeves -- and we remember a fundamental truth of our history: We are strong when we are united. (Applause.) We’re firing all cylinders.


The union movement is going to be at the center of it. And if all of you are committed to making sure that the person standing next to you, and their kids and their grandkids -- that everybody in this city and everybody in this country can unleash his or her potential, if you work hard and play by the rules, you will get a fair shake and get a fair shot. That’s the country I want for my kids. (Applause.) That’s the country you want for your kids. That’s the country we’re going to build together. (Applause.)


Thank you very much, Detroit. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)



1:57 P.M. CDT

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  • 2 weeks later...

USDA just released their annual U.S. food-insecurity rates


An estimated 85.5 percent of American households were food secure throughout the entire year in 2010, meaning that they had access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members. The remaining households (14.5 percent) were food insecure at least some time during the year, including 5.4 percent with very low food security—meaning that the food intake of one or more household members was reduced and their eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year because the household lacked money and other resources for food. The prevalence rate of very low food security declined from 5.7 percent in 2009, while the change in food insecurity overall (from 14.7 percent in 2009) was not statistically significant. The typical food-secure household spent 27 percent more on food than the typical food-insecure household of the same size and household composition. Fifty-nine percent of all food-insecure households participated in one or more of the three largest Federal food and nutrition assistance programs during the month prior to the 2010 survey.


Keywords: Food security, food insecurity, food spending, food pantry, soup kitchen, emergency kitchen, material well-being, SNAP, Food Stamp Program, National School Lunch Program, WIC, ERS, USDA


In this report ...


Chapters are in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.




See additional resources


Statistical Supplement (tables included in Household Food Security in the United States in previous years but omitted from this year’s report) available at:http://www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/AP/AP057/


Some key statistics and graphs


Charts and graphs (in .png format) from this report are available in the .zip file listed below. The .zip file also contains a document (readme.txt) that lists the name and title of each chart or graph file.


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Guest DCpages Staff

According to a new CNN Poll Interviews with 1,038 adult Americans conducted by telephone

by ORC International on September 9-11, 2011.


If you had to choose, would you rather see Barack Obama and Congress pay more attention to

reducing the budget deficit, or more attention to creating more jobs?


Deficit 29%

Jobs 65%

Both equally (vol.) 6%

Neither (vol.) *

No opinion *



The margin of sampling error for results based on the total sample is plus or minus 3 percentage points. The sample also includes 943 interviews among registered voters (plus or minus 3 percentage points).



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Guest American4Progress

GOP Prevents Jobs (Again)


The third time was not the charm today when it came to persuading Senate Republicans to abandon their never-ending quest to prevent the wealthiest Americans from having to pay their fair share and to instead join with Democrats to put hundreds of thousands of Americans back to work. Earlier this afternoon, Senate Republicans again voted unanimously against 450,000 Americans jobs.


The Tally


Oct. 11: 100 percent of Senate Republicans voted against millions of American jobs in order to protect the very wealthiest Americans — the top 0.5 percent — from having to pay their fair share.

Oct. 20: 100 percent of Senate Republicans voted against nearly 400,000 jobs for teachers, firefighters, and copsin order to protect the very wealthiest Americans — the top 0.5 percent — from having to pay their fair share.

Today: 100 percent of Senate Republicans voted against 450,000 Americans jobs rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, airports, and other critical infrastructurein order to protect the very wealthiest Americans — the top 0.5 percent — from having to pay their fair share.


Survey Says: Public Agrees That the GOP is Trying to Sabotage the Economy to Hurt Obama


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) infamously said:


The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president. That’s my single most important political goal along with every active Republican in the country.


According to a new poll of Florida voters, it looks like the public is catching on to their plans:


With 51 percent of voters saying that jobs and the economy are the most pressing issues in the nation today, 49 percent said they believe that the Republicans are intentionally hindering efforts to boost the economy so that President Barack Obama will not be reelected. Thirty-nine percent disagreed. As expected, most registered Democrats (70 percent) agreed that Republicans are intentionally hindering the economy and hurting Obama, but independents (52 percent) and even some Republicans (24 percent) also agreed.

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Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden on Manufacturing at a Campaign Event


THE VICE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody. How are you? (Applause.) It’s good to be back in Davenport, the Quad Cities. (Applause.)


Mr. Mayor, thank you for flying back from Brazil and getting off a plane and coming straight here. If I were you, I’d be home in bed trying to catch up on my sleep. And I want to tell you something, I know I’m back in Iowa when the guy introducing you from the factory floor speaks better than you do, I know I’m back in -- I know I’m back in Iowa. (Laughter and applause.) Incredible state. You’re an incredible state.


I understand the Mayor of Eldridge is here and -- Martin O’Boyle. Terry, thank you for the opportunity of allowing me on the factory floor here, and I understand the chancellor of Eastern Iowa Community College, Don Doucette, is here. Don, where are you? Thank you very much, Don. I’m going to talk about what you guys are doing in just a minute.


And, folks, first of all, as it relates to the story that was just told by Chuck, it reminds me, my dad used to have an expression. He’d say -- I mean this sincerely, a guy who had lost jobs, a guy who had to move and move his family -- he said, Joey, you got to understand one thing, a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about your dignity. It’s about your respect. It’s about your sense of yourself. It’s about your place in the community.


And too many people have been stripped of their dignity as a consequence of this God-awful recession we’ve inherited. And we’re determined -- we’re determined -- I think all of us, Republican and Democrat -- are determined to turn that around.


But first I want to thank -- I want to thank Terry, the president of PCT, and I also want to thank the community college for doing what is a remarkable thing that's happening all across America, for partnering -- for partnering with this great company and producing jobs, making sure the skills available match the needs.


Ladies and gentlemen, I come here today with a very, very simple message: Manufacturing is back. Manufacturing is back. (Applause.)


And, folks, that's not only good news for Chuck and all the fellow workers here on this factory floor, it’s good news for America. But it’s even better news for America’s middle class. (Applause.) They’ve taken an awful beating over the last decade or more, and what’s happened just in the last couple years: 430,000 new manufacturing jobs just since 2010; more than 15,000 new manufacturing jobs here in the state of Iowa; the fastest growth in manufacturing since the ‘90s. After years of hearing the word outsourcing, our children are going to hear a new word as much as we heard outsourcing. It’s called insourcing. It’s called insourcing. (Applause.)


Because, folks, the facts are -- and you’re going to see more of them -- the facts are that the jobs that left the United States are coming back to the United States. Plants that closed are opening, opening and reinvented. Companies like John Deere expanding here in Davenport and in Waterloo and in Des Moines, where they added nearly 500 new jobs in the past two years, good paying jobs. Siemens Wind employs 500 people at Fort Madison. Sixty-five percent of them used to work in companies in the area that are either closed or downsized. So, folks, America is coming back. It’s not a political slogan; it’s a reality. And it’s happening in the sector that built the middle class in manufacturing.


Look, you know a lot of my Republican friends and some of our political opponents wonder why the President and I have spent so much time working to bring manufacturing back. No one in the Heartland has to wonder about that. You all know why. You all know why because you were the manufacturing center of the world, and you saw what happened when those jobs were lost.

You know that manufacturing jobs just aren’t any old jobs. They are good paying jobs; jobs you can raise a family on. Jobs that allow you to own a home and not just rent; jobs that give you the promise of being able to send your kid to college. And here in Iowa, the average manufacturing job pays almost $50,000 a year. And they’re jobs that matter to everyone, as was mentioned by Chuck, because they not only are good for America -- they’re good for America, because they make America competitive again. And they’re jobs of building products of the future in industries of the future for an economy that’s able to compete for the future, products like the electronic beam systems built here at PCT -- remarkable.


These are jobs building products that export to consumers not just here but all around the world, expanding world markets for the United States of America. You know about that too. Fifty percent -- all the workers here know that 50 percent of what they produce here at PCT Engineering are sales that are destined to be exported. That’s a big deal.


They’re jobs that anchor our communities. They’re jobs that get the local community moving again, manufacturing jobs. Manufacturing jobs create more jobs, other jobs -- jobs in diners, hardware stores, schools, police departments. But most importantly, they’re jobs that can help rebuild the middle class, which has been battered. And nobody knows it better than all of you.


Look, it matters because real growth, growth that is widely shared, the only growth that really matters -- growth that is widely shared by everyone in this country -- can only happen when the middle class is growing again. When the middle class is growing, everyone does well. The wealthy do very well, as they should, and those who are not wealthy have a shot, a ladder maybe they can climb up to change their circumstance.


But the middle class will only grow if we build an economy that can support the middle class. And manufacturing is not the only part, but it’s a critical part to bringing back the middle class. And no one knows that better than the people of Iowa, who know the essential role that -- it’s not only manufacturing. Look at Iowa and agriculture and the role agriculture plays in the economic health and well-being of this nation. That’s why the President and I are so proud that last year farm exports reached a record high of $137 billion, $23 billion higher than ever before.


That’s not only good for the economic well-being of Iowa farmers, it’s good for the economic well-being of the entire country. And with the new trade agreements the President negotiated, we expect an additional $2.3 billion in the coming years in agricultural products supporting an additional 20,000 jobs here at home. But it’s not only the agricultural sector that’s going to benefit from these new trade agreements. It will create tens of thousands of more jobs in manufacturing in the high-tech sector because of these agreements.


And, folks, we’re not just fighting harder to be able to export our products -- agriculture or manufactured -- abroad. They’re important, but we’re fighting to export complex, high-tech services as well, services that Americans provide better than any other people in the world, but things most people don’t think about -- (applause) -- things most don't think about, that they contribute and contribute tens of billions of dollars to our economy like construction, engineering, health care technology, IT. We do that better than anyone in the world.


We recently signed an agreement, after my negotiations with the Vice President of China, opening America’s automobile insurance industry to the largest automobile market in the world. You say, what does that have to do? If you have access for American automobile insurance companies to sell insurance, which has been blocked up to now, in China to the largest number of folks in the world who drive automobiles, that’s real money. That’s real jobs. That’s real jobs back here at home.


But ultimately, it all comes down to the same question, the real question, quite frankly, of this election and the challenge of our time -- will we be a country that values the role of workers in the success of businesses and values the middle class in the success of the economy or are we going to move backwards to the same disastrous philosophy that rewarded speculators rather than builders?


Look, this is the third in a series of speeches I’m giving on behalf of our administration laying out the stark choices we believe the American people are going to face in November and what’s at stake for the middle class. Today, I want to focus primarily on manufacturing because President Obama and I -- President Obama and I have been working to rebuild our manufacturing sector and rebuild our country because we think they're one and the same. We don't know how you do one without the other. We don't know how you leave it out, manufacturing and rebuild the country.


So let me tell you what we’ve done, but maybe equally as important, let me tell you what we think we have to do, what more we have to do. When we came into office, the manufacturing sector, had been neglected badly and was getting devastated.


During the 2000s, before we came in, 5.8 million manufacturing jobs were lost in the United States of America. Right here in Iowa, you lost 53,000 manufacturing jobs. You saw companies like Maytag and Electolux and many others close shop. Thousands of factories closed out and laid off workers, a lot of them reopened in places like Vietnam, Mexico, China, “cheaper markets.” And we were told -- how many times have you been told over the last 15 years that America’s days as a leading manufacturer in the world had passed?


Look, the President and I said, where is it written, where is it written that says our day has passed in anything? The President and I fundamentally disagreed with that proposition. And by the way, it was a widely held proposition, not just with our friends on the other side, with a whole lot of people.

We knew -- we knew we had to get manufacturing back on its feet again because for every one of those manufacturing jobs lost, somebody lost their place in the middle class. For every one of those jobs lost.


So we went to work first and foremost over significant opposition, and with Mitt Romney arguing that we should let Detroit go bankrupt.




THE VICE PRESIDENT: What we did is we rescued the auto industry. We administered some of the very toughest medicine -- (Applause.) We were criticized by many on our side. We administered some very tough medicine, but together we saved literally 1 million jobs.


And since restructuring, the industry has already added back another 200,000 jobs and GM is leading the world again as the world’s largest automobile manufacturer. (Applause.)


Folks, we knew that was essential, but not enough, so we went to work to provide a skilled workforce for companies that have already come back or are bringing their folks back. We met with the leading companies in the world who came to the White House in January. They pointed out to us that right now there are 600,000 manufacturing jobs in the United States that companies who have come back home can't fill because of their inability to match the workers’ skills with the need of the companies. So we launched a partnership between what my wife, Jill, who is a community college professor, calls the best-kept secret -- (Applause.) Beautiful. What my wife, Jill, calls the best-kept secret in America, American community colleges. And businesses looking to fill those 600,000 slots married up with them.


We’ve also proposed an $8 billion partnership to give more momentum to this effort. My wife and the Secretary of Labor, Secretary Solis, just did an 800-mile bus trip, starting off in Iowa, working all the way -- their way through Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, visiting community college and business after community college and business, providing hundreds and hundreds of good paying jobs because they're training directly, exactly what the companies need.


And it was all over the countryside, from Tennessee, to North Carolina, to Michigan, Ohio, New Hampshire, and it’s working. So let me say it again, thank you, Terry. And thank you, Dr. Paper, and thank you, Chancellor -- Dr. Paper, and thank you, Chancellor, for this partnership of yours. You are one of the reasons why. You’re literally one of the reasons why American companies are now insourcing instead of outsourcing.


We’ve committed to breaking down barriers that block access of American products to overseas markets, so the rest of the world and the consumers can understand what we already know, that we make the best products. No one makes a better product than American workers, and there’s no worker in the world more productive than an American worker. That's not hyperbole. That is a fact. That is literally a fact. (Applause.)


In addition, the President has signed into law three free trade agreement with Korea, Colombia and Panama. They're going to open up markets for the best products in the world -- for the best products in the world, Made in America products, to all those countries, which now can't get into those countries and are committed to leveling the playing field across the board.


To that end, we created for the first time a thing we call the Trade Enforcement Unit, whose sole job is to crack down on countries that pursue unfair trade practices. We’re not -- we don't think that's a trade war. We think that's a fair way to trade. And so just this month, we brought a new trade case against China.


China is unfairly limiting American access to so-called rare earth materials that they possess, that are needed by American manufacturers to make high-tech products like electronic vehicles and advanced electronics.


We changed the tax code to give a 30 percent tax credit to a company that builds wind turbines, solar panels or other clean energy products here in the United States rather than abroad. (Applause.) The result so far -- the result so far is $2.3 billion of new investment in factories built here in the United States of America, rather than abroad. (Applause.)


Look, even more to come as they invest in new plants and equipment right now, right now if they invest, by allowing them to write off more rapidly the cost of the factory, the cost of the equipment, the cost of their vehicles so they can expand opportunities. That means more people being hired. The bottom line is we’re changing the paradigm here. We’re rewarding instead of penalizing American companies that invest in building and hiring here in America, and manufacturers are responding. They're hiring workers by the hundreds of thousands. They're exploiting products all around the world.


With this added incentive, we’re on pace to double, as the President committed to, double American exports by the year 2015. And let me translate what that means, if we double American exports by the year 2015, that creates another 2 million American jobs. (Applause.)


So, folks -- so all those skeptics and our Republican opponents who -- especially don't tell me that America can't make things anymore; can't compete in the world market anymore; can't lead the world again any more. We will lead the world again in every aspect of the economy. (Applause.)


And, folks, we’ve already begun. You’ve begun -- not me -- you’ve begun, and we’re not done. For years, American manufacturers have faced one of the highest tax rates in the world. We want to reduce that by over 20 percent. We want to drop the rate particularly for high-tech manufacturers like you, Mr. President, even further than the 20 percent. We want to create what’s called a global minimum tax, because American taxpayers shouldn’t be providing a larger subsidy for investing abroad than investing at home. (Applause.)


Look, we want to end and we want to end it right now, the practice of getting a tax break, which you saw happen here in Iowa for dismantling a factory, floor to ceiling, and shipping it abroad and getting a moving expense to go abroad. Instead, we should be giving a tax credit to companies that dismantle factories abroad and bring them back home. (Applause.)


Look, this and a lot of other ways is why we’re bringing American manufacturing back and it’s how we’re going to grow the middle class. Look, folks, conventional wisdom that manufacturing is dead in this country is dead wrong -- dead wrong -- and we’ve got to maintain this momentum. But if you’ll forgive me for saying this, one thing that could bring this momentum to a screeching halt is turning over the keys of the White House to Santorum or Romney. (Applause.)


Look, they’re both good guys. They’re both good guys and I’ve worked with Rick for a long time. Senator Santorum is the only one of them who is even claiming to care about manufacturing, but his Senate record tells a different story. He voted against ending loopholes for companies that move manufacturing jobs offshore, from America offshore. And just like Mitt Romney, when asked if we should have rescued the automobile industry, he said, “No, absolutely not.”


But if Senator Santorum has been inconsistent in what he has said and what he has done, Mitt Romney has been remarkably consistent -- (laughter) -- as an investor/businessman, as the governor of Massachusetts, and now as a candidate for President, remarkably consistent and I respectfully suggest, consistently wrong. (Applause.)


Ladies and gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen, when he was CEO of Bain Capital, Bain Capital closed down two factories in South Florida that made medical devices, moving the production to Germany. They shut down a plant in South Carolina and cut jobs in another one in Rhode Island that made photo albums and picture frames and outsourced production overseas. I’m tempted to say, Mitt, thanks for the memories. (Laughter.) You know what I mean?


As governor of Massachusetts, he repeatedly slashed funding for workforce training in manufacturing specifically. And despite the fact that millions of taxpayer dollars were flowing to companies outsourcing state services like overseas call centers, he vetoed a bill passed by the Massachusetts legislature that would have stopped the state from outsourcing contracts overseas, state contracts.


Look, think about it, a Massachusetts taxpayer with a question -- this is how it works -- with a question about Massachusetts state services, picks up the phone, dials an 800 number expecting to talk to somebody in the Massachusetts government to get an answer to their question. And instead, he talking to -- or she’s talking to someone on the other side of the world and all of it paid for by his or her tax dollars. I find that kind of fascinating. (Laughter.) No, I really mean it. I mean, that’s one when I was told about, I said, I’m not going to say that until you fact check that for me again.


But think about it, it’s one thing for the local company to outsource a call service, but for the state government to outsource a call service that’s set up to answer questions for people in the state about a problem they have with the government, to outsource that, denying folks in Massachusetts the jobs that are attendant to that? Is it any surprise to you that Massachusetts, under Governor Romney, was losing manufacturing jobs twice as fast as the rest of the country?


Now, as a presidential candidate, he has proposed a new international tax system that zeroes out taxes for companies that create jobs outside the United States of America. I’m not making this stuff up.


Look, your -- President Obama and Governor Romney, Joe Biden, and whoever the nominee is going to be, we are talking about taxes and the burden on manufacturers. But there’s a big difference. Our tax cuts go to companies that create jobs over here. The Romney tax cut goes to companies that create jobs overseas. It’s a fundamentally different philosophy from ours.


When China was dumping tires into the international marketplace, hurting American manufacturers of tires and their workers, President Obama stepped up and enforced our trade laws and won. Governor Romney, at the time, called what the President has done protectionism. That’s his quote -- “protectionism.” Now, when it’s politically expedient, he wants to get really tough on China.


Look, it’s a different philosophy. Governor Romney has called the President of the United States “out of touch” -- that's a quote, “out of touch” -- for encouraging young people to try to get manufacturing jobs. Out of touch? Romney? (Laughter and applause.) I mean, pretty remarkable, pretty remarkable. As an old friend of mine says, that’s chutzpah. (Laughter.) Look, the Wall Street Journal wrote, “Romney appeared to scoff first in Detroit, then in Florida at the notion of manufacturing as a job engine for the future.”


So, look, folks, we have a choice in this election between our philosophy that believes manufacturing is central to our economy and their philosophy that scoffs at it, between our philosophy that says there is nothing out of touch about fighting for the future of the middle class by creating manufacturing jobs -- a philosophy that says if the folks at the top -- and their philosophy says if the folks at the top do well, everything else will do well. How many times have you heard about the job creators?


Look, Governor Romney’s business practices and his policies have clearly benefited the wealthy and most powerful among us, often at the expense of working and middle-class families. They actually believe it’s the best way. I’m not doubting their belief. But it just doesn’t work that way.

As the President said, and I quote, "this" -- meaning the middle class -- "this is the defining issue of our time. This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and for all those who are fighting to get into the middle class.”


Folks, I stood outside of a lot of plant gates in my career, both here in this state, the state of Iowa, and in my home state of Delaware, shaking hands and asking for support. I've also stood outside those gates -- like the General Motors gate of my home state -- asking those -- when those workers needed my help because the plant was shutting down, going somewhere else. Those are the days that stick with me the most in my career.


Those are the days when the longest walk that these folks were taking wasn't from the factory floor to the parking lot for the last time, it was up that flight of stairs they had to go up once they got home into their child's bedroom to say, Honey, I'm sorry but you're not going to be able to go back to Roosevelt High School, or St. Mary's, or not be able to be in that little league; Daddy, Mommy, I lost my job. We've got to do something else.


My dad made that walk when I was young. An awful lot of kids heard the same words I heard, except the difference between then and now was that my father said everything was going to be okay. In the mid ‘50s he believed it, and I believed it. So many people have made that walk in the recent past five, six, seven years, and they can't even say with certainty when they look at their child up until now, it's going to be okay.


But the good news is that today, hundreds of thousands of workers are replacing that longest walk with walks of a totally different journey. (Applause.) A journey that ends with workers who are able to come home and say, I've got a job -- just like you were. (Applause.) I've got a job.


They've been able to say, I've got a good job building amazing products that the world wants to buy. That’s what makes me so optimistic. We've got a way to go yet, but knowing these journeys are taking place again in the thousands -- more of them every single day.


Look, some of you know me fairly well. My entire career I've been characterized as an optimist, since I got elected as a 29-year-old kid to the Senate. Well, I've got to tell you, I mean this sincerely, I've never been more optimistic in my life about the prospects for America. (Applause.) America today is better positioned than any country in the world to lead the 21st Century. (Applause.)


Folks, it's not just manufacturing that’s coming back. The middle class is coming back. America is coming back. Worker by worker, home by home, neighborhood by neighborhood, the country is coming back. So as my grandpop would say, keep the faith. And thank you. May God bless you all, and may God protect our troops. Thank you. (Applause.)

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Guest Made in America Ornament

A nearly $25 million Recovery Act tax credit helped General Electric transfer its manufacturing operations of hybrid water heaters from China to Kentucky’s Louisville Appliance Park, making it the first new plant opened there in more than 50 years. Kentucky state and local governments put up $17 million toward construction costs.


The majority of Recovery projects are funded by stimulus contracts, grants, and loans, while Recovery tax credits – about $300 billion total – are most often used to offset losses from the recession or to provide for energy efficiency. But in this case, GE used a sizeable tax credit to offset construction costs of the new facility, which GE says can make the product more competitively than in China.


GE’s hybrid water heater combines energy-saving heat-pump technology with traditional electric heating elements, requiring less than half the amount of energy needed to operate a conventional electric water heater. The hybrid “and other recent investments at Appliance Park has also created hundreds of highly skilled salaried jobs in fields like engineering, industrial design and manufacturing,” the company said.


DOE said the hybrid water heater was inspired by research efforts pioneered in the late 1990s and early 2000s at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.




GE Appliances today announced the opening of its GeoSpring™ Hybrid Water Heater manufacturing facility at Appliance Park in Louisville, Ky. – the first to open there since 1957. The $38 million investment in the new product and a revitalized facility is the first milestone in commitments GE has made since 2009 to invest a total of $1 billion ($800 million in Louisville) and create more than 1,300 new jobs in the U.S. by 2014. The new product and other recent investments at Appliance Park has also created hundreds of highly skilled salaried jobs in fields like engineering, industrial design and manufacturing.


“The journey we started in 2009 to get to this day has been an inspirational one,” said GE Appliances President and CEO Charles “Chip” Blankenship. “To reverse decades of outsourcing by bringing new, industry-leading products and jobs back to the U.S. takes tremendous cooperation, imagination, courage and plain hard work by a lot of people. I want to thank our local union, our employees, government and company officials for having and executing a vision that is bringing these jobs to Appliance Park and creating a bright future for our business.”


Lean manufacturing and a more competitive wage structure for new employees led to the selection of Louisville as the production site for the new water heater instead of China, where an earlier version of the product was made. Not only can the new product now be made more competitively in the U.S., the GeoSpring Hybrid Water Heater, developed by the Louisville team, has an enhanced feature set, offers better performance with greater energy savings and will be more affordable for consumers.


The GeoSpring has the distinction of being the first GE Appliances product designed and built using Lean manufacturing principles. The Lean process, which uses a cross-functional team of employees – including hourly manufacturing workers – to design the product and the manufacturing process, will help increase the competitiveness of the operation by identifying and removing waste in materials and work effort often found in traditional manufacturing.


State and local governments also supported putting the new GeoSpring in Louisville with up to $17 million in incentives to design and build the new energy-efficient facility and other investments that the company will make at Appliance Park during the next several years.


“We made a commitment early in my administration that energy-related development would be a high priority,” Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said. “We developed an aggressive plan to not only research and develop new kinds of energy production, but to attract businesses and projects that are similarly committed to cleaner, greener energy applications. GE’s new hybrid water heater is a perfect match for our energy commitment and our strong manufacturing core.”


About the GeoSpring:


The new GE GeoSpring Hybrid Electric Water Heater is designed to provide hot water in the quantities homeowners have come to expect from a 50-gallon tank water heater, but uses less than half the energy to produce it. Compared to a conventional 50-gallon tank water heater that uses 4879 kWh per year, the new GE GeoSpring Water Heater:

  • Uses less than half of that energy – or about 1830 kWh per year.*
  • Saves approximately $325 per year, less than half the cost of a conventional electric water heater — that's $3,250 in savings in energy costs over a 10-year period based on 10.65 cents per kWh.

The GeoSpring Hybrid Water Heater combines energy-saving heat-pump technology with traditional electric heating elements. Hybrid technology absorbs heat in the ambient air and transfers it into the water. Since this requires much less energy than the energy used to generate radiant heat – as used in a conventional electric tank water heater – the GeoSpring Hybrid Electric Water Heater is more economical to operate.


GeoSpring will be available in March at national retailers such as Lowe’s and Sears and national plumbing distributors such as Ferguson, as well as many local retailers and distributors. For more information on features and availability visit GEAppliances.com/american-made-water-heater/.

State and local tax credits and utility rebates for purchasing the energy-efficient water heater may also be available to benefit consumers.


*Based on DOE test procedure and comparison of a 50-gallon standard electric tank water heater using 4879 kWh per year vs. the GeoSpring Hybrid Water Heater using 1830 kWh per year.


About GE Appliances


GE Appliances is at the forefront of building innovative, energy-efficient appliances that improve people’s lives. GE Appliances’ products include refrigerators, freezers, cooking products, dishwashers, washers, dryers, air conditioners, water filtration systems and water heaters. General Electric (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter to build a world that works better. For more information on GE Appliances, visit www.ge.com/appliances.

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