President Obama on Tuesday urged Congress to quickly settle differences on aviation legislation to unblock air construction projects, and to pass legislation on trade pacts and an infrastructure bank after lawmakers return from summer recess.
“We’ve got to do everything in our power to grow this economy and put America back to work,” Obama said after learning the Senate had followed the House in approving legislation to raise the federal debt ceiling and cut spending.
He said the debt ceiling impasse of recent months was “a manufactured crisis” that added to problems the economy was already facing from headwinds out of Europe, an oil price surge and Japan’s earthquake.
“It’s pretty likely that the uncertainty surrounding the raising of the debt ceiling —for both businesses and consumers — has been unsettling, and just one more impediment to the full recovery that we need. And it was something that we could have avoided entirely,” Obama said.
The president also said just cutting debt and reducing regulations are “not how we’re going to get past this recession. We’re going to have to do more than that.”
He called on Congress to break the aviation impasse that he called “another Washington-inflicted wound on America” that has “stalled airport construction projects all around the country and put the jobs of tens of thousands of construction workers and others at risk.”
Once lawmakers return from a break, Obama said he will also urge them to immediately create an infrastructure bank. “We have workers who need jobs and a country that needs rebuilding; an infrastructure bank would help us put them together,” he said.
Other pending legislation needing fast action, Obama said, include pending trade deals with South Korea, Panama and Colombia, extensions of jobless benefits and this year’s payroll tax cut for middle class workers, and patent reform.
He said these actions would “create a climate where businesses can hire, where folks have more money in their pockets to spend, where people who are out of work can find good jobs.”
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