Obama: I Look Forward to Working with Republicans on Infrastructure, Min. Wage

‘I’m pretty sure I’ll take some actions that some in Congress will not like’

"I’m eager to work with the new Congress to make the next two years as productive as possible. I’m committed to making sure that I measure ideas, not by whether they are from Democrats or Republicans, but whether they work for the American people. That’s not to say that we won’t disagree over some issues that we’re passionate about. We will. Congress will pass some bills I cannot sign. I’m pretty sure I’ll take some actions that some in Congress will not like. That’s natural. That’s how our democracy works. But we can surely find ways to work together on issues where there’s broad agreement among the American people.

So, I look forward to Republicans putting forward their governing agenda. I will offer my ideas on areas where I think we can move together to respond to people’s economic needs. So, just take one example. We all agree on the need to create more jobs that pay well. Traditionally, both parties have been for creating jobs rebuilding our infrastructure: our roads, bridges, ports, waterways. I think we can hone in on a way to pay for it through tax reform that closes loopholes and makes it more attractive for companies to create jobs here in the United States.

We can also work to grow our exports and open new markets for manufacturers to sell more American-made goods to the rest of the world. That’s something I'll be focused on when I travel to Asia next week. We all share the same aspirations for our young people and I was encouraged that this year Republicans agreed to investments that expanded early childhood education.

I think we've got a chance to do more on that front. We've got some common ideas to help more young people afford college and graduate without crippling debt so they have the freedom to fill the good jobs of tomorrow, buy their first homes and start a family. And in the five states where a minimum wage increase was on the ballot last night, voters went five for five to increase it. That will give about 325,000 Americans a raise in states where Republican candidates prevailed. So, that should give us new reason to get it done for everybody, with a national increase in the minimum wage.

So, those are some areas where I think we got some real opportunities to cooperate and I'm very eager to hear Republican ideas for what they think we can do together over the next couple of years."


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