Obama: Sequester ‘Kept Our Economy from Growing Faster ... Undermining Middle Class’
Weekly Address: Congress Should Do its Job and Pass a Serious Budget (The White House)
WASHINGTON, DC — In this week's address, the President emphasized that we need to do everything we can to strengthen economic growth and job creation. This week, despite the fact that more than half of Republicans in Congress voted to shut down the government for the second time in two years, Congress managed to pass a last-minute bill to keep the government open for another ten weeks. That means that in December, we could face yet another Republican threat to shut down the government. The President emphasized that Congress needs to stop kicking the can down the road and do its job. He stressed that Republicans and Democrats need to work together to pass a budget that fully funds the government and reverses the harmful sequestration cuts, and vowed that he would not sign another shortsighted spending bill like the one Congress sent him this past week.
Remarks of President Barack Obama
The White House
October 3, 2015
“Hi, everybody. Yesterday, we learned that our businesses created another 118,000 new jobs in September. That makes 67 straight months of job creation, and 13.2 million new jobs in all. But we would be doing even better if we didn’t have to keep dealing with crises in Congress every few months. And especially at a time when the global economy is softening, our own growth could slow if Congress doesn’t do away with harmful austerity measures.
Now, on Wednesday, more than half of Republicans in Congress voted to shut down the government for the second time in two years. Fortunately, there were enough votes in both parties to pass a last-minute bill to keep the government open for another ten weeks. Unfortunately, that gimmick only sets up another shutdown threat two weeks before Christmas.
Look, that’s not the way America should operate. It just kicks the can down the road without solving any problems or doing any long-term planning for the future. And that’s why I will not sign another shortsighted, short-term spending bill like the one Congress sent me this week.
Here’s why. A few years ago, both parties agreed to put in place harmful, automatic cuts that make no distinction between spending we don’t need and spending we do. Those cuts have actually kept our economy from growing faster. Even worse, they’re actually undermining the middle class.
Here’s one example. If we don’t undo these mindless cuts, then next year, we’ll be funding our kids’ education at the same levels per pupil we did in the year 2000. Compared to my budget, that would be like cutting federal funding for 4,500 schools, 17,500 teachers and aides, 1.9 million students.
That’s not good for our kids or our economy. It’s a prescription for American decline. And it shouldn’t happen. We should invest in things like education today, or we’ll pay the price tomorrow.
Congress should do its job, stop kicking the can down the road, and pass a serious budget rather than flirt with another shutdown. A serious budget is one that keeps America strong through our military, our law enforcement; that keeps America generous through caring for our veterans and our seniors; that keeps America competitive by educating our kids and our workers.
That’s what I want to work with serious people in both parties to achieve. Because that’s how we’ll build on the progress of 13 million new jobs, and help the middle class get ahead.
Thanks everybody, and have a great weekend.”