President Obama: "We can't wait"

President Obama announced this afternoon that in the face of inaction and obstruction from congressional Republicans, he is prepared to do whatever he can as President to help put Americans back to work.

He said:

"The only way we can truly attack our economic challenges—the only way we can put hundreds of thousands of people back to work right now—is with bold action in Congress. That’s why I’m going to keep forcing these senators to vote on commonsense, paid-for jobs proposals. But last month, when I addressed a joint session of Congress about our jobs crisis, I also said that I intend to do everything in my power to act on behalf of the American people—with or without Congress.

"So I’m here to say that we can’t wait for an increasingly dysfunctional Congress to do its job. Where they won’t act, I will."

In the past few weeks, President Obama has issued several of these executive actions: making a significant change to No Child Left Behind, reducing the time it takes for a small business to get paid when they have a federal contract, and eliminating outdated hospital regulations. In the weeks to come, the administration will announce more key actions they can take without waiting for Congress.

In Las Vegas, the city hit hardest by the housing crisis, the President announced that the Federal Housing Finance Agency will begin to take a series of steps to help responsible homeowners whose home values have decreased through no fault of their own. The agency will help them refinance and take advantage of low mortgage rates—a move that will help consumers save money and regain their ability to spend.

It's an important development, but it's not a substitute for the measures in the American Jobs Act—which the President remains committed to fighting for:

"We will still need Congress to pass the jobs bill—and even then, the housing market won’t be fully healed until the unemployment rate comes down and the inventory of homes on the market comes down.

"But that is no excuse for inaction. That is no excuse for crossing your arms and saying no to Americans who need help now. There is no excuse for the games and gridlock we’ve seen in Washington. Folks out here don’t have the time or the patience for it. If any member of Congress thinks there are no unemployed workers or neighborhoods in their district that would benefit from the proposals in the jobs bill, or that folks don’t know what’s really going on, they better think again. They still have the chance to take meaningful action to put people back to work and to help middle-class families and homeowners like the Bonillas. But we can’t wait for that action. I won’t. So I’m going to keep taking this message across the country. And I hope folks will join me."

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