Obama blames partisan bickering for US woes

August 12th, 2011 - 12:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, Aug 12 (IANS) Blaming the political fighting in Congress for America’s economic woes, President Barack Obama has asked lawmakers “put country ahead of party”.

Speaking from an advanced battery plant in Holland, Michigan, Obama Thursday said partisan bickering in Washington was preventing job-making bills from becoming law and asked Americans to call on members of Congress to do the jobs they were hired to do.

“There’s nothing wrong with our country. There is something wrong with our politics,” Obama said to cheers and applause from the audience. “There is something wrong with our politics that we need to fix.”

The first-ever downgrade of the US credit rating by Standard & Poor’s last week “could have been entirely avoided if there had been a willingness to compromise in Congress”. he said.

“It didn’t happen because we didn’t have the capacity to pay our bills. It happened because Washington doesn’t have the capacity to come together and get things done.”

“You hear it (in) my voice. I’m frustrated,” Obama said, referring to what he called the “worst kind of partisanship” and the “worst kind of gridlock” in Congress.

Shortly after the president’s speech, Republican House Speaker John Boehner hit back, accusing Obama of “political grandstanding”.

“President Obama likes to talk about being ‘the adult in the room’ - but there’s nothing ‘adult’ about political grandstanding,” Boehner said in a statement.

“If the president wants to do something productive, he can start by delivering on his promise to outline his own recommendations to rein in the massive deficits and debt that are undermining job creation in our country.”

“American families and small businesses are hurting in this economy, and they are still asking ‘Where are the jobs?’ That’s why Republicans have acted on common-sense, pro-growth policies aimed at creating a better environment for job creation,” he said.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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