By Brai Odion-Esene

WASHINGTON (MNI) – President Obama Monday sought to underline his
administration’s committment to keeping the economic recovery chugging
along while also attacking the obstructionist stance of the Republicans,
laying blame for the lack of assistance for struggling small businesses
at the feet of the “partisan” minority in Congress.

In a statement delivered to the press in the White House Rose
Garden, Obama started off by noting that despite the progress made in
getting the U.S. economy back on track following the financial crisis,
“too many businesses are still struggling, too many Americans are still
looking for work.”

“It’s going to take a full-scale attack, that not only helps in the
short term, but builds a firmer foundation that makes our nation
stronger for the long haul,” he said.

This is why the government remains focused on pushing the economy
forward, he said, and promoting the economic growth needed to make dent
in the unemployment rate.

As Congress prepares to return from its summer recess — it
reconvenes September 13 — Obama said his economic team is focused on
coming up with additional measures “that could make a difference in both
promoting growth and hiring in the short term and increasing our
economy’s competitiveness in the long term.”

These include steps such as extending tax cuts for middle-class
Americans that are set to expire this year, tax cuts to encourage
businesses to invest and create jobs here in the U.S., and rebuilding
infrastructure for the future.

“I’ll be addressing these proposals in further detail in days and
weeks to come,” the president said.

But for now the most pressing issue, something that should be
Congress’ first order of business when it returns Obama said, is making
it easier for small businesses to grow and hire.

Despite passing eight different tax cuts to ease the woes of small
firms, while also working to make more credit available, “We have to do
more,” he said.

Obama argued that the jobs bill currently before Congress will cut
more taxes and make more loans available.

“It will help them get the credit they need and eliminate capital
gains taxes on key investments so they have more incentive to invest
right now,” he said. “And it would accelerate $55 billion of tax relief
to encourage American businesses — small and large — to expand their
investments over the next 14 months.”

But even with all the bill has to offer, it continues to languish
in the Senate, he continued, blocked by a partisan minority.

The bill will not add to the deficit, Obama assured, and there is
no reason to block it “besides pure partisan politics.” He cited an
article published in USA Today — in which small businesses are said to
have put hiring, supply buying and real estate expansion on hold as they
wait out the vote on the bill — as further proof of why Congress must
end the impasse.

“Simply put, holding this bill hostage is directly detrimental to
our economic growth,” Obama warned.

The American people expect both sides to work together and get
things done to improve the economy, he added, and while no single act
will serve as a “silver bullet,” passing the small business bill will
benefit the economy right away.

There is no doubt that the U.S. still faces serious challenges,
Obama said. “But if we rise above the politics of the moment,” he added,
“I am absolutely confident that we will meet them.”

“I’ve got confidence in the American economy,” he concluded.

** Market News International Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 **

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