U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday urged Congress to pass President Barack Obama's jobs bill "to strengthen the U.S. economy and create jobs."
In a weekly White House radio and Internet address on behalf of Obama, who was on his way back to Washington from the G-20 summit in France, Biden said that Republicans and Democrats must come together to pass the jobs bill to bolster the fragile economic recovery, because the Americans "can' t wait any longer for Congress to act."
Biden said that despite the latest data showed that, for the 20th month in a row, more jobs have been created in the private sector, this was still not enough. "We have to increase the pace. We have to act now to do everything in our power to keep this economy moving and to grow jobs," he said.
Criticizing the Republicans in the Senate for voting down pieces of the larger jobs bill to restore 400,000 jobs for teachers, police officers, firefighters, and to rebuild crumbling roads and bridges to create more than 400,000 jobs, Biden said that Obama has used his executive authority to help veterans find jobs, homeowners refinance mortgages, and students reduce the cost of loans.
"If the Republican Congress won't join us, we're going to continue to act on our own to make the changes that we can to bring relief to middle-class families and those aspiring to get in the middle class," Biden said.
The vice president urged listeners to tell Republican lawmakers to "stop worrying about their jobs and start worrying about yours because we' re all in this together, and together is the way we' re going to bring America back even stronger than it was before."
Facing a sluggish economic growth and stubbornly high unemployment rate at about 9 percent, Obama unveiled a 447-billion-U.S. dollar jobs plan on Sept. 8, including measures like payroll tax cuts for employers and employees, new investment in infrastructure projects, as well as tax increase on million-dollar earners.
The jobs plan, however, was blocked from advancing in the Senate on Oct. 11 as it failed to secure 60 votes due to the opposition of the Republican senators. And a portion of the bill that provided 35 billion U.S. dollars to state and local governments to prevent layoffs of teachers, police officers and firefighters also failed to advance in the Senate on Oct. 20.