Our top priority as a nation must be growing the economy, creating good jobs, and rebuilding opportunity for the middle class.
But two months ago, Congress allowed a series of automatic budget cuts to fall across the federal government that would do the opposite. In Washington-speak, these cuts were called the “sequester.” It was a bad idea then. And as the country saw this week, it’s a bad idea now.
He noted that Congress showed signs of being responsible by rescinding cuts to the Federal Aviation Administration, which was causing hours-long delays in airports throughout the country, but also was quick to mention that their inclination to act may have been selfish in nature…
And, maybe because they fly home each weekend, the Members of Congress who insisted these cuts take hold finally realized that they actually apply to them too.
Obama also took a few digs at his opposition in Congress:
Republicans claimed victory when the sequester first took effect, and now they’ve decided it was a bad idea all along. Well, first, they should look at their own budget. If the cuts they propose were applied across the board, the FAA would suffer cuts three times deeper.
He followed with a call for action from Congress to act with a sense of urgency. Which is hard to fathom those in Congress to do since they don’t feel the effects of the remaining sequestration cuts.
They may not feel the pain felt by kids kicked off Head Start, or the 750,000 Americans projected to lose their jobs because of these cuts, or the long-term unemployed who will be further hurt by them. But that pain is real.
The full transcript is here.