President Barack Obama Friday said delays by the US Senate in passing a mammoth stimulus bill were “irresponsible” and “inexcusable” on a day when figures showed hundreds of thousands of new job losses.
“It is inexcusable and irresponsible to get bogged down in distraction and delay while millions of Americans are being put out of work,” Obama said in a speech he was due to give shortly, released in advance by the White House.
New Labor Department figures released earlier Friday showed that unemployment rose to 7.6 percent last month, the worst level in 16 years.
“I am sure that at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, members of the Senate are reading these same numbers this morning,” Obama said, in the latest hardening of tone towards opponents of his package.
“I hope they share my sense of urgency and draw the same, unmistakable conclusion: the situation could not be more serious, these numbers demand action.”
“It is time for Congress to act. It is time to pass an Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Plan to get our economy moving again.”
Obama announced the members of his Economic Recovery Advisory Board. “I created this board to enlist voices to come from beyond the Washington echo chamber, to ensure no stone is unturned as we work to put people back to work and get our economy moving. Yithin this groups you’ve got have leaders of manufacturing and leaders of finance. You’ve got labor and you’ve got management. You’ve got people who work in small businesses and people who work in large businesses. You’ve got some economists and some folks who think they’re economists,” explained Obama
He added, “By the way, these days everybody thinks they’re an economist.”
(with wire reports)
This video is from CNN.com, broadcast Feb 5, 2009.