Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This week, the PresidentÂ welcomedÂ the Super Bowl ChampionÂ Green Bay PackersÂ to the White House beforeheadingÂ outÂ on a three day bus tour across the midwestern states ofÂ Minnesota,Â Iowa, andÂ Illinois.Â During his tourÂ through the heartland, the PresidentÂ heardÂ directly from Americans including small business owners, local families and private sector leaders who talked about the need for faster economic growth, strengthening the middle class and accelerating hiring in communities and towns across the nation. That’s August 12th to August 18th or “Get on the Bus.”
Opening the Door to New Jobs
This week President Obama traveled to the Midwest where he met with Americans in rural towns and communities in Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois. The purpose of his trip, dubbed the Economic Rural Tour 2011, was to talk to people from different walks of life about what is happening in our country right now.
The President was there to talk, but also to listen. In town halls, county fairs and an economic forum, Americans shared their hopes for the future and their concerns about the economy and what it means for their businesses and their families.
Throughout his trip, the President proposed a series of common sense steps Congress can take immediately upon their return to Washington that will start rebuilding our economy. These include:
- Extend theÂ payroll tax cutÂ so that middle class families have more money in their paychecks next year.Â If you’ve got more money in your paycheck, you’re more likely to spend it, and that means businesses of all sizes will have more customers.Â They’ll be in a better position to hire.
- ExtendÂ unemployment benefitsÂ so that millions of workers who are still pounding the pavement looking for jobs can support their families
- Pass a bipartisanÂ road construction bill. There are over a million construction workers out of work after the housing boom went bust, just as a lot of America needs rebuilding.Â We can put these workers back to work by rebuilding our roads and bridges and railways.
- Pass theÂ patent reform billÂ to help our innovators and entrepreneurs get their job creating ideas to market faster.
- Pass theÂ trade agreementsÂ that will help businesses sell more American-made goods and services to Asia and South America, supporting tens of thousands of jobs here at home.
- Put our bright, talented and skilledÂ veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to work.Â The President has proposed several initiatives to make sure our veterans are able to navigate this difficult labor market and succeed in the civilian workforce, includingÂ the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits, and his challenge to the private sector to train or hire 100,000 unemployed veterans.
As President Obama said this week, “there is nothing wrong with our country, there is something wrong with our politics…When this country is operating off a common ground, nobody can stop us.Â But when we’re divided, then we end up having a whole lot of self-inflicted problems.”