President Barack Obama urged Republicans in Congress to join him to pass legislation on the minimum wage and fair pay for women during a speech on the economy Thursday in Texas.
“It’s lonely just me doing stuff. I’d love if Republicans did stuff too,” Obama said from the Paramount Theatre in Austin, referring to the executive actions he took that have roused the ire of the GOP. “If you’re mad at me for helping people on my own, let’s team up, let’s pass some bills, let’s help America together.”
In an address filled with zingers, the president took aim at Republicans who want to sue him over his executive actions, which he said he was forced to take because Congress was unwilling to pass measures that he said would help the economy. He point out that he has issued executive orders at the lowest rate of any president in 100 years.
“You hear them: ‘Sue him. Impeach him.’ Really? For what? You’re going to sue me for doing my job?” Obama said, urging Republicans to “do the things you were for before I was for them.”
While the president said Democrats in Congress “are not perfect,” he said it’s the GOP who is to blame for Congress not acting on the economy.
“When folks say they’re frustrated with Congress, let’s be clear about what the problem is,” he said. “So far this year, Republicans in Congress have blocked or voted down every serious idea to strengthen the middle class,” including fair pay for women, raising the minimum wage and extending unemployment benefits.
“The best thing you can say about Republicans in Congress … is that so far they have not shut down the government or threatened to have America welch on our obligations and ruin our credit rating,” the president said. “But of course, it’s only July, so who knows what they may cook up in the coming months.”