Obama blasts US reps for abandoning duty for polls


US President Barack Obama urged members of Congress Saturday to pass a series of measures stimulating economic growth and job creation as he blasted lawmakers for failing to do so before the November 6 elections.

“It’s time for action,” the president said in his weekly radio and Internet address. “That’s what you deserve, and that’s what it’s going to take to move this country forward.”

US lawmakers, already under fire for their lackluster performance this year, left Washington after only two weeks of work on Friday, returning to their home districts to campaign ahead of the elections.

They will now return only after the elections.

Obama chided members of the House of Representatives for leaving town without finishing important work that could have created jobs and strengthen the economy.

Among the proposals left on the table were bills creating a veterans’ jobs corps that helps returning soldiers find work as police officers and firefighters, the president said.

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He also pointed to an unfinished farm bill that could have helped farmers and ranchers respond to natural disasters like the drought many of the US states suffered in the past several months.

According to the president, Congress also could have given homeowners the opportunity to save an extra $3,000 a year on their mortgages by refinancing at historically low rates and provided most Americans an assurance that their taxes will not go up next year.

“These ideas have been around for months,” Obama said. “The American people want to see them passed. But apparently, some Members of Congress are more worried about their jobs and their paychecks this campaign season than they are about yours.”

The president urged Americans to call their members of Congress and urge them to act.

“They should do the right thing for veterans and farmers, for responsible homeowners and small businesses, for Americans everywhere who are just trying to get ahead,” he said.(AFP)

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