President Obama ended his bus tour at Fire Station #9 in North Chesterfield, Virginia where he talked about his keeping firefighters on the job.
"So the first vote we're going to ask Congress to take this week would put hundreds of thousands of firefighters back on the job, police officers back on the street, teachers back in the classroom.
Now, Chesterfield has been lucky. It isn't facing layoffs right now. But a lot of these guys have seen their pay frozen. You've got cities and states like Michigan and New Jersey that have had to lay off big chunks of their forces. That means that firefighters can't always get to fires before they become major fires. And that makes their job more dangerous. It means police officers can't respond to every crime. And when giving our children the best education possible we know is the ingredient for success in this new information and technology-rich economy, how can we be laying off teachers - when other countries are hiring teachers in droves? It's unfair to our kids. It undermines our future.
So this week Congress is going to get to vote on whether or not hundreds of thousands of police officers and teachers and firefighters get back on the job. And I don't know if these members of Congress - maybe they haven't met some of these firefighters. I don't think they want to tell them that their jobs aren’t worth saving. Some of these guys are pretty big. Captain Kemp is an ex-Marine - which means he's still a Marine. And these guys are risking their lives every day on our behalf. These jobs are worth fighting for.
Folks in Congress are also going to get a chance to decide - later in the month - whether our construction workers should sit around doing nothing while China builds the best railroads, the best schools, the best airports in the world."