President Obama just addressed a small group of reporters at the start of his Cabinet meeting this morning and once again called on Congress to pass his jobs plan as soon as possible. Here's a transcript of his remarks:
I am pulling my Cabinet together to talk about the one topic that's on everybody's mind, and that is how do we put America back to work? Each of the secretaries and heads of agencies have been assigned to look at what we can do administratively to accelerate job growth over the next several months. And working with the jobs council that we've set up, working with the private sector, we have been looking for a wide range of ideas of administrative actions we can take. A good example would be, for example, accelerating the payments to small businesses so that they've got better cash flow; trying to figure out ways that we can be working in the housing market without congressional action to provide some relief for homeowners. But ultimately, we still have to have congressional action.
It's been several weeks now since I sent up the American Jobs Act and, as I've been saying on the road, I want it back. I'm ready to sign it. And so my expectation is, is that, now that we're in the month of October, that we will schedule a vote before the end of this month. I'll be talking to Senator Reid, McConnell, as well as Speaker Boehner and Nancy Pelosi, and insisting that we have a vote on this bill. We've been hearing from Republicans that there are some proposals that they're interested in. That is not surprising, since the contents of the American Jobs Act includes proposals that in the past have been supported by Republicans and Democratic, Democrats alike. And if there are aspects of the bill that they don't like, they should tell us what it is that they're not willing to go for, they should tell us what it is that they're prepared to see move forward.
I have to tell you that I can't imagine any American that I've been talking to that's not interested in seeing construction workers back on the job of rebuilding roads and bridges, schools, airports, putting teachers back in the classroom to make sure that our kids are getting the very best education, making sure our best get help when they come home and that small businesses have further incentive to hire them. So I'm very much looking forward to seeing Congress debate this bill, pass it, get it to my desk, so we can start putting hundreds of thousands and millions of Americans back to work. And I will be continuing to put as much pressure as I can bring to bear on my administration and our agencies to do everything we can without Congress's help, but ultimately they've got to do the right thing for the American people.