Obama Calls on Americans to Pressure Congress to Boost Economy

Posted August 16th, 2011 at 5:35 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama is urging Americans to pressure their representatives in Congress to take steps that would get people back to work.

At a rural economic forum in the midwestern state of Iowa Tuesday, Mr. Obama accused some members of Congress of focusing on next year's election instead of passing legislation to help the American people.

He said lawmakers should instead take steps such as extending the payroll tax cut and approving more road construction funds.

In an apparent reference to lawmakers who identify with the conservative Tea Party movement, Mr. Obama said “a faction in Congress” is holding back a U.S. economic rebound. He said both Democrats and Republicans need to put “country ahead of party.”

The president is on a three-day bus tour of three midwestern states to counter Republican charges that he is doing little to pump life into the ailing U.S. economy and deal with unemployment.

He is on the road after spending much of the summer in Washington caught up in a bitterly partisan battle on the debt crisis.

The bus tour comes with unemployment more than 9 percent and a new Gallup poll giving him a 39 percent job approval rating. Other polls give Congress a much lower approval rating.