Obama Focuses on Veterans, Fundraising

Posted June 1st, 2012 at 2:40 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama urged Congress Friday to take action to create more jobs, saying now is “not the time to play politics.”

Speaking at a manufacturing plant in the north-central state of Minnesota, Mr. Obama said there are plenty of steps the nation's leaders can take to move the economy forward, including boosting job opportunities for military veterans.

Mr. Obama said no one who fights for the country should ever have to fight for a job after coming home.

As part of his congressional “to-do list,” President Obama is calling on lawmakers to pass legislation creating a Veterans Job Corps. The initiative aims to put those who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan back to work as police officers, firefighters and in other roles that use their military skills.

The president also announced a new initiative to help service members with manufacturing skills receive civilian credentials and licenses. The White House says the “We Can't Wait” initiative will help up to 126,000 service members.

Mr. Obama made his appeal at a facility of Fortune 100 company Honeywell, a diversified technology and manufacturing business that has hired 900 veterans since 2011 as part of an Obama administration initiative.

After his stop at Honeywell, the president is interacting with donors at several high-dollar fundraisers, including one event costing $40,000 a person and another set at $50,000 a person. Mr. Obama travels later Friday to his hometown of Chicago for more fundraisers.

Meanwhile, the president's Republican rival for the White House, Mitt Romney, is scheduled to attend his own fundraising event Friday in California. Romney's campaign received a boost Thursday when Nancy Reagan, the widow of former president Ronald Reagan, endorsed him.

Romney and his wife, Ann, visited Mrs. Reagan at her home in Los Angeles on Thursday. In a statement released after the meeting, Reagan said her husband “Ronnie,” as she affectionately called him, would have liked Romney's “business background and his strong principles.” She said she believes the former Massachusetts governor has the experience and leadership skills that, as she put it, “our country so desperately needs.”