President Obama spoke to at a High School in Denver today about his American Jobs Act. He told the crowd that despite the fact that Denver’s Abraham Lincoln High School is the fastest growing school in the state; its science lab has not been updated since the 1960’s.
“In case you haven’t noticed”, the President said, “a lot has changed in science and technology since the 1960’s”. “Tell Congress to pass this bill so we can re-build this school and schools all across Colorado and the country,” Obama said to cheers. ”And, thousands of construction workers are ready to do the work,” he added.
Meanwhile back at the Tea House, Republican Leader Eric Cantor (RTP-VA) told Reuters that he will not support spending to fix America’s schools. “Anything that is akin to the stimulus bill I think is not going to be acceptable to the American people,” Cantor said. He added that Obama should focus instead on cutting federal regulations that he says kill U.S. jobs.
The truth is the American people are in favor of spending to fix schools. It is just the Congressional Republicans and their wealthy masters that it is not acceptable to. In fact, anything that might give Obama a “win” is not acceptable to Republicans in the House.
The President hit on this in his remarks in Denver. He said that many Republicans won’t support things they were originally for just because he is now proposing them. They don’t want to give “me a win”, the President said.
“Give me a win?” Obama said. “Give me a break. That’s why folks are fed up with Washington. This isn’t about giving me a win. This isn’t about giving Democrats or Republicans a win. This is about giving people who are hurting a win.” The comments resonated with the young crowd.
The tragic thing about Cantor’s position is that he and his fellow Republican leaders voted to spend over $120 billion in taxpayer dollars to rebuild schools, roads, and infrastructure in Iraq and Afghanistan on no-bid contracts to Halliburton and other companies. But now these same Republicans are saying s not a penny to help kids and unemployed Americans.
But according to Cantor, there is plenty of money to keep billions of dollars in subsidies for oil companies. The President spoke to this in his remarks in Denver saying that Congress needs to make a choice between subsidies to oil companies and putting teachers back in the class room. The audience at Lincoln High seemed to come down on the side of more teachers.
The American Jobs Act would fix schools and hire teachers back
The President’s Jobs Act would invest $30 billion dollars in renovating schools across America, and $35 billion to allow States to re-hire teachers, firefighters, and policemen who have been laid off as a result of budget cuts.
“Every child deserves a great school,” Obama told the Denver crowd, “and we can give it to them. We can rebuild our schools for the 21st century, with faster internet, smarter labs, and cutting-edge technology. And that won’t just create a better, safer learning environment for the students – it’ll create good jobs for local construction workers right here in Denver, across Colorado, and throughout the country.”
“There are schools all throughout Colorado that need this kind of renovation,” he said. “Last week, I visited a bridge in Cincinnati connecting Ohio to Kentucky that needs this kind of renovation. There are construction projects like these all across this country just waiting to get started. And there are millions of unemployed construction workers who are looking for jobs.
“So my question to Congress is: what on Earth are we waiting for? Why should our children be allowed to study in crumbling or outdated schools? How does that give them the sense their education is important? We should build them the best schools! That’s what I want for my kids; that’s what I want for your kids; that’s what I want for all our children,” Obama said to the cheering crowd.
So, game on. This is like a home football game where the crowd is the 12th man. Obama is counting on the people to be the 12th man—to make their voices known to Congress in hopes they pressure them to pass something to put Americans back to work.
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