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« Cunningham Memo Claims He's Party's Best Shot | Blog Home Page | In Battleground States, Obama Job Rating Suffers »

Full Plate Crowding Out Jobs Bill?

President Obama spoke in hard-hit Buffalo, New York, this afternoon, arguing that the steps his administration has taken are indeed boosting the economy.

"We can say beyond a shadow of a doubt we are headed in the right direction," he said. "Despite all the naysayers who predicted failure a year ago, our economy's growing again."

But he acknowledged that while a recession is technically over, Americans won't feel a recovery while so many struggle to find work. A billboard in the city timed for the visit declares, "Dear Mr. President, I need a freakin job. Period."

A jobs bill is before the Congress, but is stalled at a time when lawmakers have so much else on their plate. A new Supreme Court nominee this week alone is set to occupy considerable time in the Senate, while climate change, immigration and financial reform legislation are also on the front burner.

"The president and his team are working every day to try to advance jobs legislation," deputy press secretary Bill Burton told reporters en route to Buffalo. "The president laid out some of the things that he thought could actually get some jobs created; create an environment where small businesses can create jobs. And that's some of what he'll be talking about today."

Obama is again set to hit the road with an economic message as he heads to Ohio again next week, a state he's quite often in his 16 months as president.

"When you're in Washington, sometimes it's just hard to hear anything else except the clamor of politics," Obama said today of stalled progress. He also argued that the GOP sat "on the sidelines" while the economic crisis unfolded, but Democrats have acted, even in a way that may not have been politically popular at times.

"The last thing I wanted to do was spend money on a recovery package, or help the American auto industry keep its doors open, or prevent the collapse of the Wall Street banks whose irresponsibility helped cause this crisis," he said. "But I knew that if we didn't act boldly and quickly -- if we didn't defy the politics of the moment and do what was necessary -- we would have risked an even greater disaster."

Obama ends his New York travel today with a stop in the Big Apple, where he'll raise money to help those Democrats who supported his economic initiatives for this fall's elections.