Accomplishments of President Obama and the 111th Congress

Floor Speech

By:  Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Date: May 18, 2010
Location: Washington, DC

Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. Mr. Speaker, tonight and beginning each week, we will begin the week talking about the accomplishments of both President Obama, as well as the Democratic leadership in the legislature. The efforts of the Democratic Caucus over the last year and a half, particularly since President Obama was sworn in have truly been remarkable. The efforts have been remarkable, but also the accomplishments.

And I think it's important that we continue to talk to the American people about those accomplishments, particularly when compared to some of the commentary that's out there in the media because, from watching some news programs, one would think that we were all here in the Chamber sitting in our chairs, fast asleep, as opposed to working and keeping our heads down and being very focused and working under the leadership of President Obama to make sure that we can turn the absolute nightmare that we were handed by the former Bush administration into the new direction that we talked about and that the American people elected us to take this country in.

And so tonight my colleagues and I are going to spend some time outlining those accomplishments. But I think it's important and instructive to first look at where we were, and then talk about where we are now. So that's some of what we're going to do this evening.

If you look back to January of 2009, which was the month, Mr. Tonko, that President Obama was sworn in, during that month the economy was yet again bleeding 700,000-plus jobs. And I think we have a chart here that I can use to illustrate that. But I think the most illustrative example of where we were, versus where we are today is this chart.

If you look back, this chart begins in December of '07, and you can see through the end of the Bush administration, Mr. Speaker, that the economy was steadily getting worse. We were bleeding jobs. By the time President Obama took office in January of '09, we literally were at 700,000-plus jobs lost, and that continued all the way up until February of '09 with the passage of the American Economic Recovery Act.

Now, I've heard a lot of malarkey in the news media out there, and particularly quite a lot from our friends on the other side of the aisle, about the supposed absence of job creation that the Recovery Act generated.

Well, the numbers don't lie, Mr. Speaker. If you look at the direction that job creation has gone in, and our economic recovery has begun, you look at the blue line beginning in February of '09 with the passage of the Recovery Act, and you progress all the way up where we were losing month by month fewer and fewer jobs; and we talked about how, obviously, any job losses are unacceptable, until we reached this most recent month in April. And I think actually this chart--it doesn't even, the numbers are even better, Mr. Altmire, than we have on this chart. But this chart shows it up through March where we added 167,000 jobs.

In April, Mrs. Dahlkemper, we actually added 290,000 jobs in April. The vast majority of those were private sector jobs. We do know that we have some Census jobs that are temporary. But the point is that, as a direct result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, we are moving in the right direction and beginning to turn the economy around. And I think it's incredibly important that we show the American people the results of our policies.


Help us stay free for all your Fellow Americans

Just $5 from everyone reading this would do it.