President-elect Barack Obama today urged Congress to pass an economic rescue plan that would extend jobless benefits among other actions.
“If Congress does not pass an immediate plan that gives the economy the boost it needs, I will make it my first order of business as president,” Obama said in his Democratic Party’s weekly radio address.
The address was made available as a video on Obama’s transition site hand also on YouTube.Â He plans to record weekly videos until the Jan. 20 inauguration and during his presidency.
“This week, amid continued volatility in our markets, we learned that unemployment insurance claims rose to their highest levels since September 11, 2001,” Obama said in his address. “We’ve lost jobs for ten straight months — nearly 1.2 million jobs this year, many of them in our struggling auto industry. And millions of our fellow citizens lie awake each night wondering how they’re going to pay their bills, stay in their homes, and save for retirement.
“Make no mistake: this is the greatest economic challenge of our time. And while the road ahead will be long, and the work will be hard, I know that we can steer ourselves out of this crisis — because here in America we always rise to the moment, no matter how hard. And I am more hopeful than ever before that America will rise once again.”
Deborah Creighton Skinner is the editorial director at BlackEnterprise.com