President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday urged Congress to get moving next week on 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 radio address was also videotaped and being posted online through a YouTube link to Obama’s transition Web site, http://www.change.gov. The president-elect plans to continue to record online videos of the addresses after he takes the oath of office Jan. 20.
Obama said he was pleased President George W. Bush brought world leaders to Washington to discuss turmoil in the financial markets, “because our global economic crisis requires a coordinated global response.”
Obama stressed the importance of creating jobs in the United States and helping to relieve the nation’s economic distress.
Digging the country out of tough times will require people to pitch in and look after each other, in addition to long-term investments such as making health care affordable and rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure, he said.
“Make no mistake: This is the greatest economic challenge of our times,” Obama said. “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 that America will rise once again.”