Posted In: Election 2012, Kids Not Cuts, Multimedia, Uncategorized
President Obama visting Cleveland residents.
By Amanda Litvinov/photo by Pete Souza
“For too long, we’ve had a financial system that stacked the deck against ordinary Americans,” President Obama said yesterday during a visit to Cleveland, which ranks third among America’s poorest big cities and has endured a prolonged home foreclosure crisis.
Obama then announced two actions he’s taken to right the system: filling vacant seats on the National Labor Relations Board and appointing Richard Cordray to direct the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Here’s why those actions are so important for strengthening the middle class:
- As head of the consumer watchdog agency the Obama administration established in 2010, Cordray will lead the charge to protect families by ensuring they have all the information they need to make smart financial decisions. The Bureau works to root out fraudulent practices in the financial industry and ensure Americans are treated fairly by mortgage brokers, payday lenders and debt collectors.
- The National Labor Relations Board gives Americans a voice in the workplace. It protects workers’ rights to organize and bargain for appropriate wages, benefits and working conditions. Because it provides checks and balances to big business, some Republican lawmakers have recently targeted the NLRB.
These steps come on the heels of numerous White House efforts to bolster the economy and ease the financial squeeze on the middle class despite Republican obstructionism in Congress. Although the American Jobs Act was summarily blocked by Senate Republicans in October, an extension of the payroll tax cut was approved at the President’s urging.
Vowing to continue to try to work with Congress, Obama warned that when lawmakers refuse to act, he will do what he can without them on behalf of the American people. These were welcome words to David Saywell, a fifth-grade teacher in Euclid City schools and president of the Northeastern Ohio Education Association.
“Congress needs to quit being Republican and Democrat and get together and come up with a plan that will move us forward,” he said. “Now we’re at a standstill, so Obama has had to figure out a way to move us forward.”
“I will not stand by while a minority in the Senate puts party ideology ahead of the people they were elected to serve,” said President Obama. “Not when so much is at stake. Not at this make-or-break moment for the middle class.”