In his weekly radio address, President Barack Obama on Saturday commended the House for passing energy legislation and sought to give the bill some momentum as it heads to the Senate.
I want to thank every Member of Congress who put politics aside to support this bill on Friday, Obama said. Now my call to every Senator, as well as to every American, is this: We cannot be afraid of the future. And we must not be prisoners of the past.
Obama sought to cut down arguments that the bill will stifle the economy.
Dont believe the misinformation out there that suggests there is somehow a contradiction between investing in clean energy and economic growth, he said.
Obama asserted that there is no longer a debate about whether carbon pollution is placing our planet in jeopardy, saying the bill will not only help combat global warming but that it will create jobs.
Make no mistake: this is a jobs bill, Obama said. There is no longer a question about whether the jobs and industries of the 21st century will be centered around clean, renewable energy.
But in the weekly Republican address, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the bill would instead ship jobs overseas to place like China and India. He also focused on the GOP argument that the legislation would raise taxes, calling it Speaker [Nancy] Pelosis national energy tax and saying it would be costly to average citizens.
By imposing a tax on every American who drives a car or flips on a light switch, this plan will drive up the prices for food, gasoline, and electricity, he said.
Obama's address on energy replaced one on health reform that the White House had prepared and released on an embargoed basis before the House passed the energy bill Friday evening. The radio address amplified a written statement that Obama released Friday night after the House vote. In that statement, he singled out Pelosi for praise, as well as House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and a handful of other Members he said played key roles in the bill.