In his weekly address, President Barack Obama on Saturday continued last weeks focus on jobs and the economy, claiming credit for preventing a financial meltdown earlier this year and vowing to make combating unemployment his priority.Republicans used their weekly response to return to the theme that Democratic health care reform proposals are misguided.After outlining his strategy for the war in Afghanistan on Tuesday, Obama pivoted to focus on the economy, holding a jobs summit Thursday and visiting Friday with workers in Allentown, Pa.On Saturday, Obama said, My commitment to you, the American people, is that I will focus every single day on how we can get people back to work, and how we can build an economy that continues to make real the promise of America for generations to come.The president noted that he plans to unveil ideas for job creation in the next few days, but he gave little hint of what these initiatives will be. He is scheduled to give a speech in Washington on Tuesday to outline these plans in more detail.Obama noted that the Labor Department reported Friday that the unemployment rate had declined to 10 percent and that monthly job losses have significantly declined. But with Republicans emphasizing the lack of job creation even as the recovery gets under way, Obama sought to get ahead of them in showing empathy for those out of work.History tells us this is usually what happens with recessions even as the economy grows, it takes time for jobs to follow, Obama said. But the folks who have been looking for work without any luck for months and, in some cases, years, cant wait any longer. For them, Im determined to do everything I can to accelerate our progress so were actually adding jobs again.California Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard CEO delivered the GOP weekly address, citing a recent mammogram study and her own experience with breast cancer to argue that Democratic health plans could lead to rationing of treatment.Noting that she has survived breast cancer, Fiorina spoke about the quality of her care and her disagreement with a new federal study that concluded most women under 40 do not need regular mammograms.This task force was explicitly asked to focus on costs, not just prevention, she said. As it turned out, costs were a significant factor in this recommendation. Will a bureaucrat determine that my life isn't worth saving?Fiorina used this study to attack Democratic health care overhaul legislation.The real question, though, is whether bodies like this would set policy under the $2.5 trillion, 2,074-page plan thats now making its way through Congress? she asked.Unfortunately, the answer to that question isnt encouraging either, she said. The health care bill now being debated in the Senate explicitly empowers this very task force to influence future coverage and preventive care.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.