President Barack Obama used the bill signing reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank to again push for his “to-do” list, which has gone nowhere in Congress so far.
“I hope this ends up being a model of the kinds of progress we can make in the months to come and the years to come,” Obama said at the ceremony attended by members of both parties, including House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Reps. Gary Miller (R-Calif.), Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Rick Larsen (D-Wash.).
Obama said that his administration would continue to do what it could on its own to help the economy, but said “it gets a whole lot easier if we get some help from Congress.”
Obama hasn’t gotten any traction on his “to-do” list, which includes tax cuts for small businesses, a massive mortgage refinancing plan, extending renewable energy tax breaks, a Veterans Jobs Corps and shifting tax breaks from companies that ship jobs overseas to companies that bring them back home.
The president also touted his trade policies, which he said opened markets in South Korea, Colombia and Panama, while doubling the number of trade cases brought against China.
His Republican rival for president, Mitt Romney, has attacked Obama repeatedly for not standing up to China’s currency manipulation.
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.