(CNSNews.com) - In a speech plugging his American Jobs Act on Wednesday, President Obama criticized Congress for taking up a resolution on the national motto -- "In God We Trust" -- while the country faces a jobs crisis.
"Everybody here -- we are Americans," Obama told a crowd gathered at the Key Bridge along the Washington, D.C., waterfront. "We’re not people who sit back and watch things happening. And if Congress tells you they don’t have time -- they’ve got time to do it (pass his jobs bill).
“We’ve been -- in the House of Representatives, what have you guys been debating? John, you’ve been debating a commemorative coin for baseball? You had legislation reaffirming that ‘In God We Trust’ is our motto? That’s not putting people back to work.
"I trust in God," Obama said, "but God wants to see us help ourselves by putting people back to work."
Asked later by a reporter if it was "a bit much" for Obama to bring God into the jobs debate, White House Spokesman Jay Carney responded, "Well, I believe the phrase from the Bible is, 'The Lord helps those who help themselves.' And I think the point the President is making is that we should -- we have it within our capacity to do the things to help the American people." (Actually the phrase is not from the Bible.)
Carney continued: "Now, he (Obama) was obviously making this particular reference in the context of inaction by the House of Representatives, which has spent time on issues like commemorative Hall of Fame baseball coins and reaffirming a motto that I don’t think anyone doubted, which is that 'In God We Trust' is our motto,” Carney said. “So his point was simply that the House should get busy with matters of great importance to the United States and to the American people."
As CNSNews.com reported, the House on Tuesday voted 396-9 in support of a non-binding resolution reaffirming "In God We Trust" as the national motto. Of the nine who voted against it, 8 were Democrats.
As for Obama's jab that House Republicans are doing nothing about jobs, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is reminding the American people that the House has passed at least 15 job-promoting bills that are now languishing in the Democrat-led Senate.
Even a bipartisan withholding-tax repeal bill that is part of the president's own jobs plan is being help up, Boehner noted.
“While the president is out doing campaign events all over the country, what he could do is to actually come to Washington and be focused on trying to help pass bills that would create a better environment for job creation and help put the American people back to work,” Boehner said on Wednesday.