With U.S. Army Troops As a Backdrop, Obama Makes Congress the Enemy

By Susan Jones | September 4, 2012 | 10:58 AM EDT

President Obama addresses U.S. Army troops at Fort Bliss, Texas, on Friday, Aug. 31, 2012

(CNSNews.com) – In a speech to U.S. troops at Fort Bliss, Texas last week, President Obama took a few swipes at Congress for failing to reach a deficit reduction agreement and for failing to pass a jobs bill for veterans.

"And by the way, you've been hearing some folks out there trying to talk about the budget and trying to scare you," Obama told the troops. He was referring to the drastic, automatic budget cuts, including deep defense cuts, that will take place if Congress can't agree on a deficit-reduction plan of its own.

"Here's the thing," Obama told the troops. "There’s no reason those cuts should happen, because folks in Congress ought to come together and agree on a responsible plan that reduces the deficit and keeps our military strong. That's what needs to happen. That's what you and your families deserve."

House Republicans on May 10 passed their plan to avert the devastating defense cuts, but it went nowhere in the Democrat-led Senate. President Obama has not advanced a plan of his own, except to call for a “balanced” approach that includes tax hikes on the wealthy.

In his speech at Fort Bliss, President Obama referred to the upcoming election: "Now, this may be a political season, and folks may be arguing about all sorts of things. But one thing that we Americans are united on is our support for you. Only 1 percent of Americans may wear the uniform, but 100 percent of Americans need to be supporting you and your families 100 percent."

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Obama then repeated his pledge to help veterans find jobs, which set up his next criticism of Congress:

"And maybe you’ve heard -- last year I challenged the private sector to hire or train 100,000 veterans or military spouses. Well, last week Michelle was able to announce that patriotic companies across America have actually exceeded that goal ahead of schedule with 125,000 jobs.

"But we’ve still got more work to do," Obama said. "So today I’m again calling on Congress to act. They’ve got some work they need to do. Pass the Veterans Jobs Corps so we can put more vets to work protecting and rebuilding America. Extend tax credits to businesses that hire our veterans. And I say to every company in America: If you want somebody who knows how to get the job done, if you want somebody who is going to make you proud, just like they made America proud -- then hire a vet. (Hooah!) Hire a vet. (Applause.) Because after fighting for America, you shouldn’t have to fight for a job in America."

Congressional Republicans have passed a number of jobs bills, all of them shelved by Democrats.