Obama: ‘When Congress Refuses to Act, Joe and I Are Going to Act’

By Fred Lucas | February 21, 2012 | 3:31pm EST

President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, speaks in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012, on the importance of the agreement passed by Congress to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(CNSNews.com) – In keeping with his “We Can’t Wait” initiative, President Barack Obama has once again asserted that if Congress does not enact his policies in the future, he will continue to forge ahead on his own.

“When Congress refuses to act, Joe and I are going to act,” Obama said on Tuesday, with Vice President Joe Biden at his side. “In the months to come, wherever we have an opportunity, we’re going to take steps on our own to keep this economy moving.”

Obama, speaking at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building near the White House, praised Congress for voting to extend the payroll tax cut. He said this helps the middle class, adding that he will  fight for middle class voters regardless of what Congress does.

“With or without Congress, I’m going to continue to fight for them. I do hope Congress joins me instead of spending the coming months in a lot of phony political debates focusing on the next election.”

Earlier Tuesday, the White House announced that as part of its “We Can’t Wait” campaign, the Departments of Agriculture and Commerce will expand the federal government’s purchase of bio-based products, promote regional rural job creation efforts, and develop a rural health care workforce.

“The actions we are taking will bring new economic investments to our rural communities, to ensure the people who live in these towns have a better, brighter future,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who chairs the White House Rural Council.

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Obama issued a presidential directive calling for a 50-percent increase in the number of federally purchased bio-based products, including items such as paints, soaps and detergents that are developed from farm-grown plants, rather than chemicals or petroleum bases.

The White House also announced the Rural Jobs Accelerator. It is a national competition that will provide about $15 million for projects already appropriated to the USDA, the Economic Development Administration (EDA), Delta Regional Authority and the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Further, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor signed a memorandum to connect community colleges and technical colleges that support rural communities with the materials and resources they need to support the training of Health Information Technology (HIT) professionals that work in rural hospitals and clinics.

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