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Weekly Addresses: Economy, Obamacare [VIDEO]

President Barack Obama continued his theme of “bargaining” with Republicans to grow the economy while the GOP discussed the Obama health care plan in their weekly radio and internet addresses

The President says there are no gimmicks to grow the economy — just difficult steps that require Washington’s focus. Obama is promoting a plan he says can break through gridlock. He’s calling it a grand bargain for the middle class.

Obama says he’s willing to work with Republicans to reform the tax code for businesses. That would mean lowering rates but ending many loopholes and deductions.

Citing what he calls “phony scandals” that have caused Washington to “take its eye off the ball,” Obama is putting forward a “grand bargain” for the middle class.

But Obama says he’ll only do it if money generated is used for infrastructure, training and job growth.

“’ll keep laying out my ideas to give the middle class a better shot in the 21st century, and I’ll keep reaching out to Republicans for theirs. But gutting critical investments in our future and threatening national default on the bills that Congress has already racked up – that’s not an economic plan.”

In the Republican address, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says Obama’s health care law will cost jobs. She wants to change the law to require companies to provide insurance to employees working 40 hours a week, not 30.

“ObamaCare is actually discouraging small businesses from creating jobs and hiring new employees,” Collins said. “The law also has perverse incentives for employers to reduce the number of hours that their employees can work.”

Collins cited an unnamed school system in her home state of Maine that she said is already planning to track the hours worked by substitute teachers to keep them below the 30-hour cap.
She said that the Obama administration’s delay in implementing the “employer mandate” that requires businesses with 50 or more employees to offer health insurance won’t fix the long term issues the law causes. “Of course, fixing this one flaw won’t solve the countless problems caused by Obamacare,” Collins said. “But it would help ensure that millions of American workers do not have their hours, and their paychecks, reduced.”

The Associated Press contributed to this repor

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