Vowing that he "won't back down" in the struggle to boost the economic recovery, President Obama
announced Saturday the award of nearly $2 billion in recovery act funds to two companies involved in job-creating solar energy projects.
Obama, in his weekly address
, called for an "all-hands-on-deck effort" to keep digging out from a recession that is still shedding jobs -- 125,000 last month, driven by the layoffs of temporary government Census workers. The private sector produced 83,000 jobs in June and Obama clearly want to build on that.
The "conditional commitments" of recovery money are going to Abengoa Solar, which plans to build one of the largest solar plant in the world in Arizona, bringing on 1,600 construction jobs, and to Abound Solar Manufacturing, a company that will make solar panels at new plants in Colorado and Arizona. Together, the projects will provide construction work for 2,000 and offer permanent jobs to 1,500, the president said.
It's part of a drive to speed up "the transition to a clean energy economy and doubling our use of renewable energy sources like wind and solar power -- steps that have the potential to create whole new industries and hundreds of thousands of new jobs in America," Obama said.
In the short term, he pressed Republicans
in the Senate to stop playing "the same old Washington games" and agree to an extension of unemployment
benefits and also grants of federal funds to states "so they don't have to lay off thousands of teachers and firefighters and police officers."
The Republicans' designated weekly spokesman, Sen Saxby Chambliss
, (R-Ga.), said Obama and his party were leading the county down a "path of reckless spending"
into a perilous national debt. Chambliss quoted Founder Thomas Jefferson as saying, "There does not exist an engine so corruptive of the government and so demoralizing of the nation as public debt."
And the Associated Press
reported an interesting Jefferson historical footnote. It seems Tom Jefferson, in an early draft of the Declaration of Independence
, referred to his fellow rebels as "subjects," before quickly smudging out the offensive word and replacing it with "citizens."