Obama at Latino Heritage Forum: We Need to Pass the Jobs Bill

With Senate Republicans blocking the American Jobs Act on Tuesday night, President Obama kept a short speech at the first ever White House American Latino Heritage Forum to one topic: not immigration, education, but the importance of getting the bill passed in Congress.

Pointing out the benefits of the bill, including jobs for teachers, construction workers and firefighters and tax cuts for small businesses and workers, he quickly took aim at Republicans who blocked his bill and expect him to “give up the fight.” “I’ve got news for them,” Obama said. “Not this time. Not with so many Americans out of work and so many in your community hurting. We will keep org, pressuring until this congress takes their responsibilities seriously.”

Latino Soldier Receives Medal of Honor

Obama, who was introduced by Sgt. Leroy Petry, the Latino Army Ranger who received a Congressional Medal of Honor in May, opened his remarks by lauding the values that Latinos, whether their families have been here for 400 years or one, have brought to this country. “Diversity has always been America’s great strength,” he said, adding that “we are better off because of the ideas the brought and the impact that they’ve had on our lives.”

The all-day event, organized by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and being live-streamed at www.doi.gov/live until 5:30 p.m. today, centered around celebrating the contributions of U.S. Latinos in the economy, military and arts and cultures.

President Barack Obama's Latin America Tour