President Barack Obama slammed Congress at a fundraiser Wednesday night for being the “least productive” in modern history, citing the failure of an equal pay bill and the ongoing immigration reform battle.
“We have to have a Congress that works — not one that is — march in lockstep, not one that agrees with every proposal I put forward, but a Congress that is serious about governance and is thinking about the next generation and not just the next election,” Obama told roughly 60 guests at a Democratic fundraiser in Houston, according to a transcript of his remarks.
The President expressed frustration that Senate Republicans uniformly blocked debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have made it easier for a woman to sue an employer if she was paid less than a male colleague for the same work. He made reference to former Michigan Secretary of State Terry Lynn Land (R), a candidate for U.S. Senate, who recently said that women would rather have flexibility in their jobs than an equal salary.
“I think there was a candidate for the Senate, a Republican in Michigan, who voiced the opinion that women make other choices,” he said, according to the transcript of his remarks. “And I think that’s certainly true; every individual makes other choices. Very rarely do you meet people who make the choice to be paid less for doing the same job.”
On immigration reform, Obama criticized the House for holding up a vote on the issue after the Senate already tackled it with bipartisan support.
“It’s not because it doesn’t make sense,” he said. “It’s not because there’s some serious dispute or technical difference in terms of policy. It has to do with politics. We’ve got to stop that.”
The President also circled back to his midterm rallying cry, warning donors that they need to get out the Democratic vote in the face of an influx of money from super PACs and increased efforts to “discourage people from voting.”
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.