Obama Frames His Economic Week: 'We Made Enormous Progress'

From Sunlen Miller

President Obama today said that the report by pay czar Kenneth Feinberg , showing that firms paid out $1.6 billion in ill-advised, but not illegal, executive compensation, just underscores the need for reform and the financial reform bill he signed into law on Wednesday.

“The need for this reform by the way was underscored by the report issued by Ken Feinberg this morning, identifying a number of financial companies that continued to pay out lavish bonuses at the height of the financial crisis, even as they accepted billions of dollars in taxpayer assistance.”

In a week spent dominated by the controversy around of Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod’s resignation , President Obama came to the Roosevelt Room this afternoon to remind everyone what was missed, hailing the “enormous progress” made on three fronts economically.

Ticking through his victories, Obama additionally hailed his signing of the improper payments bill and the overcoming of a procedural blockade in the Senate to restore unemployment insurance for 2. 5 million Americans out of work.

“So, taken together, we made enormous progress this week -- on Wall Street reform, on making sure that we're eliminating waste and abuse in government, and in providing immediate assistance to people who are out there looking for work,” Obama summarized.

The president called on Congress to pass the controversial $30 billion business lending fund. He praised Republican Senators George LeMieux , R-Fla., and George Voinovich, R-Ohio, for crossing party lines last night to help pass the lending provision 60 to 37– clearing past the Republican filibuster and paving the way for a final vote sometime next week.

“I hope we can now finish the job and pass the small business jobs plan without delay and without additional partisan wrangling,” the president said, adding that he hopes this is passed before the August recess.

-Sunlen Miller

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