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Saturday, July 31, 2021 9:36 AM

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WASHINGTON, July 31 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama Saturday hailed the auto industry bailout and said Americans were seeing a tough decision "pay off."

The choice was a hard one during "a vicious economic crisis" that brought "an industry that's been the symbol of our manufacturing might for a century to the brink of collapse," Obama said during his weekly radio and Internet address.

Despite what he called "the 'just say no' crowd in Washington who argued that standing by the auto industry would guarantee failure," the president said, as a result of the government's investment "our auto industry has added 55,000 jobs -- the strongest period of job growth in more than 10 years. For the first time since 2004, all three American automakers are operating at a profit."

Obama denounced Republican leaders in the Senate for holding up a vote on the Small Business Jobs Act, designed to give small business owners tax breaks and lending assistance.

"It's a bill that includes provision after provision authored by both Democrats and Republicans." the president said, "But (Thursday), the Republican leaders in the Senate once again used parliamentary procedures to block it.

"That isn't right. And I'm calling on the Republican leaders in the Senate to stop holding America's small businesses hostage to politics, and allow an up-or-down vote on this small business jobs bill."

Obama recorded his remarks Friday while visiting a General Motors plant in Detroit.

GOP accuses Obama of killing jobs

WASHINGTON, July 31 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., Saturday accused accusing President Barack Obama of pursuing policies that hurt small businesses and kill job creation.

Delivering the delivered the Republican radio address Saturday, Johanns said the new healthcare law requires small businesses to file 1099 forms with the Internal Revenue Service for every vendor paid more than $600 a year. He said one Nebraska business owner calculated the paperwork will cost him $15,000 annually.

"Now that may not sound like much here in Washington, but to a small business in Nebraska, that would go a long way to putting another American to work," Johanns said. "Instead, that money will pay for paperwork … and for what purpose, Mr. President?"

Johanns -- who was elected to the Senate in 2008 after serving as mayor of Lincoln, governor of Nebraska and U.S. secretary of agriculture -- said he learned in politics "a leader needs to pull people together." He said Obama has adopted a "fiercely anti-business tone" that has the opposite effect.

GOP believes House control possible

WASHINGTON, July 31 (UPI) -- Republicans believe they could gain control of the House even it they don't win the 39 seats needed in the upcoming election, a GOP leader said.

The GOP could win the support of a couple of conservative Democrats who no longer support Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, (D-Calif.), for another term, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Friday.

Republicans would like to see House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, take over leadership, and think by winning over conservative-thinking Democrats that could happen, The Hill reported.

"Not only are there more than enough seats for the Republicans to gain the majority," McCarthy said in an interview published on the online site CSPAN.org, "there are more Republicans running than ever in the history of the party."

McCarthy, Chief Deputy Minority Whip, has suggested Republicans might sway conservative Democrats Walther Minnick of Idaho, and Oklahoma's Dan Boren to vote for someone other than Pelosi as House Speaker. If so, that could give the GOP defacto control of the House, he said.

Fire threatens So. Calif. neighborhood

LOS ANGELES, July 31 (UPI) -- Residents were racing to their cars and fleeing as a wildfire advanced toward a neighborhood in Palmdale, Calif., authorities said.

Firefighters appeared to be making progress late Friday in fighting the Crown fire, which started Thursday, and has burned more than 13,000 acres and destroyed several structures, the Los Angeles Times reported. Water-dropping helicopters were being used in the battle to keep the flames from entering the Rancho Vista subdivision as the fire jumped the California Aqueduct north of Los Angeles.

The fire threatened power lines, causing the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to ask residents to reduce their energy usage wherever possible.

"We're asking people to help care for our infrastructure while this fire is burning, as we wait for the potential threat to diminish," Brooks Baker, a spokesman for the agency, said.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger toured the area Friday and then told reporters the fire had been 20 percent contained, the Times said.

"Even though we have a budget crunch, everyone should be assured that we have money available for fighting these fires," Schwarzenegger said. "Public safety is our No. 1 priority."

About 1,700 firefighters were working on the fire lines. Investigators haven't determined the cause of any of the blazes, the Times reported.

(Source: UPI )


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