David Jackson, USA TODAY
President Obama will deliver a speech Monday on the fifth anniversary of the event that helped elect him back in 2008: The financial crisis.
Obama "will be joined on-stage and in the audience by people that have benefited from his economic recovery proposals over the last five years," the White House said in a statement, "including small business owners, construction workers, homeowners, consumers and tax cut recipients."
Obama, who has spent much of his recent time dealing with Syria's use of chemical weapons, will use the speech to kick off a week of events devoted to the economy and budget issues.
On Sunday, the White House issued a report on its response to the financial crisis, just ahead of the speech and a new round of budget fights with congressional Republicans in the coming weeks.
Congressional Republicans say that, five years after the near-collapse of the economy, the unemployment rate remains over 7% and millions have stopped looking for work; they also say Obama's health care law and other policies will continue to slow job creation and the economy in general.
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The emphasis should be on cutting government spending, said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. "It's time to get serious about the challenges we face and re-position America for growth and prosperity in the 21st Century," he said.
With the fiscal year set to end Sept. 30, the two sides have not agreed on a new spending plan; some Republicans are also objecting to an increase in the debt ceiling, and seeking to de-fund Obama's new health care law.
In its report on how Obama responded to the 2008 financial meltdown, the White House economic team listed several items. They included how the government recovered its investments through the Troubled Asset Relief Program, new "stress tests" designed to gauge the solvency of banks, and successful bailouts of American car companies.
The report also referenced the upcoming budget and debt ceiling battles with Congress. "The last thing we can afford right now is a decision from Congress to throw our economy back into crisis by refusing to pay our country's bills or shutting down the government," the report said.
In its announcement of Monday's speech, the White House said Obama will "discuss the progress we have made to grow the economy and create 7.5 million private sector jobs, and highlight the work we still need to do to strengthen the middle class and those fighting to get into it."
Obama will speak from the Rose Garden at the White House.
In an interview with ABC's This Week, Obama said his health care, housing, and tax policies are helping members of the middle class who have seen incomes stagnate and fall in recent decades, not just during the past five years of the financial crisis.
Obama told ABC's George Stephanopoulos: "Everything that I've done has been designed to, number one, stabilize the economy -- get it growing again, start producing jobs again -- (and) number two, trying to push against these trends that had been happening for decades now."
Arguing that the economy is recovering five years after being "on the verge of a great depression," Obama also knocked Republican budget-cutting plans.
"There's no serious economist out there that would suggest that, if you took the Republican agenda of slashing education further, slashing Medicare further, slashing research and development further, slashing investments in infrastructure further, that that would reverse some of these trends of inequality," Obama said.
The president also repeated that he would not negotiate with Congress on increasing the debt ceiling, saying the government needs that authority to pay bills it has already accrued.
"We've never had the situation in which a party said that, you know, 'unless we get our way 100%, then we're gonna let the United States default,'" Obama said.
The president is expected to echo these and other messages throughout the week.
A Tuesday interview on the Spanish language television network Telemundo gives Obama a chance to talk about another major domestic issue, immigration.
Budget issues are likely to dominate a Wednesday speech to the Business Roundtable.
And Obama is likely to emphasize the auto bailout when he travels Friday to a Ford plant in the Kansas City area.