President Barack Obama invoked theological support Wednesday at a jobs speech in Washington, D.C., saying "God wants to see us help ourselves by putting people back to work."
In his speech, the president called on Congress to pass the $447 billion American Jobs Act even while also noting lawmakers approving legislation re-affirming "In God We Trust" as the national motto.
"That’s not putting people back to work," Obama said, also criticizing House Republicans for debating a commemorative coin for baseball.
"This week, they've got another chance to vote for a jobs bill that will help private sector companies put hundreds of thousands of construction workers back on the job rebuilding our roads, our airports, our bridges and our transit systems," he said.
"When 72 percent of the American people support the ideas in this bill - 72 percent of Americans agree with this - Republicans, Democrats and independents - there's no excuse for 100 percent of Washington Republicans to say no," said the president. "That's means that the Republicans in Washington are out of touch with Republican voters."
USA Today reports that House Republican aides said the "In God We Trust" and baseball legislation efforts were routine matters and took less than 20 minutes to complete. They also said the GOP-run House passed some items that would promote job creation through reduced regulations and tax changes.
"At this point, the White House will create any sideshow they can to distract from the fact the House has sent jobs bill after jobs bill over to the Democrat-run Senate, only to see them collect dust," said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, according to USA Today.
When a reporter asked White House spokesman Jay Carney about the president's reference to God, Carney cited the admonition that "the Lord helps those who help themselves." He also said President Obama was referring to more to the idea of Congress acting on mottoes rather that jobs.
"We have it within our capacity to do things to help the American people," Carney said.