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Obama Appeals to Congress to Put Country First

President Barack Obama has renewed his appeal to Congress to put the country ahead of politics and get people back to work.

Obama delivered his weekly address from a farm town in Illinois.

He urged Congress to pass a road construction bill that creates jobs rebuilding roads, bridges and airports. He also urged lawmakers to extend a payroll tax cut that saves families $1,000 a year.

Obama said "these are common sense ideas that have been supported by Democrats and Republicans." He said members of Congress playing politics are holding the country back.

President Obama is set to unveil a new jobs initiative in early September after Congress returns from summer recess.

In the Republican address, Ohio Governor John Kasich appealed to his party members to work with Democrats on policy, but he cautioned them not to compromise their principles.

On Friday, the government said the jobless rate increased in 28 states and the nation's capital, Washington, last month. Nine states recorded decreases and the unemployment rate was unchanged in 13 states.

The U.S. jobless rate has remained at 9 percent or higher for more than two years.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.