(Photo: Jacquelyn Martin, AP)
(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."
The White House also plans to issue a report on its response to the crisis, just ahead of a new round of budget fights with congressional Republicans.
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.
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.
In its announcement, 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.