The president is vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, but he recorded his weekly Saturday radio and Internet address earlier in the week while in Alpha, Ill., during an economy-focused Midwestern bus tour.

He said that lawmakers in Washington could learn something from the people in small towns in Illinois and Iowa. And if they did, Obama said there are some things they could get done right away, like passing a road construction bill or extending a reduction in the payroll tax that pays for Social Security.

“These are common-sense ideas — ideas that have been supported by both Democrats and Republicans,” Obama said. “The only thing holding them back is politics. The only thing preventing us from passing these bills is the refusal by some in Congress to put country ahead of party. That’s the problem right now. That’s what’s holding this country back. That’s what we have to change.”

Obama has been promoting those ideas and others for weeks and didn’t offer any new proposals or rhetoric Saturday. He’s saving that for a jobs package he’s to unroll in a post-Labor Day speech once he returns to Washington. Instead, Obama repeated familiar themes Saturday about working to recover from the recession.

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