President Barack Obama called Sunday for "collective action" between Washington and U.S. governors to promote jobs and opportunity if Congress won't act. Speaking at the National Governors Association Dinner at the White House, the president said his interactions with governors during his time in the White House shows the federal government and state leaders must cooperate "to make sure that we're doing right by the American people." "That of course will require that we collectively take action on what matters to them -- jobs and opportunity," he said. "And when we've got a Congress that sometimes seems to have a difficult time acting, I want to make sure that I have the opportunity to partner with each of you in any way that I can to help more Americans work and study and strive, and make sure that they see their efforts and their faith in this country rewarded." The president -- who is to meet with governors Monday -- joked as he opened his remarks Sunday that "we want to make sure that all of you make yourselves at home, to which I'm sure some of you are thinking that's been the plan all along."