President Obama signed a bill today designed to encourage investment in start-up businesses — and also appeared to respond to Republican criticism that he promotes too much government involvement in the economy.

“I’ve always said that the true engine of job creation in this country is the private sector, not the government,” Obama said during a signing ceremony in the White House Rose Garden. “Our job is to help our companies grow and hire.”

Obama said that’s why he pushed for the bipartisan Jump-start Our Business Start-ups (JOBS) Act that he signed Thursday.