U.S. President Barack Obama steps up his campaign to win support for a $447 billion jobs plan that he hopes will salvage the struggling American economy as well as boost his 2012 re-election prospects.
“On Thursday, I told Congress that I would be sending them a bill called the Americans Jobs Act. Well, here it is. This is a bill that will put people back to work all across the country. This is the bill that will help our economy in a moment of national crisis. This is a bill that is based on ideas from both Democrats and republicans and this is the bill that Congress needs to pass.”
The White House sees Obama’s jobs plan – a mix of payroll tax cuts and spending to upgrade infrastructure – as the best hope for reducing the unemployment rate that poses the biggest threat to his re-election hopes.
In a Rose Garden Address, Obama said passing the bill will come down to choices.
“The bottom line when it comes to strengthening our economy and balancing our books is we have to decide what our priorities are. Do we keep tax companies or do we put teachers back to work? Do we keep tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, or should we invest in education, technology and infrastructure – all the things that are going to help us out innovate, out educate and out build other countries in the future.”
On Capitol Hill, top Republicans have said they were open to some aspects of the Obama jobs plan but weren’t convinced the infrastructure and other stimulus spending was a good idea, arguing it would further swell budget deficits in the near term.
Bottom line: U.S. President Barack Obama called on Congress to pass his jobs bill and end the gridlock in Washington.