Republicans offered cautious willingness to consider the plans ahead of the speech but also stressed that many of the ideas have already been tried and failed.
"These are all ideas which have been seen in the past," said former CBO director Doug Holz-Eakin, a Republican. "There's nothing new on the policy front. And indeed, many of them are in current law, so it wouldn't even constitute new stimulus even from the perspective of the Administration."
Top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell told reporters this afternoon, "This isn't a jobs plan. It's a re-election plan."
The White House said Obama called McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner this afternoon to convey that "he wanted to work with them to pass the American Jobs Act as soon as possible."
Boehner said after the speech that Obama's proposals "merit consideration."
"It's my hope that we can work together to end the uncertainty facing families and small businesses, and create a better environment for long-term economic growth and private-sector job creation," Boehner said in a statement.
In the meantime, Obama will hit the road Friday to sell his plan directly before the American people at an event in Richmond, Va.. He heads to Columbus, Ohio, Tuesday, the White House announced before the speech.
"This plan is the right thing to do right now," Obama said. "I intend to take that message to every corner of this country. I also ask every American who agrees to lift your voice and tell the people who are gathered here tonight that you want action now. Tell Washington that doing nothing is not an option."
ABC News' Steven Portnoy contributed to this report.