President Obama announced today that he will be sending “The American Jobs Act” to Congress this evening and he once again urged lawmakers to quickly pass his $447 billion jobs bill to get the economy growing again.
“This is a bill that Congress needs to pass,” the president said in the Rose Garden Monday as he held up a copy of the bill. “No games, no politics, no delays. I am sending this bill to congress today and they ought to pass it immediately.”
The president’s legislation, intended to spur job creation and boost economic growth, includes tax cuts, assistance for the unemployed and aid for new construction and infrastructure projects.
“The notion that there are folks who would say ‘we’re not going to do what’s right for the American people because it’s not convenient for our politics,’ we’ve been seeing too much of that around here,” Obama said.
Obama repeated his stern warning for Republicans who may try to use his jobs bill as a political ploy in the upcoming 2012 election. “There are some in Washington who would rather settle our differences through politics and the election than try to resolve them now… That’s the attitude in this town,” Obama said. “Fact of the matter is the next election is 14 months away and the American people don’t have the luxury of waiting 14 months for Congress to take action… These aren’t games we’re playing our here. Folks are out of work. Businesses are having trouble staying open.”
Continuing his strategy to elicit the public to sway Congress, Obama urged Americans to flood lawmakers’ in-boxes with messages of support for the legislation.
“We can’t afford these same political games, not now. So I want you to pick up the phone, send an email, get one of those airplane sky writers, dust off the fax machine… so long as you get a message to Congress.”
The president was joined at the event by people from across the country who he said would benefit from the American Jobs Act, including teachers, police officers, firefighters, construction workers, small business owners, and veterans.
The president continued to assert that the $447 billion price tag would be “fully paid for” if the bill is enacted in its entirety. However, the task of coming up with the cash falls largely on the new congressional super-committee, which already faces a mandate to find $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction before the end of the year. The president has urged the super-committee to consider closing corporate tax loopholes and imposing higher taxes on wealthier Americans as part of their efforts.
“The bottom line is when it comes to strengthening the economy and balancing our books we’ve got to decide out what our priorities are. Do we keep tax loopholes for oil companies or should we put people teachers to work? Do we keep tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires or should we invest in education, and technology and infrastructure?… We know what’s right,” Obama said Monday.
The president is expected to release his plan for achieving roughly $2 trillion in cuts on Sept. 19. In the meantime, the president will continue his tour to sell his jobs plan to the American people with a trip to Columbus, Ohio tomorrow. Later this week, he will also visit North Carolina.
The trip to Ohio on Tuesday will take the president within 50 miles of the congressional district of House Speaker John Boehner. Last Friday President Obama gave a speech touting his plan in the congressional district of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
In a statement, Boehner noted that he and the President have a “different vision for what is needed to support job creation in our country.”
But he said he will try to work with the president’s proposal, albeit in a deliberative way. Boehner said he would first request a score of its budgetary impact by the nonpartisan accountants on Capitol Hill. Only then will the House start its consideration of the bill.
“The record of the economic proposals enacted during the last Congress necessitates careful examination of the President’s latest plan as well as consideration of alternative measures that may more effectively support private-sector job creation,” Boehner said. “It is my hope that we will be able to work together to put in place the best ideas of both parties and help put Americans back to work.”
In the meantime, House Republicans have planned a series of votes in the coming weeks on repealing government regulations they say stand in the way of business but, by and large, are not supported by the president.
This week, for instance, the House will consider a bill that would rein in the National Labor Relations Board.