President Obama today takes his jobs plan on the road to Virginia, a 2012 battleground and home to one of his fiercest Republican critics, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. The president will deliver remarks at the University of Richmond, where he’s expected to appeal directly to his audience and the American people to have confidence in his ideas and heap pressure on lawmakers to pass them.
Before a joint session of Congress Thursday night, Obama rolled out a $447 billion economic stimulus package that he said would “jolt an economy that has stalled.” It includes roughly $250 billion in tax cuts for workers and employers and $194 billion in federal spending on infrastructure, unemployment insurance benefits and new job training programs. Obama did not detail how it would be paid for.
The independent economic consultancy Macroeconomic Advisers predicts the president’s plan would give a “significant boost” to GDP and lead to 1.3 million new jobs through 2012.
“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.”
The president’s pitch won’t be the only one taking place in Richmond today. Cantor will discuss Republicans’ plan for jobs and economic growth in remarks at a building materials company in his district, just 11 miles from where Obama will speak.
This afternoon Obama returns to the White House where he will host a credentialing ceremony for 12 new foreign ambassadors to the U.S. in the Oval Office.