President Obama Outlines $450 Billion Jobs Plan

Posted September 9th, 2011 at 11:36 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama is in Richmond, Virginia to repeat his call for Congress to pass a nearly $450 billion job creation plan.

President Obama outlined the American Jobs Act on Thursday in a speech before a joint session of Congress. He said the United States is in a “national crisis” and called for an end to partisan politics and immediate action to revive the economy.

Mr. Obama said his proposal would cut taxes for workers and businesses and lead to new jobs for construction workers, teachers and other Americans. The bill includes initiatives to put people to work repairing and modernizing roads, railways, airports, waterways and at least 35,000 schools.

The president said it also offers tax credits to companies that hire long-term unemployed workers and cuts payroll taxes in half for every working American and every small business.

Recent figures showed job creation at a standstill, as concerns grow over the possibility of a second recession.

While the opposition Republicans did not present an official response to the president’s speech, Republican congresswoman and 2012 presidential candidate Michele Bachmann said after the speech that she did not think it had any new proposals. She said she believes the government is not the solution to creating jobs, but rather “free market, pro-growth” policies should drive job creation. She did not elaborate.

House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican leader often at odds with the president, was more conciliatory. He said Mr. Obama’s proposal “merits consideration.”

The U.S. unemployment rate stands at 9.1 percent, and federal figures show that no new jobs were created in August. About 14 million workers are unemployed and millions more are working part-time or in jobs they consider below their skill level.