Obama Urges Congress to Pass Jobs Bill

Posted September 12th, 2011 at 7:06 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama is urging Congress to pass his $447 billion proposal aimed at creating jobs and steering the world's biggest economy away from another recession.

The president sent the legislation to Congress Monday and is asking lawmakers to pass it immediately — saying it would create jobs without increasing the deficit.

Speaking earlier Monday at the White House, Mr. Obama said the construction workers, teachers, police officers, veterans and others standing behind him are among the types of people who would be helped by the legislation. The president said the plan would also cut taxes for small businesses and includes initiatives to put people to back to work with infrastructure projects .

White House budget director Jacob Lew provided details on how the plan would be paid for on Monday. Lew said it includes proposals to raise $400 billion by raising taxes on wealthier people.

The president has said he will also propose a deficit reduction plan.

The speaker of the House of Representatives, Republican John Boehner, said Monday he hopes to work with the president to get Americans back to work, but that the president's ideas require “careful examination.”

Critics say the legislation amounts to another “economic stimulus” package that would further add to the nation's growing debt. But the president said Monday the jobs bill is fully paid for and would not add to the federal debt.

Mr. Obama outlined the “American Jobs Act” late last week in an address to both houses of Congress.

The president will head to the states of Ohio and North Carolina promoting the bill later in the week.

Recent U.S. government figures have shown job creation at a standstill, as concerns grow about the possibility of a second recession.

The U.S. unemployment rate stands at 9.1 percent. About 14 million workers are unemployed and millions more are working part-time or in jobs they consider below their skill level.