Obama Urges Congress to Pass Jobs Bill

Posted September 13th, 2011 at 6:45 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

U.S. President Barack Obama is traveling to Ohio Tuesday to build public support for his $447 billion proposal aimed at creating jobs and boosting the nation's anemic economy.

Mr. Obama will speak at a high school in the capital, Columbus, near the congressional district represented by Republican House Speaker John Boehner. The president is expected to promote an initiative in his proposal that calls for spending up to $25 billion to modernize 35,000 public schools across the nation.

The president sent the American Jobs Act to Congress Monday, and called on lawmakers to pass it immediately. The plan calls for spending billions of dollars to improve the nation's roads and other public works projects, while increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

White House budget director Jacob Lew told reporters proposals to raise taxes on wealthier Americans will raise about $400 billion.

Mr. Obama also wants to reduce payroll taxes paid for by American workers and companies that go towards the federal government's Social Security pension program.

Mr. Obama said Monday construction workers, teachers, police officers, veterans and others are among the types of people who would be helped by the legislation.

Boehner said Monday he hopes to work with the president to get Americans back to work, but that Mr. Obama'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 says the jobs bill is fully paid for and would not add to the federal debt.

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

The president will head to 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.