Obama Challenges Republican Leaders on Jobs Bill

Posted October 4th, 2011 at 5:45 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama has challenged Republican leaders in the U.S. Congress to put his entire $447 billion jobs bill up for a vote so Americans know where each legislator stands.

Speaking to supporters Tuesday at a college near Dallas, Texas, President Obama also called on the Republican majority leader in the House of Representatives, Eric Cantor, to visit Texas and explain what he opposes in the bill. Cantor has said Republican lawmakers would consider parts of the bill, but not the entire package. He also says the president's “all-or-nothing” approach for promoting the measure is unreasonable.

Also Tuesday, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell offered to give the president the vote he has been seeking, but he said the measure should be defeated. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid objected, saying the jobs bill will be voted on later in the month after the Senate takes up other legislation.

Mr. Obama has been traveling across the country touting his jobs bill as a way to get people like teachers and construction workers back on the job to spark the economy.

Voters have been increasingly worried about the state of the economy and lack of jobs, with the unemployment rate hovering around 9 percent for months.

Mr. Obama also was scheduled to speak at a campaign fundraiser in Dallas. Texas Governor Rick Perry is vying to become the Republican nominee for the 2012 presidential election.

On Monday, President Obama said he does not consider himself to be the favorite to win the election, telling a television interviewer that the faltering economy has made him an underdog in his bid to win a second term. A new ABC/Washington Post opinion poll shows that only 37 percent of Americans expect Mr. Obama to win re-election in 2012.