One day after unveiling his job creation ideas, President Obama is attempting to sell his plan outside Washington, DC. He spoke at the University of Richmond this morning to discuss his ideas to jumpstart the economy plagued by a 9.1% unemployment rate.
His remarks resembled the speech he gave Thursday evening before a joint session of Congress, where he repeatedly called on Congress to "pass this bill" -- The American Jobs Act -- immediately. His proposed legislation, which would cost $447 billion, is a combination of tax cuts for small businesses and individuals, employment for teachers and public safety professionals, and funding for infrastructure construction.
“This isn’t political grandstanding. This isn’t class warfare. This is simple math,” Obama said.
House Speaker John Boehner said President Obama’s ideas “merit consideration.” He also said he hopes the President “gives serious consideration to our ideas as well.” In a letter to the President, Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor asked for legislative text of his plan so the cost and impact could be determined by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
The proposal would give tax breaks to all small businesses, including a 50% payroll tax break. It would provide small business owners even more of a tax relief for those who hire new workers, especially veterans and the long-term unemployed.
More than $100 billion would be appropriated to repair schools, upgrade transportation and broadband infrastructure, and foreclosed homes. He proposed a government-backed infrastructure bank to help finance the construction projects.
Another aspect of the President’s proposal would provide states money to hire teachers and provide summer employment for teens. It would extend unemployment insurance with some modifications and cut the payroll tax for another year.
"The time for gridlock and games is over, the time for action is now. Pass this bill," Obama told the crowd in Richmond, the district represented by Leader Cantor.
The President said his plan would be paid for by directing the deficit reduction committee, also known as the “super committee,” to go beyond its directive to cut $1.5 trillion and include the cost of the jobs package in its deficit reduction proposal.
The Republicans released a jobs creation proposal last month, which cuts employer taxes and guts regulations at the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Labor Relations Board.
The Washington Journal devoted its entire show this morning to the President’s speech and his job creation proposals. White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest and Representatives Tim Bishop (D-NY) and Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) joined the program.