President Obama revealed his plan to address unemployment and the economy tonight in a nationally televised address before a joint session of Congress. The President called on Congress to put aside partisanship in order to pass a plan he believes will jump-start job creation. The national unemployment rate is slightly above 9% and more than 14 million people are out of work.
C-SPAN.org covered lawmaker reaction from Statuary Hall outside the House chamber.
The President presented the American Jobs Act. The 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. Obama said, "It will provide a jolt to an economy that has stalled, and give companies confidence that if they invest and hire, there will be customers for their products and services."
President Obama challenged Congress to act quickly. He said, "The question is whether, in the face of an ongoing national crisis, we can stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy."
House Speaker John Boehner said some of the President's proposals have "merit," but he hopes the President takes a look at some Republican ideas, which consist of tax cuts and cutting regulations at the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Labor Relations Board.
The Washington Journal devoted two segments to jobs and the President’s speech. House Democratic Caucus Chair, Rep. John Larson (D-CT), discussed what he hopes the President will speak about. He also recently introduced legislation that alter the responsibilities of the newly created “super committee,” tasked with proposing ways to cut $1.5 trillion of spending, to focus on job creation as well as deficit reduction.
Also, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), chair of the House Energy Committee, was a guest on the program. He discussed President Obama’s new directive to the Environmental Protection Agency to halt enforcing tougher pollution standards. Republicans target the EPA regulations as an obstacle to job creation.