Published October 03, 2011
President Obama on Monday abandoned his "pass this bill now" mantra, and instead called on Congress to vote on his jobs legislation this month, saying he will press legislative leaders from both parties to act quickly on the $447 billion proposal he delivered three weeks ago.
Speaking to reporters at the beginning of a Cabinet meeting Monday, Obama said he is waiting for the plan to return to his desk.
"It's been several weeks now since I sent up the American Jobs Act and as I've been saying on the road I want it back; I'm ready to sign it. My expectation is that now that we're in the month of October we'll schedule a vote before the end of this month," he said.
Obama's plan would reduce payroll taxes on workers and employers, extend benefits to long-term unemployed people, spend money on public works projects and help states and local governments keep teachers, police officers and firefighters on the job. He would pay for the plan with tax increases on high-earning Americans and by closing corporate loopholes in an effort to generate $2 trillion in revenues.
Obama said his administration will do whatever he can to stimulate job growth without Congress' help, but "ultimately, they've got to do the right thing for the American people."
House Speaker John Boehner's spokesman responded that the GOP is prepared to work across the aisle "as soon as possible" but that cooperation is a two-way street.
"We'd like to work with the president where we can find common ground, as well as discuss other ideas that will better support job creation," said Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck. "In the meantime, we continue to pass jobs bills, including two regulatory reform bills scheduled for this week that have bipartisan support."
Buck added that the president's proposed tax increases face bipartisan opposition in the GOP-led House and in the Democrat-run Senate.
During his briefing, Obama called on congressional Republicans to spell out what aspects of his plan they agree with and which they reject. Buck responded that the GOP has already ceded to the president's request that it articulate the parts of the bill that House Republicans will not support.
"We actually weeks ago put out a memo that outlines the parts we thing we can work together on and the parts we probably won't be able to," he said, offering a link to the GOP position.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.