As the White House prepares once more to call on Congress this week to pass President Obama's jobs plan, the administration criticized Republicans Sunday for not putting forward a viable plan to create jobs in the short-term.
"I think it was notable that on Fox News this morning, when Congressman Cantor was asked, he couldn't identify a single independent economic analysts who would say that the Republican proposals would create jobs immediately," Principal Deputy Director of the National Economic Council Jason Furman said Sunday.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor R-Va., acknowledged Sunday that the GOP plan has not yet been scored by the Congressional Budget Office or other economists, like Mark Zandi, formerly one of Arizona Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign adviser and now an independent economist who gave unrealized high marks to the president's first stimulus plan. Cantor told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace that the president's economists may need to be reassessed.
"Their chief economist was the one that predicted that the stimulus program would keep unemployment from rising above 8 percent," Cantor said. Unemployment stands at 9.1 percent.
The White House insists multiple independent forecasters have praised the American Jobs Act for its ability to create close to 2 million jobs in the next year, if passed in Congress.
Senate Republicans blocked the plan last week. But the White House is not giving up as Obama embarks on a three day bus tour through North Carolina and Virginia.
"The president will challenge Congress to get to work this week, passing every element of the American Jobs Act, piece by piece," Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.
On the bus tour, Obama will travel through Virginia on Wednesday. He'll visit parts of the state close to Cantor's district, but is not going into Cantor's area, even after an invitation from Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, who wanted Obama to explore earthquake-struck Mineral, Va.
The White House insists the trip isn't political, and the proximity to, but avoidance of, Cantor's district is not intentional.
"There's no specific reason to target Congressman Cantor other than to ask him to join with Democrats and Republicans to pass the American Jobs Act," Earnest said, "And if that's the message that he gets out of this, then that will be an important priority of the trip accomplished."
While Virginia is largely seen as a must-win state for the president's re-election, this is an official White House trip that does not include any campaign fundraisers.