Obama Warms to New Spending Proposals Targeting Job Growth

President Obama is starting to come around to Democrats' calls to stimulate the economy with more federal spending.

Though the White House initially was hesitant to embrace proposals from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others for a new, and likely costly, rescue package, administration officials told Fox News that Obama is leaning toward several new incentive programs.

Officials said he's open to new spending on construction projects, tax incentives for small businesses that hire new workers and fresh infusions of federal money to cash-strapped state and local governments as a way to stem layoffs. Any or all of these ideas could be included in the president's jobs speech set for Tuesday.

"(Obama) has seen and heard good ideas from his economic team. He'll outline some of what he supports moving forward on Tuesday," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said. "What the president has asked for is to be as aggressive as we can be on ideas that will create jobs."

Gibbs insisted the president was not looking for another stimulus the size of the $787 billion package that passed in February.

"This isn't an additional $787 billion, which is why we've never referred to ideas moving forward as a second stimulus," he said.

But many of the proposals being floated by Democrats are similar if not identical to those that were in the stimulus package -- legislation that has come under fire for not doing enough to correct the economy while deepening the deficit. Unemployment dipped from 10.2 percent to 10 percent in November, according to new government data, but critics say now's not the time to start spending money again for the sake of jobs creation that may or may not happen.

Republicans rejected a Democratic proposal to use untapped Wall Street bailout funds to finance as much as $70 billion of any jobs package -- an idea Gibbs called "likely" on Friday.

House Minority Leader John Boehner said any leftover bailout money should be used to lower the deficit.

Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., said if Democrats want a jobs bill they should work to reduce spending on existing programs, not siphon money out of the bailout program.

"Our government is spending well beyond its means. We must work harder to decrease the extraordinarily high level of federal debt, not add more deficit spending to the backs of our children," he said in a written statement. "If we don't think we'll need the (Troubled Assets Relief Program) authority anymore, then TARP should end."

But Obama is warming to the idea of new spending as he makes several public gestures to show his administration is still concerned about the high unemployment rate, despite its intense focus on health care reform and the Afghanistan war.

He held a jobs summit in Washington on Thursday and made his first stop Friday on a multi-city jobs tour in Allentown, Pa.

Fox News' Mike Emanuel contributed to this report.