Obama pushes GOP lawmakers to pass jobs bill

Proposed bill seeks approval in Congress

by Christopher Livingston
Staff Reporter 

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Brent Spence Bridge, regarding his American Jobs Act Now legislation, Thursday, Sept., 22, 2011, in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo)

The Obama administration expects October to bring in a new jobs bill, as long as the Republicans are on the same page.

The American Jobs Act, a plan introduced early September, is meant to tackle the 9.1 unemployment rate in the country by providing more jobs for Americans. The plan is expected to cost $447 billion to implement.

Highlights of the proposed act include cutting $240 billion in payroll taxes among businesses that hire new employees, investing money to keep teachers, firefighters and police officers employed, and modernization of schools.

Among Democrats, the bill is widely approved. “The president’s bill will create jobs now,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-Fla. “It will be easier for students to find job opportunities and it will also help middle-class families.”

The Republicans agree with the tax cuts included in the bill, but are slow to embrace the increase in spending.

“[T]he temporary relief proposed by the President must not cause unforeseen harm to the economy 15 monhths from now and it shouldn’t be offset with permanent tax increases,” House Republican leaders stated in a memo.

Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas proposed his own “American Jobs Act” in the House on September 14, saying that his version of the bill will simply eliminate the taxes on American companies for goods made here, according to CBS News.

Eliminating the corporate tax would prevent jobs from being shipped overseas, promote capital investment and attract businesses to America, according to Gohmert.

“Unlike President Obama’s bill, which clocks in at 155 pages, the American Jobs Act is only two pages,” Gohmert stated. “If we really want to create jobs and grow the economy, we must pass ‘The American Jobs Act’ now.”

Obama added his own twist for the campaign on the jobs bill: he held a speech at the bridge connecting the home states of the top Republicans in Congress.

The Brent Spence Bridge, which connects Ohio (home state of House Speaker John Boehner) and Kentucky (home state of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell) at the Ohio River, is in need of a replacement, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Obama seized the opportunity to use the bridge as an example of an improvement the bill could create.

“Mr. Boehner, Mr. McConnell, help us rebuild this bridge,” he said during his speech. “Help us rebuild America. Help us put construction workers back to work. Pass this bill.”

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