Entries in American Jobs Act (28)


Obama Pitches Jobs Plan in Battleground State Ad

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Following a dismal May jobs report, President Obama’s re-election campaign has retooled its economic pitch in battleground states, putting renewed emphasis on the American Jobs Act and a Congress that has refused to enact it.

A new Obama campaign TV ad called “Jobs” will begin airing this week in nine states in an effort to remind voters that Obama has had a plan to put Americans back to work  "right away,” the campaign said.

“The president’s jobs plan would put teachers, firefighters, police officers and construction workers back to work. Right now,” the narrator says of the $447 billion proposal, which Obama first unveiled in a rare address to a joint session of Congress last September.

The White House has estimated the package could create up to 1.9 million new jobs.  “And it’s paid for by asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more. But Congress refuses to act,” the ad says.

The 30-second spot makes no mention of presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney, focusing solely on Republicans in Congress as deserving of blame for why job growth has lagged. They largely oppose Obama’s plan, because it would impose higher taxes on wealthier Americans.

“They made a determination that politics should trump what was needed to move this country forward. And they have tried to put sand in the gears in Congress ever since,” Obama told donors at a New York City fundraiser on Monday.

“And now they’ve got a nominee who’s expressing support for an agenda that would reverse the progress we’ve made and take us back to the exact same policies that got us into this mess in the first place,” he said, referring to Romney’s tax cut proposals.

Obama has presided over 27 months of private sector job growth that have added 4.3 million jobs to the economy. But the monthly gains have been anemic and unemployment has lingered above 8 percent.

“Americans know we aren’t moving in the right direction today, and they can’t afford more of the same,” Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said in response to the new Obama ad. “As president, Mitt Romney will enact a pro-growth agenda that gets our economy back on track and allows our small businesses and job creators to thrive.”

Obama’s argument: His plan hasn’t fully been given a try.

“Jobs” will air in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and on national cable TV starting next week, the campaign said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Boehner, GOP Blame Senate Dems for Stalling Economic Recovery

TOBY JORRIN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker John Boehner pointed to high unemployment to make his case that the country is worse off than it was four years ago, and he continued to press Democrats to work with the GOP to create a better environment for job creation.

“Are you kidding me?” Boehner, R-Ohio, exclaimed when asked if Americans are better off now. “Why don’t you go ask the 14 million Americans who are out of work whether they’re better than they were four years ago.”

Boehner was reacting to President Obama’s answer to the same question Tuesday: “We are better off now than we would have been if I hadn’t taken all the steps that we took,” said Obama, while conceding that the economy had not fully rebounded from the financial crisis.

The speaker called on the president to pressure Senate Democrats to act on 16 bills languishing in the upper chamber that Republicans believe will “help create a better environment for job creation in our country.”

“While the president is out doing campaign events all over the country, what he could do is to actually come to Washington and be focused on trying to help pass bills that would create a better environment for job creation and help put the American people back to work,” Boehner said. “He’s a former member of the Senate. I’m sure he has great influence over there in terms of getting them to take up these bills that really will help put the American people back to work.”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said that this week Republicans would continue to move bills on the House floor that were part of the president’s American Jobs Act, and he joined Boehner in directing his frustration at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

“Republicans in the House are interested in trying to set aside differences and look for ways that we can actually work with the president and the other side to accomplish results for the American people, and results right now mean jobs,” Cantor, R-Va., said. “What I’m concerned about is that what we see now in the Senate is Harry Reid refusing to go along now with the president, and us, especially on this 3 percent withholding bill. What we’re hearing today is that for no reason at all the leader in the Senate is desirous of trying to change that bill, and therefore decreasing the possibility it can make it to the White House and be signed into law and create jobs.”

“When people around the country are looking for jobs -- they’re asking where the jobs are,” he said. “They’re stuck in the Senate, that’s where the jobs are.”

Last week, Boehner called a proposal from Democrats on the deficit super committee to raise $1.3 trillion in new tax revenue unreasonable, but Wednesday he declined to specify what he believed would be a fair amount, even though he and the president had nearly agreed on $800 billion in new revenues during the so-called “grand bargain” negotiations.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


First Lady Joins Obama Bus Tour, Touts Jobs for Vets

Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy(HAMPTON, Va.) -- First Lady Michelle Obama brought some positive news to her husband’s jobs campaign during her first appearance on the president’s three-day American Jobs Act bus tour.

In front of more than two thousand retired and active duty service members and their families, the first lady announced that 270 companies plan to hire 25,000 veterans or their spouses by the end of 2013.  

“These are bold commitments, and these are companies that are making these pledges not just because it's the right thing to do or because it feels patriotic; they're also doing it because it's good for their bottom line, it's good for business, because they know that veterans and military spouses, like all of you here today, represent the best our country has to offer.  And they want you on their team,” Mrs. Obama told the crowd at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, Va.

The president also heralded the companies, which include names like Procter & Gamble, Tyson Foods, and Hewlett-Packard, saying the announcement is a “testament to these businesses’ commitment to this country.”

“We ask you to fight, to sacrifice, to risk your lives for our country.  The last thing you should have to do is fight for a job when you come home -- not here, not in the United States of America,” Obama told the service members.

While the president had high praise for the new initiative, he made clear “we’ve got more work to do” and urged lawmakers to act on the portion of the American Jobs Act that would provide tax breaks for companies that hire veterans.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


McConnell to Obama: ‘Park the Campaign Bus’ and Focus on Jobs Bill

John W. Adkisson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY., took to the Senate floor Wednesday and launched another scathing critique of President Obama undertaking a three-day bus tour while pieces of jobs legislation have slim prospects of a way forward.

“Let's park the campaign bus, put away the talking points and do something to address the jobs crisis,” McConnell said. “It's completely preposterous at a time when 14 million Americans are looking for a job in this country for the president to be riding around on a bus, saying we should raise taxes.”

McConnell said that Obama’s repeated call to raise taxes is like “the president doing his best Howard Dean impersonation.”

“He's completely out of touch. Let’s forget about the tax hikes, let's drop the talking points about 'millionaires and billionaires,' and let's work together on bipartisan jobs legislation that's designed to pass, not designed to fail.”

The Minority Leader criticized Democrats and the White House  for what he called choreographed “political theater,” by pushing for a vote on a piece of the president’s jobs bill that doesn’t have the support in Congress.

On Monday, Senate Democrats announced the first piece of President Obama’s jobs bill that they will take up -- a $35 billion aid package to help state and local governments provide funding for teachers, police officers, and firefighters that they say would "create or save" approximately 400,000 jobs.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama's Jobs Bill Stalls In Senate

Architect of the Capitol(WASHINGTON) -- The Senate rejected President Barack Obama's $447 billion jobs bill Tuesday night by a vote of 50-49.

The bill needed 60 votes to proceed. Every Republican voting Tuesday voted against the bill.
Following the vote, President Obama said that despite the fact that the bill earned a majority’s approval, and “even though this bill contains the kind of proposals Republicans have supported in the past, their party obstructed the Senate from moving forward on this jobs bill.”

“Tonight’s vote is by no means the end of this fight,” Obama said in a statement Tuesday night. “Independent economists have said that the American Jobs Act would grow the economy and lead to nearly two million jobs, which is why the majority of the American people support these bipartisan, common-sense proposals.  And we will now work with Senator Reid to make sure that the individual proposals in this jobs bill get a vote as soon as possible.”

House Speaker John Boehner urged Democrats to move forward on areas of shared agreement within the bill, noting that Senate Republicans rejected the bill due to "the president's proposed tax increases" on job creators.
“Today the Senate acted in a bipartisan manner to reject the President’s proposed tax increases on American job creators.  Now it’s time for both parties to work together and find common ground on removing government barriers to private-sector job growth.  The cooperative effort to pass the three long-stalled free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea – which will help America’s farmers, businesses and manufacturers increase our exports and create jobs – represents a good start," Boehner, R-Ohio, stated. "Nearly a month ago, Republicans outlined for President Obama possible areas of common ground on job creation."
"Already this year the House has passed more than a dozen jobs bills that are now awaiting a vote in the Democratic-led Senate," he added. "American families and small businesses are struggling and they continue to ask the question: ‘where are the jobs?’  It’s long past time for both parties to work together on common-sense solutions to create a better environment for private-sector job creation.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama to Meets with Jobs Council, Tout Jobs Bill

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(PITTSBURGH) -- President Obama will spend Tuesday again pitching his embattled $447 billion jobs bill and hearing recommendations from his jobs council on how to spur the economy and boost employment.

At a meeting Tuesday afternoon in Pittsburgh, the president’s Jobs and Competitiveness Council will present five “targeted proposals that can meaningfully accelerate job creation while beginning to rebuild America’s competitiveness.”

The recommendations include investing in infrastructure and energy, nurturing high-growth enterprises, launching a national investment initiative, improving regulatory review and developing talent to fill today’s jobs.

Critics claim these same steps were supposed to be funded by the $800 million-plus Recovery Act package, yet the nationwide unemployment rate has risen -- even after the stimulus plan was passed. The national unemployment rate now stands at 9.1 percent.

In addition to meeting with the council, the president will visit the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers training center in Pittsburgh and deliver remarks on jobs and the economy.

Later, Obama will shift his focus to fundraising, attending two campaign events in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday evening before returning back to Washington.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


David Axelrod Memo Warns Senators Ahead of Jobs Bill Vote

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- As President Obama’s jobs bill heads toward its first test vote in the Senate, senior Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod says that members of Congress who oppose the measure willingly defy a majority of American voters.

“Since introducing the American Jobs Act, the American people have rallied around President Obama’s call for Congress to pass this plan,” Axelrod wrote in a memo to “interested parties” distributed by the campaign Monday night.  “The more people know about the American Jobs Act; the more they hear the President talking about it; the more they want Congress to pass the plan.”

Axelrod cites recent polling data to argue that support for the bill has gained momentum over the past month, ratcheting up pressure on members -- including Democrats -- some of whom seem prepared to vote “no.”

The most recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, for example, found that 52 percent of Americans support the bill while 36 percent oppose it.

Polls have also found majorities of Americans supportive of the specific provisions in the president’s plan, including more funding for teachers and first responders, extension of the payroll tax cut for workers and businesses, and new spending on infrastructure improvements.  Strong majorities also favor higher taxes on wealthier Americans to pay for the plan.

“While Republicans may claim that this is class warfare, the American people are seeing right through their opposition to asking the wealthiest to do their part,” Axelrod says.

“The American people agree with economists across the political spectrum who are saying that the AJA will immediately create jobs and put more money in the pockets of middle class Americans who are struggling to make ends meet,” he says.  “Yet Republican leaders -- from Congress to the presidential campaign trail -- have been steadfast in their opposition without providing an alternative that would create jobs now.”

While Republicans have opposed aspects of Obama’s plan, and vowed to block passage of it in its present form, many have shown support for the payroll tax cut extension and infrastructure bank, among other elements.  Meanwhile, several Senate Democrats have expressed unease over the package of tax increases meant to pay for the deal.

Axelrod focuses exclusively on Republicans, questioning whether they will “put country ahead of party and pass this bill?”  But it’s a question he could just as easily put to Senate Democrats, too.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama: Pass the Jobs Bill, Give Economy 'Jolt' It Needs

The White House(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama in his weekly address urges Senators to pass the American Jobs Act next week or risk facing an even weaker economy, saying his $447 billion bill will “provide our economy with the jolt that it really needs right now.”

“This jobs bill can help guard against another downturn here in America,” Obama says. “This isn’t just my belief.  This is what independent economists have said.  Not just politicians.  Not just people in my administration.  Independent experts who do this for a living have said that this jobs bill will have a significant effect for our economy and middle-class families all across America.  But if we don’t act, the opposite will be true – there will be fewer jobs and weaker growth.”

The president challenges Republicans in Congress who say they have a better plan to “prove it.” Citing economists who claim Republicans’ proposals would not result in near-term economic growth, the president says “if their plan doesn’t measure up, the American people deserve to know what it is that Republicans in Congress don’t like about this jobs plan.”

As for his plan to lower the deficit by asking “millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share,” Obama explains “some see this as class warfare.  I see it as a simple choice.”

“We can either keep taxes exactly as they are for millionaires and billionaires, or we can ask them to pay at least the same rate as a plumber or a bus driver.  And in the process, we can put teachers and construction workers and veterans back on the job.  We can either fight to protect their tax cuts, or we can cut taxes for virtually every worker and small business in America.  But we can’t afford to do both.  It’s that simple,” the president concludes.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


WH Says Jobs Report Underscores Need to Pass Obama's Jobs Bill

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- In its first response to Friday morning’s jobs report, the White House says unemployment remains “unacceptably high” and that the latest numbers underscore the need to pass the president’s jobs bill.
“Clearly, we need faster economic growth to put Americans back to work,” Katherine Abraham, a member of the president’s Council of Economic Advisors, writes in a White House blog. “Today’s report underscores the President’s call for Congress to pass the American Jobs Act to put more money in the pockets of working and middle class families; to make it easier for small businesses to hire workers; to keep teachers in the classroom; to put construction crews to work rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure; and other measures that will help the economy grow while not adding to the deficit over ten years.”
While American employers added 103,000 jobs to their payrolls in September, the overall unemployment remains steady at 9.1 percent, “a level that is unacceptably high,” Abraham writes.
Abraham highlights the sectors of the economy that are adding jobs, including business services, health care, information, and construction, and those that are experiencing declines, including government and manufacturing. She also stresses that the economy has added private sector jobs for 19 straight months, totaling 2.6 million jobs.
As always, she notes that it’s important not to read too much into any one monthly report. “The monthly employment and unemployment numbers are volatile and employment estimates are subject to substantial revision,” she writes.

Copyright 2011 ABc News Radio


Obama Campaign Makes Tweeting John Boehner, Congress Easier

SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama’s re-election team is attempting to mobilize grassroots support for his jobs bill on Twitter, as he pitches the plan in Dallas.

The new initiative, which the Obama campaign calls “Tweet for Jobs,” features an interactive website that helps users send messages directly to Republican members of Congress by simply entering their zip code and picking from a list of pre-scripted tweets.

If an individual’s district or state is not represented by a Republican, the program sends the message to House Speaker John Boehner by default.

The tweet selections include, “Will you stand with @BarackObama and vote to pass the American Jobs Act?”; “I’m one of your constituents, and I’m urging you to pass the American Jobs Act now to strengthen our economy”; and “Vote for jobs, schools, and small businesses -- vote for the American Jobs Act.”

All three sport the hashtag #passthebill, a refrain Obama has been repeating on the stump.

“It’s been nearly a month since the president laid out the American Jobs Act, but Congress has taken no action whatsoever, with House Republican leaders vowing yesterday not even to put the bill up for a vote,” a campaign official told ABC News.

“And with the president on the road again this week urging Congress to pass this bill, we’re giving supporters the easiest possible way to join him in advocating for it, while letting all their friends and followers know exactly where they stand on this issue.”

Obama has repeatedly encouraged supporters to “call, email, tweet, fax, visit, Facebook, or send a carrier pigeon” to members of Congress to express their support for the jobs bill.

Capitol Hill sources say Obama’s calls to action have yet to result in a notable increase in email, Internet or phone traffic from constituents to members of Congress -- in either party.  Obama aides say the new initiative is aimed at turning that around.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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