President Barack Obama called on Congress Monday to act immediately on his jobs plan.
"This is a bill that will put people back to work all across the country," he said during remarks in the Rose Garden at the White House. "This is the bill that will help our economy in a moment of national crisis. This is a bill that is based on ideas from both Democrats and Republicans. And this is the bill that Congress needs to pass. No games. No politics. No delays. I’m sending this bill to Congress today, and they ought to pass it immediately."
President Obama is set to deliver to Congress later Monday the American Jobs Act that he unveiled last week during a rare joint session of Congress.
"Standing with me this morning are men and women who will be helped by the American Jobs Act," Obama said. He was surrounded by small business owners, veterans, teachers and others who could benefit from the $447 billion legislation today. Today's announcement was part of an ongoing effort to sell the jobs creation plan to the American public, whom he hopes will urge congressional lawmakers to pass it.
Obama is scheduled to travel to House Speaker John Boehner’s district in Ohio and to Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, where he will continue to push the bill.
The American Jobs Act would give cash-strapped state and local governments a much needed infusion of $50 billion for transportation projects, $35 billion for school, police and fire department payrolls, $30 billion to modernize public schools and community colleges and $15 billion to refurbish vacant and foreclosed homes or businesses, the Associated Press reports. But as expected, state leaders are divided on the issue.
"It's a no-brainer: Congress should pass the bill. Now," Gov. Jerry Brown (D-California), whose state has the nation's second highest unemployment rate, told the AP.
Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas), who currently holds the lead in the Republican presidential nominating race and has previously rejected federal funding, has criticized Obama’s plan as wasteful, arguing that it will increase the deficit.
"President Obama's call for nearly a half-trillion dollars in more government stimulus when America has more than $14 trillion in debt is guided by his mistaken belief that we can spend our way to prosperity," Perry told the newswire.
(Photo: AP Photo/Susan Walsh)