Obama Urges Congress to Pass $447B Jobs Plan

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Facing economic and political realities that seem to get worse by the day, President Obama put forth a flurry of ideas to put Americans back to work.

"It will create more jobs for construction workers, more jobs for teachers, more jobs for veterans, and more jobs for the long-term unemployed," the president told a joint session of Congress Thursday night.

Obama's American Jobs Act includes repairing and modernizing 35,000 schools, improving the nation's transportation networks, and reforming Medicare.
    
Fifteen times he told Congress to "pass this jobs bill" - a theme with the rhythm of a campaign speech combined with a sense of urgency.

"Pass this jobs bill and starting tomorrow small businesses will get a tax cut if they hire new workers or if they raise workers' wages," Obama said.

"Pass this jobs bill and all small business owners will also see their payroll taxes cut in half next year," he added.

CBN News was on Capitol Hill Thursday night talking with lawmakers, getting their reaction to President Obama's $447 billion jobs plan.

Watch what Democrats and Republicans had to say about unemployment, job creation, and the effort to pass a bipartisan jobs bill through a divided Congress.


    
Tax cuts make up more than half of the president's $447 billion package.
    
Individuals with a job would benefit from deeper cuts to Social Security taxes.   
    
In perhaps a sign of willingness to work with the president, there was no official Republican response. In fact, GOP House leaders immediately signaled plans to pass some of the president's proposals.
    
CBN News asked Florida Republicans if they think the president's plan will help their state, which is struggling with unemployment numbers higher than the national average.

"I'm most concerned about regulatory clamps that are on our business, and the president was very clear tonight that he's not interested in rolling back much of that regulatory burden," Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., said.

Rep. Allen West, R-Fla. also appeared skeptical of the president's plan.

"As you know, we're ground zero for foreclosures as well," West told CBN News. "So we need to have something that really rectifies this situation, not about putting a band-aid over a sucking chest wound."
    
Democrats were more optimistic.

"I was so relieved that he finally talked about jobs and about growth in a way that is very forward looking," Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, said. 

"What I heard from the president tonight, he was saying we need to invest in our research and development; invest in our innovation and creativity; and invest in rebuilding things here in America and manufacturing in the United States," Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., told CBN News.

"That, to me, sounds like a good-old fashioned Republican idea, and it's something that this liberal Democrat can support," she concluded.
   
The president says his plans will not add to the deficit, a promise that's dependent on many factors falling in his favor.
    
In another speech later this month, the president will detail another plan aimed at reducing the deficit.

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Jennifer Wishon

Jennifer Wishon

CBN News White House Correspondent

Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at Facebook.com/JennWishon.