Thursday evening, President Obama spoke to both houses of Congress in the Capitol building, urging them to pass his job creation bill, the American Jobs Act. The bill is a combination of tax cuts, investments in infrastructure and benefit extensions. Obama promised that $447 billion will be completely paid for without adding the U.S. deficit. The president spoke again Monday morning in the Rose Garden about the legislation, which goes to Congress today, and he will travel to Ohio and North Carolina to promote the plan.
Obama is putting much of his political capital behind the bill, which he argues includes proposals that have been supported by both sides of the aisle in the past. However it has already been criticized some on the right for being just another faulty attempt by the government to spend its way out of the economic downturn. Doug Heye labeled the bill "Stimulus II" and Peter Roff called for a plan that dismantles federal regulations instead. Many on the left aren't happy either, arguing that package is too small. Said Brad Bannon, "I don't see how you can jump start an economy with $14 trillion GNP with $450 billion in tax cuts and spending. The original stimulus of $700 billion was not nearly enough to do the job and this proposal is even smaller."
After the ugly standoff over raising the debt ceiling, many expect another partisan congressional debate about the bill. Yet Republican leaders, perhaps chastened by low poll numbers and criticism from constituents over the August break, seem more willing to cooperate, at least on some portions of the plan. "There's plenty of room for agreement," said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in response to Thursday's speech. But other Republicans are not so optimistic. One anonymous House Republican aide told Politico, "Obama is on the ropes; why do we appear ready to hand him a win?"
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Previously: Is the United States Safer 10 Years After 9/11?