President Barack Obama called on Republicans not to play “political games” with his jobs plan as he pressed for swift passage of a $447 billion package he hopes will revive the U.S. economy and boost his re-election prospects.
Four days after challenging Congress to act in a televised address, Obama stepped up his campaign to sell his proposals to American voters as he prepared to send the jobs bill to lawmakers yesterday.
“This is a bill that is based on ideas from both Democrats and Republicans, and this is a bill that Congress needs to pass — no games, no politics, no delays,” Obama said in an appearance in the White House Rose Garden, holding up a thick text of the legislation held together with a black clip.
The president, who pushed through an $800 billion economic stimulus package in 2009, will see his re-election chances hinging heavily on his ability to reduce stubbornly high unemployment rates, now above 9 percent.
Cooperation in Washington could be hard to find in a climate of dysfunction where a nasty feud over the government’s debt levels this summer brought the country to the brink of default and led to an unprecedented U.S. credit downgrade.
Top Republicans have said they are open to some aspects of the Obama jobs plan but are not convinced the infrastructure and other stimulus spending is a good idea — given it would further swell budget deficits in the near term.