President Barack Obama said on Thursday the United States faces a “national crisis” and pressed Congress to urgently pass a jobs package of tax cuts and government spending he is proposing to revive the stalled economy.
The cost of Obama's plan would be $447 billion, a Senate Democratic aide told Reuters.
With his poll numbers at new lows amid voter frustration with 9.1 percent unemployment, Obama was poised to use a high-stakes address to Congress to pitch a sweeping economic plan that is critical to his re-election chances but he faces an uphill fight with Republicans.
“It will provide a jolt to an economy that has stalled and give companies confidence that if they invest and hire there will be customers for their products and services. You should pass this jobs plan right away,” Obama said in a televised speech.
Taking aim at Republicans who have consistently opposed his initiatives, Obama said it was time to “stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy.”
Obama, who pushed through an $800 billion economic stimulus package in 2009, said his American Jobs Act would cut taxes for workers and businesses and put more construction workers and teachers on the job through infrastructure projects.