Last night in a rare address to a joint session of Congress, President Obama unveiled his plan to jump-start the economy and create jobs. Speaking for just over 30 minutes, the President repeatedly urged lawmakers to put aside political rhetoric and approve his $447 billion package called The Americans Jobs Act. Some of the highlights from the President’s plan include payroll tax cuts, tax incentives for those hiring, spending for infrastructure projects, and extend unemployment benefits. The White House says the jobs act won’t add to the deficit but the task falls largely on the new congressional supercommittee, already tasked with finding $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction. Additionally, President Obama will release his own blueprint for reaching roughly $2 trillion in cuts by September 19th. Last night, the President threatened to use the bully pulpit to hold Congress to these goals. He said “this isn’t political grandstanding. This isn’t class warfare. This is simple math.”
Today, the President heads to Richmond, Virginia to sell his plan directly to the American people, continuing the push next Tuesday in Ohio. Following the address, House Speaker John Boehner was optimistic about working with the President on job creation. In a statement, he said in part, “The proposals the President outlined tonight merit consideration. We hope he gives serious consideration to our ideas as well.” But the Republican presidential field did not respond as favorably. Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann attacked the jobs plan in a news conference last night, calling the President “politically paralyzed.” Meanwhile, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney released a web video titled “960 days” that highlights what the Romney camp calls the President’s 3 year failure to turn around the economy.