America

Focus Shifts Back To Jobs: Obama To Send His Bill To Congress Today

A job fair sign at the Suffolk County One Stop Employment Center last week in Hauppauge, N.Y. i i

hide captionA job fair sign at the Suffolk County One Stop Employment Center last week in Hauppauge, N.Y.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images
A job fair sign at the Suffolk County One Stop Employment Center last week in Hauppauge, N.Y.

A job fair sign at the Suffolk County One Stop Employment Center last week in Hauppauge, N.Y.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

With the solemn ceremonies marking the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks now over, Washington returns to the subject most likely to dominate the political debate between now and the November 2012 presidential election:

Jobs.

President Obama is expected to send his $447 billion jobs bill to Congress later today, and then will head off on visits to Ohio (Tuesday) and North Carolina (Wednesday) to continue pushing his message that Congress should pass his plan now.

Sending the plan to Congress will give the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office a chance to "score" the package — give its conclusions on how much good the plan would do and whether it would, as the president says, be paid for without adding to the federal debt.

As NPR's Scott Horsley reported last week, the White House plan differs sharply from jobs programs put forward by Republican presidential contenders Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman. Obama, Scott said, would apply "the classic Keynesian remedy ... the government [would] step into the void and prime the pump so you get more demand, more hiring and try to reverse the cycle."

Republicans, meanwhile, "say businesses would be hiring right now if they weren't weighed down by the fear of future taxes and government red tape."

The White House has posted its materials about Obama's "American Jobs Act" here.

In August the nation's unemployment rate was 9.1 percent and there was no net gain in payroll employment.

Update at 11:11 a.m. ET. "Dust Off The Fax Machine":

Wrapping up his remarks in the Rose Garden, the president just urged Americans to tell Congress to pass his bill now.

"Pick up the phone," said Obama. "Send an email. ... Use one of those airplane skywriters. ... Dust off the fax machine. ... Or, you could just, like, write a letter."

Update at 11:02 a.m. ET: "Well, here it is," the president just said at a Rose Garden event where he's talking about the bill.

There should be "no games, no politics, no delays," Obama added, with teachers, veterans, police officers, fire fighters, construction workers and others behind him — people he said would be helped by the legislation. "I'm sending this bill to Congress today, and they ought to pass it immediately."

Update at 10:30 a.m. ET: The president is due to make a statement, in the Rose Garden of the White House, in about 10 minutes.

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