The president laid out the elements of his $447 billion jobs package in a primetime speech, telling lawmakers it's their responsibility to approve it
President Obama called on Congress Thursday night to "stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy," urging approval of a $447 billion mix of tax cuts and spending he called vital to put people back to work. The package was larger than expected but the president pledged it would not add to an already historic deficit.
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Addressing a Congress partially controlled by Republicans highly skeptical of much of his program and a nation weary of waiting for recovery, the president did not say how many jobs would be created if Congress were to pass all elements of his plan. But he cast speedy congressional action as critical to attacking an unemployment rate that remains stubbornly above 9 percent.
Obama implored lawmakers not to wait for next year's election before acting. "The people who sent us here - the people who hired us to work for them - they don't have the luxury of waiting 14 months," he said, lamenting the "same old press releases and tweets flying back and forth."
And he warned them that this will not be his last economic plan. "What's guided us from the start of this crisis hasn't been the search for a silver bullet," he said. "It's been a commitment to stay at it, to be persistent, to keep trying every new idea that works."