BY MARISSA MELTON – As U.S. President Barack Obama prepared for a three-day bus tour in the states of Virginia and North Carolina to continue promoting his $447 billion jobs creation bill, House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor urged the president on Sunday to compromise with Republican lawmakers on measures that would put Americans back to work, bringing down an unemployment rate that hovers just above nine percent.
Republican Eric Cantor appeared on Fox News Sunday with a copy of a Republican-backed jobs creation plan. He said President Obama should stop blaming congressional Republicans for stalling his plan and find common ground. “We want the president to work with us. We want him to stop campaigning. Let’s go find the things that are in common between this plan and his,” he said.
The Senate last week voted down Mr. Obama’s bill in a procedural vote, called by Democrats to bring the legislation to full debate. Three Democrats voted with the minority Republicans to reject the measure.
Cantor said Sunday that elements of the Republicans’ bill, particularly efforts to help small businesses, match parts of Mr. Obama’s plan. But he said the number of job losses and home foreclosures that have occurred during the Obama administration indicate that different ideas are needed. “Obviously, his economic plans are not working. That’s why we are trying to say we’ve got to change directions here. We’ve got to focus on private enterprise and small business. We’ve got to get the entrepreneurs back in the game,” he said.
Cantor said that rather than the president’s plan, which would give funding to state governments to prevent public worker layoffs, the Republican bill offers businesses incentives for job creation. Their plan includes reducing the corporate and individual tax rates to 25 percent, cutting trillions of dollars in spending, and rolling back some corporate regulations.
Mr. Obama is expected to use his bus tour this week to push for various portions of his jobs package in hopes that the legislation rejected as one bill can be approved piece by piece. In his Saturday address, the president told Americans they should hold Congress accountable, if lawmakers continue to reject his proposals. He recorded his message during a visit to a Michigan automotive plant.
“Next week, I’m urging members of Congress to vote on putting hundreds of thousands of teachers back in the classrooms, cops back on the streets, and firefighters back on the job. And if they vote ‘no’ on that, they’ll have to tell you why,” he said.
The president said that in the coming weeks, Congress will vote on other parts of the jobs bill: putting construction workers back to work on infrastructure projects, providing tax assistance for businesses that hire veterans, and continuing tax breaks for the middle class.