Obama Seeks Joint Session of Congress for Jobs Speech

Wednesday, 31 Aug 2011 01:54 PM

President Barack Obama has requested Congress hold a joint session on Sept. 7 so he can unveil his jobs proposals.

In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, Obama said he wants to lay out his proposals to create jobs and jump-start the economy in an address at 8 p.m. Washington time.

“It is my intention to lay out a series of bipartisan proposals that the Congress can take immediately to continue to rebuild the American economy by strengthening small businesses, helping Americans get back to work, and putting more money in the paychecks of the middle class and working Americans, while still reducing our deficit and getting our fiscal house in order,” Obama said.

“It is our responsibility to find bipartisan solutions to help grow our economy, and if we are willing to put country before party, I am confident we can do just that,” he said.

Obama’s plans include more infrastructure spending, tax incentives to spur hiring, a reduction in the employer portion of the payroll tax credit and changes to unemployment insurance to subsidize worker retraining.

Obama said in his letter that the nation, with an unemployment rate of 9. 1 percent, faces “unprecedented” economic challenges.

After a three-day bus tour in Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois in mid-August, the president said: “I have heard a consistent message: Washington needs to put aside politics and start making decisions based on what is best for our country and not what is best for each of our parties in order to grow the economy and create jobs. We must answer this call.”

His speech will be the same night that eight Republican presidential candidates are scheduled to debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a message on Twitter that Obama’s plan to give the address on the night of the debate is “further proof” that the Obama White House “is all politics all the time.”

--With assistance from John McCormick in Chicago and Margaret Talev in Washington. Editors: Bob Drummond, Joe Sobczyk

To contact the reporter on this story: Roger Runningen in Washington at rrunningen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net

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