President Barack Obama presented a $447 billion plan for boosting jobs on Thursday before a joint session of the Congress and urged the Republicans to take urgent action to pass his plan, leaving aside political differences.
But the ambitious plan to revive the economy was met with instant criticism from leading Republican presidential candidates.
Rep. Michele Bachmann was among the first to rip it apart, calling the President politically paralyzed and philosophically incapable of doing what needs to be done.
Tonight, the president, under the veil of one of the most sacred, deliberative forms -- a joint session of Congress -- delivered yet one more political speech where he doubled down on more of the same policies that are killing the United States economy, she told Fox News.
The three-pronged jobs plan's components are a $245 billion tax cut proposal, $140 billion worth of infrastructure programs and $62 billion employment assistance.
Regardless of the arguments we've had in the past, regardless of the arguments we'll have in the future, this plan is the right thing to do right now. You should pass it. And I intend to take that message to every corner of this country, Obama told the Congress.
Faced with dangerously high levels of unemployment and a zero job growth in August, the president presented a plan to boost jobs by offering substantial payroll tax cuts for employees and a tax holiday for small businesses that hire new workers.
Anticipating stiff resistance from the Republicans who have waged a war all this year to reduce spending, the president said the country could not wait another year to resolve the differences at the next election.
Some of you have decided that those differences are so great that we can only resolve them at the ballot box ... But know this: the next election is 14 months away. And 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.
The recurrent theme of the president's speech was the urgency to pass the new proposals. You should pass this bill right away, he said.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, another Republican presidential candidate, said the plan was guided by the president's mistaken belief that the country can spend its way to prosperity.
Like the president's earlier $800 billion stimulus program, this proposal offers little hope for millions of Americans who have lost jobs on his watch and taxpayers who are rightly concerned that their children will inherit a mountain of debt, he said.
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman said the plan continued Obama's empty rhetoric and failed policies.