In public effort to pressure Congress to act, President Obama plans to release a five-point list of legislative proposals favored by the White House.
Included on the list are a measure to streamline the mortgage market and help families refinance; legislation to give companies a tax credit for moving overseas operations to the United States while eliminating tax incentives for shipping jobs abroad; a bill offering tax credits to businesses that hire new employees or raise wages; a proposal for a Veterans Job Corp to prepare returning soldiers for the job market; and a measure to stimulate clean energy with tax credits.
Obama has already pushed some of the proposals only to see them wither in Congress, and his plan to make the to-do list a recurring campaign trail feature highlights his ongoing effort to depict the Republican-controlled House of Representatives as standing in the way of legislation to help Americans.
These initiatives have bipartisan support and at this make-or-break moment for the middle class, we need to create an economy built to last, a White House statement outlining the list said.
The president employed a similar tactic when he unveiled a $447 billion jobs bill this summer and traveled the country imploring Congress to pass this bill. Most of the bill's provisions, with the exception of a bill aimed at helping unemployed veterans find work, stalled. Now Obama is again putting the onus on Congress, a theme that is certain to weave through the election.
I don't think Congress will act because the president says Congress must act. I think the Congress will act because the people that sent them here are insisting that they act, White House press secretary Jay Carney said on Tuesday, adding that every lawmaker has to explain to his or her constituents what they did while they were in Washington these last two years. Did they just say no? Did they just block every effort put forward to help the economy grow and create jobs? Or did they actually try to work constructively to get something done?