WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama brought business leaders together Wednesday to make a pitch for companies to hire Americans rather than send jobs overseas.
"You've heard of outsourcing. Well these companies are insourcing," Obama said, referring to the business leaders attending his administration's Insourcing American Jobs forum.
Obama said "in the next few weeks" his administration would announce proposals to encourage further job creation at home, saying it is "going to put forward new tax proposals that reward companies that choose to bring jobs home and invest in America" and "eliminate tax breaks for companies that are moving jobs overseas."
He used the occasion to urge Congress again to approve a longer-term extension of the payroll tax cut and touted trade deals he signed into law and the auto industry bailout as measures that have helped add and preserve jobs.
Obama praised the business leaders who are "bringing jobs back to America."
"These companies are choosing to invest in the one country with the most productive workers, the best universities, and the most creative and innovative entrepreneurs in the world, and that is the United States of America," he said. "That's exactly the kind of commitment to country that we need -- especially right now, when we're in a make-or-break moment for the middle class and those aspiring to get in the middle class here in the United States."
The Democratic president, who is up for re-election this year, then flew to Chicago for three fundraisers -- one with ticket prices starting at $44 and two high-end events at which couples were to pay $7,500 and $35,800.
Obama also made a surprise visit to his campaign headquarters in Chicago's Prudential building.