Where's the oil, House asks Obama

Sept. 9, 2011 at 9:23 AM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Congressional Republicans are willing to work with the White House on a jobs plan but the president's focus on energy was lacking, a Republican leader said.

U.S. President Barack Obama in a speech Thursday to a joint session of Congress outlined a $450 billion jobs proposal. With U.S. unemployment stagnant at around 9 percent, Obama said there was "nothing controversial" in his jobs proposal, which he said contained "everything" already proposed by both Democrats and Republicans.

U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, said he welcomed much of what Obama proposed but said there were a few shortcomings.

"American energy production should be the centerpiece of any jobs agenda and recognized for its potential to create millions of American jobs, generate new federal revenue, strengthen our economy and improve our national security," Hastings said in a statement.

Republicans have pushed for more domestic oil and natural gas production while seeking to cut much of the red tape involved. Obama in his address mentioned eliminating some hurdles that were in the way of job creation but addressed oil only once.

"Should we keep tax loopholes for oil companies? Or should we use that money to give small business owners a tax credit when they hire new workers?" the president asked. "Because we can't afford to do both."

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