'Pass this bill' mantra for Obama, crowd

Sept. 13, 2011 at 4:21 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- U.S. President Obama, in House Speaker John Boehner's state, urged people to show their support for his jobs plan by telling Congress to "pass this bill."

Holding a copy of the American Jobs Act, Obama Tuesday told an enthusiastic crowd at Fort Hayes Arts and Academic High School in Columbus, Ohio, the bill does two things.

"It puts people back to work and puts more money in the pockets of working Americans," he said to rousing applause.

Everything in his proposal sent to Congress Monday has enjoyed support by Republicans and Democrats and "everything will be paid for," he said.

And "every one of you can help make it happen by sending a message to Congress … Pass this bill," Obama said.

"There are millions of unemployed construction workers looking for work," Obama said. "So my question to Congress is, 'What on earth are we waiting for?'"

Among other things, Obama's plan calls for extending and expanding the current payroll tax cut, due to expire at the end of the year. Obama's plan also would cut the payroll tax businesses pay in half on the first $5 million in wages, provide tax breaks for small businesses and extend unemployment benefits.

Obama proposes targeting $30 billion for critical repairs and renovation projects in public schools and community colleges, saying the investment would put thousands of Americans back to work. He has said the investment would help modernize at least 35,000 public schools and community colleges.

The audience reacted to Obama's fervent delivery by interrupting several times, chanting, "Pass this bill."

"Instead of talking about helping America's job creators, let's to something to help America's job creators," Obama said, repeating"pass this bill" to spark hiring and goose the economy.

If Congress fails to act, "middle class families will be hit with a tax increase at the worst possible time," Obama said. "We can't let that happen."

Obama said everyone must pay "their fair share," including the wealthiest Americans and corporations.

"We need to build an economy that lasts. That starts now," Obama said.

Obama said there were those in Washington who "think they shouldn't pass [the bill] because it would give me a win. That's the kind of games-playing we've gotten used to in Washington. This isn't about giving me a win. … This is about giving America a win."

"The time for gridlock and the time for games are over," Obama said. "The time for action is now."

Topics: Barack Obama
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