WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama Thursday challenged Republicans to come up with a jobs plan since they don't like his, and indicated a willingness to negotiate.
"The Republicans haven't given a good answer as to why they have not agreed to wanting to rebuild our roads and our bridges and our schools," Obama said appearing with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak at the White House. "They have not given us a good reason as to why they don't want to put teachers back in the classroom."
Later in the day House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, "respectfully challenged" Obama's assertion he hadn't seen the GOP jobs plan, noting party leaders released a "Plan for America's Job Creators" in May, The Hill newspaper said.
In the joint news conference, Obama praised bipartisan passage of the Korea Free Trade Act and said "the single most important thing we can do for the economy right now is put people back to work right now."
Senate Republicans this week blocked debate on the administration's $447 billion American Jobs Act, effectively killing the bill, and Obama said he would try to get Congress to consider pieces of the bill individually.
The president said rebuilding the nation's infrastructure "is something that anybody in Washington should agree to." Obama said people want action and that he is prepared to work with the GOP.
"And so what we're going to do is we're going to break each of these bills apart. We're going to say, let's have a vote on putting teachers back in the classroom. Let's have a vote on rebuilding the infrastructure."
The Hill said Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Rob Portland of Ohio are working on a jobs plan. "We have a plan, and we'll have most, if not all, of the Republican senators behind it," McCain said.