Obama calls on Congress to act on jobs bill

WASHINGTON - (AP) - In a sharp challenge to the GOP, PresidentBarack Obama proposed paying for his costly new jobs plan Mondaywith tax hikes that Republicans have already emphatically rejected.The reception to his new proposal was no more welcoming, settingthe stage for a likely new fight with Congress. Flanked at the White House by workers he said the legislationwould help, Obama declared, "This is the bill that Congress needsto pass. No games. No politics. No delays." He sent it to CapitolHill saying, "The only thing that's stopping it is politics." The president's proposal drew criticism from House Speaker JohnBoehner, who'd previously responded in cautious but somewhatreceptive tones to the $447 billion jobs plan made up of tax cutsand new spending that Obama first proposed in an address toCongress last Thursday. "It would be fair to say this tax increase on job creators isthe kind of proposal both parties have opposed in the past. Weremain eager to work together on ways to support job growth, butthis proposal doesn't appear to have been offered in thatbipartisan spirit," Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said. The biggest piece of the payment plan would raise about $400billion by eliminating certain deductions, including on charitablecontributions, that can be claimed by wealthy taxpayers. Obama hasproposed that in the past - to help pay for his health careoverhaul, for example - and it's been shot down by Republicanlawmakers along with some Democrats. Yet by daring Republicans anew to reject tax hikes on the richObama could gain a talking point as the 2012 presidential campaignmoves forward, if not a legislative victory. At a Rose Garden event Monday, Obama brandished his jobs billand surrounded himself with police officers, firefighters,teachers, construction workers and others he said would be helpedby it. Adopting a newly combative tone that's been welcomed bydispirited Democrats, Obama demanded immediate action on thelegislation, which the White House sent to Capitol Hill Mondayafternoon. "Instead of just talking about America's job creators, let'sactually do something for America's job creators," he said. Late in the day, he told a group of Spanish-language reportersthat if Congress agreed to just a portion of the bill he wouldaccept it while still fighting for more. "I am going to put forward the entire bill and I have askedthem to pass the entire bill. Obviously, if they pass parts of it,I am not going to veto those parts," Obama said. "I will sign it,but I will then say, give me the rest, and I will keep on makingthat argument."

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