Correction: An earlier version of this story said Obama called for eliminating the payroll tax. His plan would reduce but not eliminate the tax in most instances.
Within moments of President Obama’s jobs speech, a California senator and congressman began drawing battle lines over the plan.
Sen. Barbara Boxer, a Democrat, issued a statement praising Obama's “Harry Truman-style, straight-from-the-heart" approach, saying his plan was "both inspirational and specific.”
But Rep. Ed Royce (R-Orange), who represents Los Alamitos and Rossmoor, found immediate fault with the plan, criticizing it for relying on "excessive government spending” and “crippling regulations.”
Obama, in his address to Congress, repeatedly urged legislators to pass his $447-billion plan to boost the economy through a reduction of payroll taxes for workers and some employers, tax incentives for business investing, the extension of unemployment insurance, and spending on schools and transportation. His plan also includes tax incentives for businesses that hire the long-term unemployed.
Obama did not offer specifics on how his American Jobs Act would be paid for, saying details would be released within the next two weeks. "Everything in this bill will be paid for. Everything," he said. "It will provide a jolt to an economy that is stalled."
“The President’s plan for immediate job creation is the recipe we need to reinvigorate our economy,” Boxer said in a written release after the speech. “I particularly support his call for rebuilding our deficient roads, bridges and schools and for helping homeowners refinance – issues that I have been working with my Republican colleagues to address. I will work on a bipartisan basis to pass the American Jobs Act.”
Royce did not say how he would vote on the plan, but he made it clear that he is not a fan.
"To grow this economy and put Americans back to work we need to put an end to failed government spending bills and remove the regulatory barriers damaging our entrepreneurs and innovators,” he said. "The current unemployment rates and deficit numbers are proof enough - stimulus spending has been a gross failure. With 2.3 million jobs lost and over $4 trillion added to the national debt, this nation doesn’t need another failed stimulus bill.”
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