Obama to propose $300 billion jobs package – CNN

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – President Barack Obama,  facing waning confidence among Amer-icans in his economic  stewardship, plans to lay out a $300 billion job-creation  package tomorrow, CNN reported, citing Democratic sources.

Barack Obama

The proposed new spending, to be announced by Obama in a  nationally televised speech to Congress, would be offset by  budget cuts, the report said, signaling that the Democratic  president hopes to mollify the concerns of Republican fiscal hawks resistant to his jobs ideas.

There was no immediate comment from the White House.

Obama’s aides have refused to go public with the estimated  cost of Obama’s package or provide many specifics in advance,  except to say that the proposals will have a “quick and positive” impact on boosting jobs at a time of stubbornly high  U.S. unemployment.

Confidence in Obama’s management of the economy has been  hit by months of bad economic news and several polls on Tuesday  showed fresh declines in his job approval ratings.

Obama hopes to start reversing this trend in an address to  a joint session of Congress on Thursday, in which he will try  to convince voters that he has a better economic recovery plan  than his Republican opponents.

“We need to do things that will have a direct impact in the  short-term to grow the economy and create jobs and the  president will put forward proposals that will do just that,”  White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

Obama fought Republicans all summer to lift the U.S. debt  ceiling in a bitter debate that saw rating agency Standard &  Poor’s cut the U.S. AAA credit rating, and he must now get  lawmakers to back additional spending that many oppose.

However, the president is seeking congressional support at  a time when his own prospects of re-election have worsened.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed Obama’s job  approval rating at a low of 44 percent, while an ABC News/  Washington Post poll found that six in 10 Americans now rate  the president’s job on the economy and jobs negatively.

A third survey by Politico and George Washington University  found that 72 percent of voters believe the country is either  strongly or somewhat headed in the wrong direction, a jump of  12 percent since last May.

Obama must get unemployment down from levels currently  above 9 percent to improve his chances of winning a second  White House term in the November 2012 election.

The president has already touch-ed on a various steps  Congress could take to lift growth and hiring, including  infrastructure spending, business tax breaks, and extending a  payroll tax cut and aid for the long-term unemployed.

Carney declined to lay out any specifics but said the  measures Obama would recommend would yield a “direct, quick and  positive impact” on the U.S. economy if they were enacted by  Congress.

Republicans criticized Obama for not including them in  discussions on the package before his big speech and indicated  any jobs bills could face tough passage through Congress, where  they control the U.S. House of Representatives.

“I have no doubt the president will propose many things on  Thursday that, when looked at individually, sound pretty good,  or that he’ll call them all bipartisan. I’m equally certain  that, taken as whole, they’ll represent more of the same failed  approach,” said the top Senate Republican, Mitch McConnell.

Republican House leaders separately wrote to Obama urging  him to repeal “excessive, job-destroying regulations” and  laying out possible areas of common ground, including reforms  to the unemployment system and free trade agreements.

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