WASHINGTON (AP) — Pressuring Congress, President Barack Obama is laying out an election year “to do” list Tuesday that urges lawmakers to take another look at economic proposals to promote job creation and help families refinance their mortgages.
Obama planned to discuss the list during a stop at college science complex in Albany, N.Y. It’s his latest attempt to portray congressional Republicans as obstructing his economic agenda at a time when millions of Americans are out of work. Obama has sought to tie Republican Mitt Romney to GOP leaders in Congress, arguing that the likely GOP presidential nominee would simply rubber-stamp their policies.
Obama’s wish list includes a number of proposals that he has outlined previously but have failed to gain traction in Congress. They include eliminating tax incentives for companies that ship jobs overseas and promoting new tax credits for small businesses and for companies to develop clean energy.
For veterans, Obama planned to press Congress to pass legislation creating a Veterans Job Corps to help service members returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan find work as police officers and firefighters.
And to address the housing crisis, Obama was expected to press anew on a measure designed to help homeowners refinance their homes at lower interest rates. Obama was making the housing pitch during a stop Friday in Reno, Nev., the state that has been the epicenter of the nation’s housing meltdown.
White House spokesman Jay Carney insisted the measures should be able to pass in Congress, despite the fact Obama has not been able to persuade lawmakers to act on them previously.
“These are the kinds of initiatives that traditionally enjoy bipartisan support,” Carney said. “They’re the kinds of initiatives that outside independent economists identified as things that would have an immediate impact on economic growth and job creation.”
Obama was issuing his list during a stop at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the State University of New York. The president has made a number of trips to universities, manufacturing plants and technology firms, seeking to promote research and development.
Republicans said they had a lengthy list of their own in the form of bills that have cleared the GOP-led House but remained bogged down by Senate Democrats. They accused Obama of recycling old ideas.
“We’ve passed nearly 30 jobs bills to increase American competitiveness, expand domestic energy production and rein in the red tape that is burdening small businesses. Democrats are blocking every one of them,” said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
Carney said Monday that Congress was under increasing pressure to approve measures to help the economy.
“Every member of the House is up for election this year and a third of the Senate, and each of those members who are running for re-election has to explain to his or her constituents what they did while they were in Washington these last two years. Did they just say no?” Carney said.
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