December 9th, 2009
05:18 PM ET
11 months ago

Obama calls for bipartisan effort to create jobs

Congressional leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, met Wednesday at the White House with the president.
Congressional leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, met Wednesday at the White House with the president.

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama called Wednesday for Republicans to work with his administration and Democrats in Congress on winding down the federal economic bailout program and creating jobs.

In a brief White House statement after meeting with congressional leaders from both parties, Obama said changing economic conditions since he took office called for new efforts to stimulate job growth.

Acknowledging "less than full bipartisan support" for his stimulus package and other steps "that have broken the free-fall of our economy," Obama said he hoped "we can move forward together."

One step would be ending the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) from the previous administration that bailed out U.S. banks and automakers in danger of collapsing in the recession, Obama said.

"This program has served its original purpose and the cost has been lower than expected," the president said, adding that the savings would help pay down the federal deficit and invest in job creation.

Obama said he would work with congressional leaders from both parties on "how we can structure a plausible scenario to get to medium- and long-term debt reduction," saying such issues were neither Republican nor Democratic.

"I'm absolutely committed to working with anybody who is willing to do the job to make sure we can rebuild our economy," Obama said.

Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the top Republican in the Senate, attended the meeting with Obama but signaled continued GOP resistance to the president's agenda, especially sweeping proposals such as health care reform and cap-and-trade energy legislation.

"We're willing to talk about some kind of job-creating measure, but the best thing we could do to get this economy rolling again would be to stop these measures from becoming law," McConnell said.

Such GOP intransigence sometimes bothers Obama, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told his daily news briefing.

"Has the president been frustrated about this? Absolutely," Gibbs said, citing a lack of Republican support for the stimulus package and other steps that helped prevent "another Great Depression."

Now, Gibbs said, Obama was proposing job creation measures previously advocated by Republicans, such as increased investment in infrastructure development, cutting taxes for small businesses and helping them get access to capital.

"But, again, if the president outlines ideas that the Republicans have previously supported, and then Republicans seem unwilling to support the ideas they (previously) supported ..., you can leave it up to others to judge why it is they don't want to participate in a solution that we all agree and we've said in the past would put people back to work," Gibbs said.


Filed under: Congress • Economy • President Obama
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. Tarheel

    It would really help if the Republicans would just forget doing what is right and instead do what Obama wants them to do. They shouldn't always say no just because President Obama's ideas are horrible. They should drink the kool-aid and get on board with the President simply because he is the President.

    December 9, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  2. Greg, MN

    Cut taxes on all business, eliminate the death tax for small businesses/farmers/ranchers, dump health care reform, forget Cap and Tax, and quit trying to force banks to lend (worked out great with subprime mortgages, eh)!!!

    All are proven job starters, require little government bureaucracy.

    December 9, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  3. Bob in Pa

    Let's make Congress a part-time job and pay them that way. Remove the full-time benifits package. Throw out their wasteful staffs and then send that Money back to the people.

    December 9, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  4. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    Your messiah was elected on a promise of bipartisanship. Inviting a few Republicans to a Superbowl Party almost a year ago is all he ever did. He turned the stimulus and every other initiative over to Pelosi and Reid, two of the most partisan and useless lumps of flesh on the planet. Even with massive majorities in both houses of Congress Democrats can't get jack done with or without Obama's 'leadership'. 2010 will throw these losers out, and 2012 will finish Obozo.

    December 9, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  5. Nea

    Both parties need to come together and create something besidec agurements all the time against each other. We need both parties to come together for the good of our country.

    December 9, 2009 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  6. demo no mas

    Why did you have to show Pelosi & Reid in this article. Completely wrecked my focus. What a pair of spendthrift losers.

    December 9, 2009 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  7. Nea

    Republicans keep saying the stimulus didnt work well if it didnt then answer this question why is the stock market gone up form where it was a year ago? and other positive things are happening regardless of the negative feedback you get from republicans.Yes the unemployement figures are still high but i Praise GOD anyway because i know things could be alot worst.

    December 9, 2009 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  8. jules sand-perkins

    "Obama 2012," somebody said?

    NOBAMA 2012!

    December 10, 2009 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
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