July 30th, 2013
02:55 PM ET
12 months ago

Obama proposes jobs deal with GOP

Updated at 2:58 p.m. ET on 7/30

(CNN) – A new plan from President Barack Obama that would alter the corporate tax code while investing in job creation is a deal that any "serious" lawmaker could sign onto, the president argued in Tennessee Tuesday.

What Obama called a "grand bargain" is being proposed in a bid to break partisan gridlock currently plaguing attempts to pass major legislation in Washington, though congressional Republicans signaled on Tuesday they were unlikely to back the plan, which the president announced at an Amazon.com distribution center in Chattanooga.

"Here's the bottom line: If folks in Washington really want a 'grand bargain,' how about a grand bargain for middle-class jobs?" Obama said in his fourth speech in a week centered on the economy. "I don't want to go through the same old arguments, where I propose an idea and Republicans say no just because it's my idea. So I'm going to try offering something that serious people in both parties should be able to support."

Obama suggested Congress cut corporate tax rates - long a goal of Republicans - while simultaneously making investments in job creation programs, which Democrats and the president have been championing.

In the past, both Obama and Republicans have insisted that corporate tax reform be passed alongside reform for individual earners. Republicans argue that some small business owners file taxes as individuals, and would only benefit from an overhaul of the entire tax code.

The president's plan would propose slashing the corporate tax rate to 28% from 35% while making the filing process simpler and ramping up incentives for small businesses to hire workers.

The plan would also put the tax rate on manufacturers at 25% and remove current tax incentives to send jobs overseas.

On Tuesday, Obama explained that he's open to changing only the corporate tax code as long as it's combined with major investments in programs that create high-paying middle class jobs.

"If we're going to give businesses a better deal, we're also going to have to give workers a better deal, too," he said, suggesting money saved by closing tax loopholes should be put toward infrastructure initiatives that would create construction jobs.

Obama also called for bolstering the country's manufacturing sector and network of community colleges, and proposed creating 45 "innovation institutes" that pair companies with universities and community colleges with the goal of fostering research and development.

Early reaction from Republicans to the outlines of the president's plan was not receptive.

"While I understand he is looking for headlines here, reports indicate that the policy he intends to announce doesn't exactly qualify as news," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor Tuesday. "It is just a further left version of a widely panned plan he already proposed two years ago, this time with extra goodies for tax-and-spend liberals."

McConnell said he first learned of the plan Monday night. Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, wrote on Twitter his office learned of the proposed "grand bargain" through media reports, though White House officials said they reached out to a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Monday to discuss the proposal.

Michael Steel, another spokesman for Boehner, cast the proposal as old news.

"The President has always supported corporate tax reform," Steel wrote in a statement. "Republicans want to help families and small businesses, too. This proposal allows President Obama to support President Obama's position on taxes and President Obama's position on spending, while leaving small businesses and American families behind."

Another House Republican leadership aide said the White House was taking their own plan and making it less amenable to Republicans than previous offers, while "trying to extract a ransom of infrastructure spending" at the same time.

The aide argued the new White House plan was an attempt to "get a headline that says they're offering a grand bargain."

Obama's address in Chattanooga is the latest in a series of speeches the president will deliver on the economy and jobs, part of an attempt to turn back to the issue that rates as most important among Americans. The tour began last week in Illinois, Missouri and Florida.

Tuesday's announcement of a "grand bargain" was the first specific proposal the president made in his new push to focus on the economy, though White House officials say there will be more as the initiative continues.

During his remarks, Obama said he'd "keep throwing things out there to see if something takes" on jobs.

"If (Republicans) have better ideas to help create jobs rebuilding our infrastructure, or help workers earn the high-tech skills our businesses demand, let's hear 'em," the president said.

Amazon.com, whose facility Obama spoke at Tuesday, announced this week plans to hire 7,000 workers for its U.S. operation, with most jobs offering pay and benefits far above typical retail wages, the company said.

Amazon did not give specific pay scales for the positions, but said the 5,000 warehouse jobs will pay 30% more than jobs in traditional retail stores.

The jobs are full-time permanent positions and also include stock grants that, over the last five years, have averaged 9% of pay for Amazon's full-time workers. And the company said many workers would also be eligible for 95% tuition reimbursement for those attending college, whether or not their field of study is related to their job.

In addition, Amazon is looking for 2,000 workers for its customer service department, with those jobs being a mix of full-time, part-time and seasonal positions.

CNN's Brianna Keilar, Chris Isidore and Adam Aigner-Treworgy contributed to this report.


Filed under: Jobs • President Obama
soundoff (722 Responses)
  1. PaulCat

    CNN, I bet if you do not post some of these comments that are not true, you would have a bland page. The American people do not read or verify their information before posting their comments. JUST STUPID – AMERICANS.

    July 30, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  2. Dave R.

    I think many are really sick of these negative TeaPublican postings. Many claim they want to move to Canada or elsewhere. Well guess what, those countries have national health care systems that are far superior to what these TeaPublicans claim they want.

    If all you clowns want to do is wreck this country, then leave. We will be much better off without you.

    July 30, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  3. gstlab3

    I am on a well known and now public list of god fearing real American people who tell the truth and are therefore banned from commenting on cnn web pages are'nt I?

    July 30, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  4. Dan

    Republicans do nothing except obstruct. They do not and will not compromise. They are worthless and could be replaced by lumps of coal.

    July 30, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  5. Me

    nintex

    The conservatives posting on here are sounding more desperate and crazy by the day. Their incoherent jabbering about "scandals" and "worst president ever" are just plain out of touch with the reality of the situation. Which makes their noise really, really annoying – I wouldn't mind reading some sane, meaningful points from the right, if only they had any.
    __________
    Oh ya and Obama's tax reduction bill here is much different than in previous administations right?? Didn't liberals say this type of policy does not work??? You are a blind sheep and it shows!!!!

    July 30, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  6. Jim

    Once again Obama proposes a practical plan on an important issue and congressional Republicans signal they won't support it for various tired old nonsensical reasons, but really they won't support it because it comes from Obama. Even the most narrow minded tea partier should be able to detect a pattern here.

    July 30, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. Reality

    BLAHBLAHBLAH...when is this guy gonna stop campaigning???? GET TO WORK!!!! This speech giving does not do a damn thing!!! Its pretty bad when the Congress has to find out about his 'Grand Bargain' from watching it on TV versus sitting in a meeting with the POTUS....he just does not get it!!!!

    July 30, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  8. USwatcher

    "If(Republicans)have better ideas to help create jobs rebuilding our infrastructure,or help workers earn the high-tech skills our businesses demand,let's hear 'em",the president said...respectfully Mr.President...since when has the GOP concerned themselves with workers...or infrastructure...or trying to help this economy?

    July 30, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  9. Jesus

    Maria Delaluz

    I don't trust this clown – never have – never will. I'm even thinking at this point, let Mrs. Hilary "I love my cheating husband" Clinton take the reins now! Oh man – I can't believe I just "typed" that, but that's how desperate so many are for this American hating Prez. to be finally GONE! So VERY sad there really aren't ANY viable presidentail candidates out there come 2016. Hopefully Weiner, Spizter, and Filner (sp ?) will all be voted in/keep their jobs. I mean, after all, they are the Party that fights for women.

    _____________________________

    Oh dont worry – it looks like Hilary will dominate 2016. And yes, the Dems do appear to be the ones that are winning the women vote. Spitzer got tripped up in an issue that has been around since the bible days, Weiner is guilty of lying to the public and Filner def seems like a dirt bag. These do not hold a candle to policies passed by the right that limits health care for all women, voting against fairness in pay act (so that women can get paid equal to men for doing the SAME job) etc.

    July 30, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  10. zon

    More hooey from the Party of No!

    July 30, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. bannister

    Back in the 1930s, FDR gave us the New Deal, a massive government program that took $50 Billion dollars and invested in the infrastructure to save our economy. You can say what you want about the New Deal – some economists think it was necessary, others think we would have recovered faster without it – but at least the New Deal actually BUILT some things.

    The New Deal built us giant bridges, hydroelectric dams, factories, highways, railroads and more. TO THIS DAY, we still use most of the infrastructure that the New Deal gave us.

    And so, with that in mind.... WHERE IS THE 800 BILLION DOLLARS THAT CONGRESS GAVE OBAMA? Obama told us we needed a HUGE spending bill for economic stimulus – and we gave it to him! Where are the bridges? Where are the factories and railroads? I cannot think of one, large tangible project that Obama actually accomplished with this money! We constantly hear about Detroit and how it's on the verge of bankruptcy – hell, why didn't Obama just put 500 Million into Detroit, all the factories were still there just waiting to be retooled and fired back up!

    BUT NO – the money is.....gone! Where? Nobody knows and nobody will tell us! I suspect that MOST of that money went into the bankster's pockets, the same banksters that helped put Obama in office to begin with. Sorry Obama – fool us once, same on you, fool me twice, shame on us.

    NO MORE MONEY FOR OBAMA UNTIL WE KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO THE LAST 800 BILLION!!!

    July 30, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "Obama proposes jobs deal with GOP"

    GOP flings poop at it like angry howler monkeys.

    Story at 11.

    July 30, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  13. Luke

    He has some decent suggestions here. Make a flat tax, and reduce only small business taxes, the economy will take off. In addition lay off at least 1/2 of the Federal Government, and make the ones left actually work to keep their job.

    July 30, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  14. The REAL Truth...

    @Maria Delaluz – I don't trust this clown – never have – never will. I'm even thinking at this point, let Mrs. Hilary "I love my cheating husband" Clinton take the reins now! Oh man – I can't believe I just "typed" that, but that's how desperate so many are for this American hating Prez. to be finally GONE!
    ------------------------------
    On the downside sweetheart, 53% of the population disagree with you. On the up-upside 47% do.. but it's still the same guy in the WH for another 3 years. Bummer for you, eh? Get over it.. tell your Representatives in DC to start acting like adults, stop having public temper tantrums and do something FOR THE COUNTRY and not AGAINST OBAMA!
    Once they start doing that, maybe we'll make some progress.. or do you really believe that one man runs the country?

    July 30, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  15. Jesus

    Dave R.

    I think many are really sick of these negative TeaPublican postings. Many claim they want to move to Canada or elsewhere. Well guess what, those countries have national health care systems that are far superior to what these TeaPublicans claim they want.

    If all you clowns want to do is wreck this country, then leave. We will be much better off without you.

    ______________________

    Agreed! And the thing is that they dont even really say what they want. I would say 80% of the posters are just ranting on about untrue statistics – they never have a different solution – just complaints. I am not a democrat/republican nor do I support this 2 party system – but it seems like the Right is making an effor to just push people away

    July 30, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  16. UDidntBuildThat

    The left says we are for equal pay but pays their female employee less. The left are for women's right but treat them inferior. All the left has to do is say they are for whatever it is women want but then just don't do it and the women fall for it all the time. LOL

    July 30, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Al wrote:

    The Obama proposal sounds like a speech from 4 years ago, let's back solar energy and we go Solyndra, does American want another large lose of money, I know that elections are next year, but do that tax payer have to pay for their campaign adds?
    -------------
    It appears that you have totally forgotten that McCain/Palin campaigned on energy, including both solar energy and green energy. That was the whole point of Palin's "Drill, Baby, Drill" schtick on the campaign trail. A barrel of oil hit $147 in 2008, and Republicans campaigned heavily on energy indepedence, and the jobs that it could create. That is exact message that Pres. Obama has used to promote renewable energy.

    July 30, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  18. Jesus

    Sniffit

    "Obama proposes jobs deal with GOP"

    GOP flings poop at it like angry howler monkeys.

    Story at 11.

    _______________________

    LOL – True story

    July 30, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "-How does the president expect to have any control over what corporations do with tax saving? Is the new rule that the President gets to tell businesses what to do with their money???"

    That's very simple. Instead of handing out blanket tax deductions and a reduction in tax rates, you create specific incentives that say "if you want 0.5% off your tax rate, you have to do X, Y and Z." Then, it's up to the businesses to grab up the offer. if they don't, they have nobody to blame but themselves. It has nothing to do with "dictating" anything.

    July 30, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  20. splassher6

    and his blind disciples demand tolerance...

    July 30, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  21. Big_D

    Republicans do nothing, that is what they are good at. Too bad they are in congress doing nothing.

    July 30, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    bannister asked:

    And so, with that in mind.... WHERE IS THE 800 BILLION DOLLARS THAT CONGRESS GAVE OBAMA? Obama told us we needed a HUGE spending bill for economic stimulus – and we gave it to him! Where are the bridges? Where are the factories and railroads?
    --------------
    Where is it? Most of it went towards tax cuts, which Republicans claim creates jobs.

    July 30, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  23. Big_D

    If your new job required the GOP to do something you might as well stay home.

    July 30, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  24. ghostwriter

    bannister, you might wanna actually look for the website containing info on where the stimulus money was spent. Or you could ask the multiple republican governors that complained about the stimulus being a failure before and after taking stimulus money to balance their state budgets.

    July 30, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  25. USwatcher

    Meanwhile...the GOP just says no to America.

    July 30, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
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