White House says Obama would sign pieces of jobs package

President Obama wants Congress to pass his jobs bill as is and quickly, but he would not veto individual bills if Congress broke the American Jobs Act into pieces.

Senior administration officials said that if House Republicans were to separate the employee payroll tax cuts, for example, Obama would sign that bill and then demand that Congress move forward with the rest of the package.

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The comments reflecting thinking inside the White House seems to break from Obama's Chicago campaign headquarters. Senior campaign strategist David Axelrod said Tuesday morning that Obama wants the whole bill and nothing short of it, and does not support an à la carte approach.

The administration officials insisted there is no difference and stressed that Obama will not rest until he gets the whole package, regardless of whatever pieces he might sign along the way.

Administration officials believe Obama has successfully gone on offense with his jobs bill, forcing Republicans to act or risk losing their majority in Congress next November even if Obama loses.


Despite paying for the $447 billion bill with tax hikes, almost certainly a nonstarter with the GOP-controlled House, the White House believes that Republicans are trapped, and if they fail to act on the jobs bill, they will have to explain to voters why they did not take action.

And while the president has said repeatedly that he wants the jobs bill passed right away, officials acknowledged that with the busy September schedule in the Senate, it might be a while before the bill —or bills — ever sees a vote.


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