By Sam Youngman - 10/03/11 03:40 PM EDT
President Obama said Monday that he wants to see Congress vote on the American Jobs Act by the end of the month.
In remarks to reporters before a Cabinet meeting, Obama said he will be speaking with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and "insisting we have a vote on this bill."
Senior administration officials said earlier Monday that Obama will make his push for the jobs act his top priority for the rest of the year.
The $447 billion jobs package contains new spending for infrastructure, an expanded payroll tax cut and additional funding for unemployment benefits. Obama has called for tax increases on the wealthy to help offset the cost of the plan.
The legislation has spurred opposition from Republicans and some Democrats.
Boehner said Obama's jobs bill is “a poor substitute for the pro-growth policies that are needed to remove barriers to job creation in America.” Republicans are pushing an alternative jobs agenda focused on reducing red tape, cutting taxes and reducing government spending.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Thursday that Democrats don’t currently have the votes to pass the bill, although Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, the top Democrat in charge of messaging, said it was "premature" to say whether there were enough votes.
The president has tried to rally public support for the jobs plan with road trips to states like Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina — battlegrounds in the 2012 election.
—Updated at 12:20 p.m.