Obama challenges GOP to offer jobs plan

Obama challenges GOP to offer jobs plan

President Obama said Thursday he is willing to negotiate with Republicans over a plan to create jobs, but he said he will not engage in superficial talks that "create a lot of theater."

Obama, appearing with the South Korean president at a press conference before Thursday night's state dinner, said that after he challenged reporters to discover what the GOP's plan for short-term job creation, he has not heard of one yet.

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"I haven't yet seen it," Obama said.

Republicans have said that Obama is using his jobs proposal as a reelection strategy and that their economic bills to create jobs will be a product of bipartisan negotiations.

Senate Republicans are planning to roll out a specific jobs plan devised by Sens. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanOvernight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open Reddit hires first lobbyists Senate panel approves bill compelling researchers to ‘hack’ DHS MORE (Ohio), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulHouse bill set to reignite debate on warrantless surveillance Authorizing military force is necessary, but insufficient GOP feuds with outside group over analysis of tax framework MORE (Ky.) and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainRubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad with pro-communist posts The VA's woes cannot be pinned on any singular administration Overnight Defense: Mattis offers support for Iran deal | McCain blocks nominees over Afghanistan strategy | Trump, Tillerson spilt raises new questions about N. Korea policy MORE (Ariz.).

"We have a plan, and we'll have most, if not all, of the Republican senators behind it," McCain said earlier Thursday.


Obama's $447 billion jobs package was defeated this week as two Democratic senators joined every Republican senator in voting against the bill. The president and Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies Republicans are headed for a disappointing end to their year in power Obama's HHS secretary could testify in Menendez trial MORE (D-Nev.) are expected to begin introducing individual components of the bill.

The president said that at every turn in his administration, he has shown a willingness to work with Republicans, citing the passage of three trade agreements as proof.

"What we haven't seen is a similar willingness on their part to try to get something done," Obama said.

Obama warned that "we're not going to wait around" for Republicans to join him in pursuing jobs legislation.

If, however, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGun proposal picks up GOP support Children’s health-care bill faces new obstacles Dems see Trump as potential ally on gun reform MORE or House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew Boehner‘Lone wolf’ characterization of mass murderers is the epitome of white privilege Pelosi urges Ryan to create select committee on gun violence Ex-congressman Michael Grimm formally announces bid for old seat MORE get on board with a way to improve infrastructure or extend the employee pay roll tax cut, "I'll be right there."

Obama said the trade pacts prove that he is willing to work with Republicans when "they are willing to put politics behind the interests of the American people."