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.

"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 PortmanLawmakers introduce bipartisan bill to speed up infrastructure permitting Overnight Tech: Zuckerberg breaks silence on Cambridge Analytica controversy | Senate passes sex trafficking bill | EU pushes new tax on tech | YouTube toughens rules on gun videos Senate passes controversial online sex trafficking bill MORE (Ohio), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate approves .3 trillion spending bill, sending to Trump GOP senator threatened to hold up bill over provision to honor late political rival: report Conservatives balk over funding bill ahead of shutdown  MORE (Ky.) and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainAfghanistan is our longest war ever and Congress has abandoned all responsibility Kremlin: ‘We have a long way to go’ before any breakthrough with US The GOP is Trump's party now 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 Mason ReidGOP pushes to change Senate rules for Trump Trump presses GOP to change Senate rules Only thing Defense’s UFO probe proves is power of political favors 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 McConnellSenate approves .3 trillion spending bill, sending to Trump GOP senator threatened to hold up bill over provision to honor late political rival: report Paul: Shutting down government not my goal MORE or House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew Boehner4 reasons Mike Pompeo will succeed at Foggy Bottom The misunderstood reason Congress can’t get its job done GOP sees McCarthy moving up — if GOP loses the House 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."