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 PortmanWATCH: Sen. Flake: “More doubtful” North Korean summit will happen  Lobbying world Trump-backed congressman wins Ohio Senate primary MORE (Ohio), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Defense: Senate confirms Haspel as CIA chief | Trump offers Kim 'protections' if he gives up nukes | Dem amendments target Trump military parade Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers target Chinese tech giants | Dems move to save top cyber post | Trump gets a new CIA chief | Ryan delays election security briefing | Twitter CEO meets lawmakers Overnight Finance: Watchdog weighs probe into handling of Cohen bank records | Immigration fight threatens farm bill | House panel rebukes Trump on ZTE | Trump raises doubts about trade deal with China MORE (Ky.) and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump's plan to claw back spending hits wall in Congress Defense bill moves forward with lawmakers thinking about McCain How House Republicans scrambled the Russia probe 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 ReidMcConnell not yet ready to change rules for Trump nominees The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by CVS Health — Trump’s love-hate relationship with the Senate Trump to press GOP on changing Senate rules 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 McConnellTrump's plan to claw back spending hits wall in Congress GOP lawmakers want Trump to stop bashing Congress Parkland father calls out Trump, McConnell, Ryan after Santa Fe shooting MORE or House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerGOP revolts multiply against retiring Ryan Can Jim Jordan become top House Republican? Tensions on immigration erupt in the House GOP 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."