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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 PortmanGOP leader: Congress may settle for pared-down immigration deal Senate Republicans call on Trump to preserve NAFTA Key senator floats new compromise for immigration talks MORE (Ohio), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulPentagon: War in Afghanistan will cost billion in 2018 Overnight Finance: Senators near two-year budget deal | Trump would 'love to see a shutdown' over immigration | Dow closes nearly 600 points higher after volatile day | Trade deficit at highest level since 2008 | Pawlenty leaving Wall Street group Rand Paul calls for punishment if Congress can't reach a long-term budget deal MORE (Ky.) and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMcConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration Meghan McCain: Melania is 'my favorite Trump, by far' Kelly says Trump not likely to extend DACA deadline 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 ReidTo end sugar subsidies, conservatives can't launch a frontal attack House presses Senate GOP on filibuster reform A pro-science approach to Yucca Mountain appropriations 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 McConnellDems confront Kelly after he calls some immigrants 'lazy' McConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration Overnight Defense: Latest on spending fight - House passes stopgap with defense money while Senate nears two-year budget deal | Pentagon planning military parade for Trump | Afghan war will cost B in 2018 MORE or House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLobbying World Freedom Caucus wants budget reforms attached to debt limit increase Trey Gowdy announces retirement from Congress 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."