By Mike Lillis - 09/08/11 07:50 PM EDT
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is pushing for immediate action on the jobs agenda President Obama is poised to unveil Thursday night.
In a letter to the senior Democrat on each House committee, Pelosi is asking her troops to petition their respective GOP chairmen “to schedule immediate hearings and legislative action on legislation proposed by the president that lies within the jurisdiction of the committee.”
“We all look forward to the president’s proposals and share a sense of the urgency that Congress act quickly and on a bipartisan basis to support the creation of jobs,” Pelosi wrote.
The president, for instance, will reportedly ask for $300 billion in new stimulus spending for infrastructure and other public works programs — spending condemned by GOP leaders unless it's offset with spending cuts elsewhere in the budget.
Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday said more federal spending is not the answer, signaling opposition to the package. He was joined in the criticism by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee.
While House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Wednesday signaled an interest in having Republicans move from spending cuts to job growth, they and the White House differ over how to grow the economy.
House Republicans want to focus on tax cuts and regulatory cutting. They are hoping the president will announce Thursday that he will support a tax break known as repatriation that would allow corporations to bring money to the U.S. from overseas subsidiaries without paying the required tax on it.
The Obama Treasury Department has been cool to calls for tax repatriation.
GOP leaders, who are urging broad tax cuts as economic stimulus, have been critical of Obama's version of tax relief: a plan to extend the payroll-tax holiday through 2012. The Republicans say the temporary nature of that tax break is just “sugar-high economics,” in the words of Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), though Cantor this week suggested the GOP would consider an extension.
Pelosi took a shot at Republicans for criticizing the Democrats' job-creation plans without offering concrete solutions of their own.
Since taking control of the House in January, Pelosi charged, “the Republican majority has not brought forward a single serious plan for the creation of jobs for the American people.”
Pelosi is asking the ranking members send their letters by noon Friday.