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Political Notebook

President again urges voters to press for $447b jobs bill

September 18, 2011

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WASHINGTON - President Obama is keeping up his appeal for public support of his $447 billion proposal to boost jobs and consumer spending by urging Americans to press Congress to pass the legislation. “No more division or delay,’’ he said.

In his weekly radio and Internet address yesterday, he focused on a message that has become central to a presidency struggling to address stubbornly high unemployment numbers and dipping approval of his handling of the economy.

The president announced his jobs legislation to a joint session of Congress last week and has since gone outside Washington to build a case for its passage. He has been to Virginia, Ohio, and North Carolina.

“The No. 1 issue for the people I meet is how we can get back to a place where we’re creating good, middle-class jobs that pay well and offer some security,’’ he said.

His address came in the face of sobering public opinion ratings for the president.

A New York Times/CBS News poll released Friday found that nearly half those surveyed are worried the economy is headed for another recession and nearly three out of four said they believe the country is on the wrong track.

Obama’s proposal would reduce payroll taxes on workers, cut them in half for most businesses, and offer incentives for employers to hire.

It would provide tens of billions of dollars for new public works projects, extend unemployment benefits for long-term jobless, and help states and localities avoid layoffs of teachers and emergency workers.

Tomorrow, Obama plans to spell out a long-term debt stabilizing plan that aims to cut the deficit by about $2 trillion over 10 years.

Obama will make his proposal to a special congressional committee that has been charged with lowering deficit by $1.2 trillion to $1.5 trillion.

In the weekly Republican address, Representative Peter Roskam of Illinois yesterday called on Obama to reduce regulations on businesses, saying government agency rules were choking off hiring.

He acknowledged Obama’s decision to scrub a clean-air regulation that aimed to reduce health threatening smog.

“He can cancel more,’’ Roskam said.

— Associated Press