“Every day we fail to act, that fire gets closer to the homes and children we love,” Romney said.
Before appearing in Des Moines, Obama visited Newton, where he called on Republican rivals to support new tax credits for companies that produce wind power.
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“We must define the nature and scope of this struggle, or else it will define us,” the president said.
Obama used an appearance at TPI Composites, which makes blades for wind turbines, to emphasize his campaign message that his administration is focused on economic growth that promotes a strong, enduring middle class.
After touring the company, Obama told a crowd of supporters on the factory floor that the tax credits first enacted in 2009 as part of his economic stimulus are set to expire if Congress does not pass an extension by year’s end. Without the tax break, as many as 37,000 jobs could be lost, according to administration officials and industry experts.
“If Congress doesn’t act, companies like this one will take a hit,” Obama said. “Jobs will be lost. That’s not a guess. That’s a fact. We can’t let that happen.”
Obama assailed congressional Republicans with many of the same themes he has used on Romney. The extension of the proposed wind power tax cut is among five economic initiatives on the “to-do list” that Obama has challenged Republican lawmakers to support in an increasingly partisan election year.
“Our dear friends in Congress are standing in the way,” the president said. “They either want to do nothing at all, or they want to double down on the same failed policies.”
White House officials said they are hopeful that Congress will support the wind-power tax credit, which has bipartisan support. In March, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) was among a group of senators who called for a two-year extension of the credit.
But in a statement Wednesday, Grassley criticized Obama for stumping for the plan in the senator’s home state rather than directly discussing it with congressional leaders. “The president could exert his leadership by working with Congress on a way forward instead of calling for a provision that’s a no-brainer for many of us,” Grassley said. “He’s focusing on the easy part of a bigger task. The stakes for the wind industry and the country in general will only get worse with delay. It’s time to act, not politick.”