“In this make-or-break moment for the middle class, there is no excuse for inaction, no excuse for dragging our feet. None,” Obama told the crowd at a nanotechnology facility at the State University of New York at Albany.
During Obama’s remarks, two flat-screen television monitors showed a graphic in the form of a green Post-it Note titled “Congress To-Do List” and laying out the five items with un-checked squares next to them.
The president told the crowd that everyone could see the list on the White House Web site.
“It’s about the size of a Post-it Note, so every member of Congress should have time to read it,” he quipped, drawing laughs.
Since the start of the year, Obama has pushed Congress to support his economic agenda, casting Republicans as opposing him for political gain. The president hopes to link presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney to congressional Republicans at a time when Congress’s approval rating is 17 percent, according to a recent Gallup poll.
Republicans pushed back against the White House, noting that they have supported several of Obama’s initiatives, including the payroll tax cut, long-term unemployment insurance and several free-trade agreements.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Tuesday that he welcomes Obama’s focus on job creation but that the GOP remains opposed to a White House plan to give income tax cuts of 10 percent to firms that create new jobs or dole out raises this year.
“We believe that we ought to let the investors decide on how best to allocate their capital so that we can see small business grow again,” Cantor said. “But these are differences that we can overcome and differences we can resolve if the president will just join us in saying we’ve got to solve these problems.”
In his remarks, Obama pressed Republicans to support his proposals for a 20 percent tax cut for businesses that bring manufacturing jobs back from overseas and a 10 percent tax credit for companies that hire workers and increase wages. He used the backdrop of the high-tech facility to emphasize the need to invest in new technologies that will help the nation remain competitive in a quickly changing global market.
Another initiative on his to-do list would allow homeowners to refinance at lower interest rates, a proposal he will highlight during a stop this week in Reno, Nev., where foreclosures are at the highest rates in the country. The president also is calling for a Veterans Jobs Corps to help service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan get jobs as police officers and firefighters.