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Obama meeting with Republicans on jobs plan

 In this Sunday, Jan. 23, 2010 photo, Job applicants, upper, talk with job recruiters at a job fair in Santa Clara, Calif. The number of new claims fo...
  President Barack Obama leaves the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010, to board Marine One for a short flight to A...

Economy

In this Sunday, Jan. 23, 2010 photo, Job applicants, upper, talk with job recruiters at a job fair in Santa Clara, Calif. The number of new claims fo...

Obama

President Barack Obama leaves the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010, to board Marine One for a short flight to A...

President Barack Obama is facing the toughest of audiences _ Republican lawmakers _ as he tries to win support Friday for a job-creation plan.
Obama's appearance before a meeting of Republican members of the House of Representatives in Baltimore comes two days after he appealed in his State of the Union speech for an end to Washington's sharp partisan rift. That divide has prevented him from passing his health care overhaul and other major legislation.
Obama is proposing a tax credit for companies that hire new workers. Republicans generally embrace almost any tax cut proposal, but Obama might receive a lukewarm reception on Friday, as some Republicans have expressed reservations about how the plan would work.
Republicans have political momentum after last week's Massachusetts special election, in which they captured the Senate seat long held by a Democrat, the late Edward M. Kennedy. They view that election as a referendum on Obama's policies, giving them little incentive to cooperate with Democrats ahead of the November congressional elections.
"We're going to hear from the president for a few minutes, but he's going to hear for quite a while about our proposals," a top House Republican, Rep. Mike Pence, said on ABC television.
Asked if Republicans were ready to meet Obama halfway on the economy, health care, energy and other issues, Pence said, "Republicans are going to continue to stand on the principles that we were elected to advance. We're going to articulate this to the president."
Obama also is scheduled to visit a small business during his visit Friday to Baltimore, which is about 40 miles (65 kilometers) outside Washington.
With polls showing that jobs are Americans' top priority, Obama cited the retooled jobs plan in his State of the Union address Wednesday night.
Obama's proposal, which would need congressional approval, would give companies a $5,000 tax credit for each net new worker they hire in 2010 and provide other incentives for businesses to increase workers' hours and wages. A cap would be set on the amount a company could reap from the program, a feature intended to tailor it more to small businesses than large corporations.
Obama first promoted the idea of a tax credit for adding workers late last year. But House Democrats omitted it from a jobs bill they passed in December because of doubts about how to make the credit work.
Some Republicans said they have similar concerns.
"From a policy perspective, it's very difficult to make it work," said House Minority Leader John Boehner, a Republican.
Pence said he understands why a tax break for adding jobs would be popular. But, he said, businesses won't hire new employees until there is increased demand for their products.
"These targeted tax cuts, while individually appealing, are no substitute for the kind of broad-based tax relief that will release the entrepreneurial energy of the American people," he said.
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Associated Press Writers Charles Babington and Stephen Ohlemacher contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-04-24 02:45 GMT+08:00