Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Obama works to sell jobs plan, but it's far from a sure deal

Reporting from Mesquite, Texas, and Washington— As President Obama continued his cross-country quest to build public support for his jobs plan, Republicans pointedly reminded him that the bill remained shy of support on Capitol Hill and Democratic leaders sought ways to pay for it — perhaps with a surtax on millionaires.

House Republicans should vote on his bill in its entirety so Americans can see where every member of Congress stands, Obama said at a Texas rally Tuesday.

In Washington, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Obama's "my way or the highway approach" was impeding the search for common ground.

Several Senate Democrats have indicated discomfort with how the president plans to pay for his $447-billion proposal. In particular, they are wary of raising taxes on individuals earning $200,000 and couples earning $250,000, which would happen if the George W. Bush-era tax cuts expired as scheduled at the end of 2012.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said his caucus was working on alternatives to pay for the $447-billion proposal. A millionaire's surtax is one of the options, according to a Senate aide who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly. The surtax came up during a lunch meeting of Senate Democrats, the aide said.

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