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Obama to push for passage of every part of jobs plan

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 5:45 PM EDT, Sun October 16, 2011
President Obama wants Congress to pass every element of his Senate-blocked jobs bill in separate legislation.
President Obama wants Congress to pass every element of his Senate-blocked jobs bill in separate legislation.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Reid urges the GOP to "get off of this kick" about tax cuts
  • The White House calls on Congress to pass jobs bill "piece by piece"
  • Cantor: The GOP jobs plan takes "pieces of our overall vision"
  • Wasserman Schultz: Polling shows "overwhelming support" for the plan

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- After his jobs bill sputtered in the Senate, President Barack Obama will use a trip this week to push lawmakers to pass every element of it in multiple bills, the White House said Sunday.

On a trip to North Carolina and Virginia, "The president will challenge Congress to get to work this week passing every element of the American Jobs Act piece by piece," Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said. The first part Obama will focus on is a proposal to prevent teacher layoffs, as well as saving jobs of police officers and firefighters, Earnest said.

While the two states are key battlegrounds in the presidential race, the trip is "an official trip," and no part of it is paid for by the re-election campaign, Earnest said. He rejected suggestions of a political motive for the choice of states, saying the president has been "traveling across the country to make the case" for his plan.

Obama's senior strategist David Axelrod vowed Sunday that every part of the bill will reach a vote.

The American people support every single plank of that bill, and we're going to vote on every single one of them," Axelrod said on ABC's "This Week."

Despite saying last month that it was "not an a la carte menu," Axelrod said Sunday that "We hope to assemble the entire plan, and we're going to take votes on each one of them."

He would not say which part of the $447 billion plan would come first.

Obama announced that the broad initiative would be broken into smaller, separate bills.

"In the coming days, members of Congress will have to take a stand on whether they believe we should put teachers, construction workers, police officers and firefighters back on the job," he said in a statement Tuesday. "They'll get a vote on whether they believe we should protect tax breaks for small business owners and middle-class Americans, or whether we should protect tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires."

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, meanwhile, indicated there could be agreement on some elements.

"Let's work together, let's find some of the things in his plan that we agree with and let's go ahead and do that for the American people," he told "Fox News Sunday."

The past week was an indication that "we can come together," Cantor told "Fox News Sunday," citing the passage of three trade bills.

Cantor did not make clear exactly where areas of agreement may be. But he cited the need to help small businesses find capital, unemployment insurance reform, and infrastructure spending as broad ideas for which both sides have expressed support.

Cantor insisted a plan the GOP has put forward is "for America's job creators."

"We're not going to be for tax increases on small businesses," he said of the president's plan.

Republicans filibustered the Senate version of the jobs bill last week, though a handful of Democrats had said they would have opposed the measure if it had made it to the chamber's floor. Speaking to a conference in Las Vegas on Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid urged the GOP to "get off of this kick of saying that the only thing that will create jobs is to lower taxes."

"I say to my other friends on the other side of the aisle, if you don't like what we're trying to do, give us something that is constructive that we can do to create jobs," said Reid, D-Nevada. He added, "If lower taxes was a way to a great a economy, during the George Bush years, we would have been on fire economically, but we weren't."

Obama last week called on Republicans to show a plan that independent economists say would "actually put people back to work." Independent analysts who looked at the president's proposals in September estimated they could produce between 750,000 and 1.9 million jobs.

Asked whether Republicans have any such analysis for their jobs proposal, Cantor responded that the plan "is taking pieces of our overall vision for this country and saying, you know what? We've got to provide incentive for the private sector to grow."

Earnest, in a telephone news conference, noted that Cantor did not cite an independent analysis suggesting the Republican plan would create jobs. And on Fox, Cantor challenged a report by Moody's Analytics that suggests the president's plan would add 1.9 million jobs next year.

On CNN's "State of the Union," Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said, "Polling shows overwhelming support for Congress to pass the entire bill. It's absolutely critical."

Obama says the bill would be fully paid for. It includes a so-called "millionaire's surtax," increasing the taxes on income over $1 million.

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