President Barack Obama speaks at Fort Hayes Arts and Academic High School in Columbus, Ohio, Tuesday, Sept., 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
WASHINGTON -- A day after proposing to pay for his new jobs plan with tax hikes opposed by Republicans, President Barack Obama headed for GOP turf Tuesday to try to sell the $447 billion package.
Obama's was flying to Ohio, home state of House Speaker John Boehner, where he planned to visit a school undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation and promote a $25 billion spending initiative for school renovations and improvements. The new spending is a key component of the jobs bill the president sent to Congress on Monday.
Boehner's district is farther west, but Obama will be in Republican territory in a key swing state for the 2012 presidential election. Boehner's office had no comment on Obama's visit.
After receiving the president's jobs proposal politely after he unveiled it before Congress last week, Boehner and other Republicans grew notably more skeptical Monday once the White House announced plans to pay for the costly measure entirely with tax increases on the rich and corporations that the GOP has already rejected.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the president's plan was little more than a series of old ideas repackaged under a new title.
"All he's really doing is just proposing a hodge-podge of retread ideas aimed at convincing people that a temporary fix is really permanent and that it will create permanent jobs. And then daring Republicans to vote against it," McConnell said Tuesday. "Well, I think most people see through all this."
The bulk of the payment comes from nearly $400 billion from limiting the deductions on charitable contributions and other items that wealthy people can take. There's also $40 billion from closing oil and gas loopholes, $18 billion from hiking taxes on certain income made by fund managers, and $3 billion from changing the tax treatment of corporate jets.
Obama has said he's asking the wealthy to pay their fair share, and he called on Congress to pass the bill without delay.
"The only thing that's stopping it is politics," Obama said Monday. "And we can't afford these same political games. Not now."
Boehner and other Republicans questioned whether Obama was really intent on bipartisanship if he was asking them to swallow tax hikes they already opposed, without any spending cuts.
"We remain eager to work together on ways to support job growth, but this proposal doesn't appear to have been offered in that bipartisan spirit," said Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck.