Obama confronts jobs 'crisis' with $447 bln plan 
U.S. President Barack Obama challenged Congress to enact a $447 billion package of tax cuts and new spending to revive a stalled job market but he faces an uphill fight with Republicans.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama designed his jobs plan and his message to Congress on Thursday with one goal in mind: to get it passed.
The president, looking stern and frequently pointing his finger for emphasis, used measured language and an impassioned tone as he repeatedly urged Republican and Democratic lawmakers to act "right away" to pass a $447 billion package made up largely of tax cuts for workers and businesses.
Obama, a Democrat, refrained from overt criticism of the other party but politics were as important as pragmatism in his speech.
Below is a look at his goals and messages:
Obama, who has leveled harsh criticism against lawmakers in recent weeks, tried to stay upbeat and positive.
He got applause for urging members of Congress to avoid the "political circus" of Washington and made a point of emphasizing common ground between Democrats and Republicans on jobs policies.
John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, seemed to return the favor, saying in a short statement after the speech that Obama's proposals merited consideration.
"We hope he gives serious consideration to our ideas as well," Boehner said.
Call that a first step toward getting something passed.
Despite the tone, Obama's message was clearly political. In various ways, he told lawmakers to "pass this bill" some 17 times and then said he would take his message to every corner of the country.
Translation: This will be the president's rallying cry when he hits the campaign trail for the election in November 2012, which he will do more frequently as the Republican race to replace him heats up.
In an effort to make a political speech non-political, Obama noted that the election was still 14 months away -- too long for voters to wait for action on the economy.
Obama hammered home the issue of bipartisanship in his speech and tried to offer initiatives palatable to both parties, like mortgage financing relief and help for small business.
He gave a nod to Republicans by promising to root out wasteful spending and do away with some regulations that are hard on business. He emphasized his proposals were "paid for" -- an effort to appeal to conservative lawmakers especially concerned about the U.S. deficit.
But the president also extended a hand to his own Democrats by saying he would not use the struggling economy as an excuse to roll back popular social programs.
Obama called on Americans to contact lawmakers and say they wanted action, a repeat of his successful strategy during this summer's rancorous debt ceiling debate to get voters to put pressure on their representatives to cut a deal.
"Tell Washington that doing nothing is not an option," Obama said. "Remind us that if we act as one nation and one people, we have it within our power to meet this challenge."
Whether or not voters agree with the substance of his proposals, the president tried to make it look like the American people were on his side.

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