President Barack Obama on Saturday used his weekly radio address to talk up a series of proposals he is pitching to Congress aimed at providing assistance to struggling small businesses.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) countered with criticism of the level of spending in Obama’s budget proposal in the Republican response.
Obama called for swift legislative action on his small business proposals, which include using $30 billion in bailout funds to boost lending at community banks, a new jobs tax credit and targeted support for small businesses with the potential to export new goods.
“Next week, Congress will start debating many of these proposals. And if anyone has additional ideas to support small businesses and create jobs, I’m happy to consider them,” Obama said.
Despite his plea for bipartisanship, Obama acknowledged that Republicans — and some Democrats — have already complained about his jobs proposals. Last week, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) called Obama’s call for $33 billion in small business tax credits “not a good idea” since more money is needed for infrastructure investment.
“I urge members of both parties: do not oppose good ideas just because it’s good politics to do so,” Obama said. “The proposals I’ve outlined are not Democratic or Republican, liberal or conservative. They are pro-business, they are pro-growth and they are pro-job.”
Hensarling, meanwhile, slammed Obama for proposing a $3.8 trillion budget and adding $2 trillion in “new job-crushing taxes.”
“With this budget, it is like Washington has said, Let’s let government live easier today, so our children have to work harder tomorrow,'” he said.
Hensarling also took aim at Democrats for passing a $787 billion stimulus package last year, arguing that 3 million more jobs have been lost since its passage. “Americans are still asking, Where are the jobs? Where are the jobs?’ But all they are getting from Washington is more spending, more taxes, more debt and more bailouts,” he said.