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Cantor Plans Piecemeal Approach to Jobs Proposal

Updated: 3:42 p.m.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said today that President Barack Obama’s jobs plan has no chance of passing the GOP-controlled House.

Instead, the Virginia Republican said he will push for consideration of a series of proposals that are included in Obama’s package, such as a 3 percent withholding provision for government contractors and approval of free-trade deals with Colombia, South Korea and Panama. The agreements could be sent to Capitol Hill from the White House as soon as today, aides speculate.

“The all-or-nothing approach is just unacceptable, and I think from a purely practical standpoint, the president has some whipping to do on his own side of the aisle,” Cantor said during his weekly briefing with reporters.

Asked whether Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan was dead, Cantor replied, “Yes.”

Shortly after Cantor’s reporter briefing, GOP leaders sent Obama a letter seeking his support for two measures aimed at rolling back emissions standards from the Environmental Protection Agency.

“There are also excessive regulations that unnecessarily increase costs for consumers and small businesses, and make it harder for our economy to create jobs,” the letter read.

Added the leaders: “It is our hope that in the spirit of putting country before party, you will call on the Senate to follow the House in passing these measures, and commit to signing them into law should they reach your desk.”

But Obama had his own message on jobs today. He called on Congress to take up his proposal this month, now that nearly a month has passed since he spoke before a joint session promoting the plan.

“My expectation is, is that, now that we’re in the month of October, that we will schedule a vote before the end of this month,” Obama said today before a Cabinet meeting.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi took it one step further, issuing a statement criticizing Congressional Republicans and maintaining that Obama’s jobs plan “will strengthen small businesses by helping them to grow and hire.”

“Instead of supporting legislation to put people back to work and put money in the pockets of workers, Republicans are ignoring America’s top priority,” the California Democrat said. “Republicans should schedule action on the American Jobs Act to help put Americans back to work.”

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