WASHINGTON — President Obama urged Republicans Tuesday to work with him and Democratic lawmakers on ways to create jobs, saying that it's critical to agree on something even if neither side gets all it wants.
Republicans countered that they have yet to see the Democrats' complete jobs proposal or its price tag. They did say, however, that they like the president's proposals on energy and trade, ideas that Obama later said he'd gotten from them in the first place.
"It went very well," Obama said after the White House meeting with congressional leaders from both parties, joking that the Democratic and Republican leaders from the Senate were out on the White House lawn making snow angels afterward.
"We all understand that there are legitimate and genuine differences between the parties. But despite the political posturing that often paralyzes this town, there are many issues upon which we can and should agree," Obama said.
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With a new jobs proposal about to be introduced in the Senate, Obama called the meeting as he tries to forge a bipartisan consensus in the wake of his party's loss of its filibuster-proof supermajority in the Senate. In particular, Obama was looking for support for proposals to spur job creation, including his call for tax cuts and credits for small businesses.
"When one in 10 of our fellow citizens can't work, we should be able to come together and help business create more jobs," he said.
Senate Democratic leaders hope to introduce a jobs package this week. It's expected to include:
* A proposal from Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, to suspend the employer's share of Social Security payroll taxes for every unemployed worker hired this year.
* Tax credits for small businesses that hire new workers.
* Extending through the end of this year tax breaks that expired at the end of 2009, notably a research and development tax credit.
* Extending soon-to-expire bonding authority that makes it easier for state and local governments to finance public works projects.
* $20 billion for infrastructure projects.