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In latest jab, Obama offers Congress a 'to-do' list

May 08, 2012|By Kathleen Hennessey
  • A "to-do" list for Congress is seen on a monitor as President Obama speaks on the economy in the NanoFab Extension Building in Albany, N.Y.
A "to-do" list for Congress is seen on a monitor as President… (Mandel Ngan / AFP/Getty…)

WASHINGTON -- Taking another jab at his favorite punching bag, President Obama on Tuesday offered Congress a "to-do" list for the year, drawing attention and gently mocking lawmakers in the unpopular and gridlocked Congress.

"It's about the size of a Post-it note. So every member of Congress should have time to read it -- and they can glance at it every so often," Obama said of his list of five measures. He added that lawmakers could check off the list as they pass legislation, "just like when Michelle gives me a list, check it off."

Unlikely.

The president’s list includes items he has previously announced and Congress has failed to embrace. That includes a proposal to allow more homeowners to refinance their mortgages and a plan to give tax credits to companies that relocate in the United States. Obama also wants expand a tax credit for clean energy manufacturers and give a 10% income tax credit to employers who hire. The president also called for the creation a job corps for veterans.

A representative for Speaker of the House John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) quickly dismissed the president’s list as a campaign ploy.

"The small, sticky 'to-do list' is the perfect symbol for a shrunken presidency, more focused on campaigning than governing," said Brendan Buck, Boehner's spokesman. House Republicans offered their jobs proposals as an alternative: cutting corporate income taxes, expanding domestic oil and gas production, and repealing the new healthcare law.

Those proposals are even less likely to gain traction in the Democratic Senate, leaving the debate about how to improve the economy where it was: stuck.

Across the Capitol, a Republican leader in the Senate, John Thune of South Dakota, had another list in mind for the White House.

“We have a to-stop list for him,” Thune said.

Republicans want the Obama to stop proposing what they call “job killing” environmental regulations, stop new taxes and stop blocking the Keystone XL oil pipeline, a project the administration decided to postpone making a decision on until after the November election.

Obama made his remarks at the State University of New York in Albany. He was highlighting the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering's Nanotech Complex as a model for innovation.

The visit was part of his official schedule, although he did work his new campaign slogan, "Forward," into his brief remarks.

"You're investing in your future. You're not going backwards. You're going forward," Obama said. "If we work together with common purpose, I've got no doubt we can keep moving this country forward."

Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report.

Original source: In latest jab, Obama offers Congress a 'to-do' list

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