Obama challenges GOP senators: Vote for jobs bill

October 6, 2011 - 11:20 AM
Obama

President Barack Obama gestures during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama defiantly challenged lawmakers Thursday to vote for his jobs plan or explain why not. "This is not a game," he declared.

The president said that without his nearly $450 billion package of tax cuts and public works spending there will be fewer jobs and weaker growth. He said the bill could guard against another economic downturn if the situation in debt-laden Europe worsens.

With the plan expected to come up for debate in the Senate next week, he urged every senator to think "long and hard about what's at stake."

"Any senator out there who's thinking about voting against this jobs bill when it comes up for a vote needs to explain exactly why they would oppose something we know would improve our economic situation at such an urgent time," Obama said at a White House news conference.

"Our economy really needs a jolt right now," he said.