Lipinski optimistic about unity over Obama's jobs plan

September 12, 2011

By Kate Dries and The Associated Press

Members of Congress are spending their day waiting for President Barack Obama's newly announced jobs bill to reach their desks.

The president said he wants lawmakers to pass the bill immediately. But Illinois U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, who represents parts of Chicago and the western suburbs, said he doubts the $447 billion bill will get through the Republican-dominated House intact, though he's still optimistic about the proposal.

"I saw a change last week in Washington," said Lipinski. "A great change from July to September. There seems to be a real thaw in the gridlock. The Republicans in the House seem to want to work together with the president, with Democrats, to get some things done. I'm very happy to see that."

Lipinski says the bill is a "good start," but believes the U.S. still needs a better long-term plan for job growth. And unlike his Republican colleague Sen. Mark Kirk, Lipinski doesn't support the some of the trade agreements the President has outlined.

Additionally, the bill would reportedly rely on a series of tax hikes that have all previously been proposed by the White House and rejected by Republicans. They include $40 billion from closing loopholes for oil and gas companies, and $400 billion from limiting the deductions that can be taken by higher-income individuals and families.

The president will be traveling across the country to rally support for the package this week; on Tuesday and Wednesday, he plans to visit Ohio and North Carolina to rally the public to pressure lawmakers to pass it.