Durbin voices optimism over Obama's jobs speech

September 7, 2011

(WBEZ/Kate Dries)
Senator Durbin at an event for Family Caregivers of Veteran's Tuesday.

President Barack Obama's address to a joint session of Congress Thursday night has the potential to be divisive; the prospect has even prompted some government officials like Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh to boycott the event.

But U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says he feels optimistic about the president's plan.

"Wouldn't it be heartwarming and encouraging for us on a bipartisan basis to work to create jobs?" asked Durbin at an unrelated event. "I think that's what the president's going to ask for, and I hope we meet that challenge."

Durbin said the summer recess was good for members of Congress. He said they needed a "cooling off period" to get back in touch with constituents.

The president is expected to announce $300 billion in tax cuts and federal spending as part of a plan to stimulate job growth.