Obama pushes new jobs plan

2011-09-15 08:09
Washington - President Barack Obama, courting Hispanics while promoting his new jobs plan, told a black-tie Latino audience on Wednesday that his $447bn package of tax cuts and public works spending would put more money in the pockets of Latino workers and business owners and increase opportunities for Hispanics.

The president made his pitch to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 34th Annual Awards Gala. The event is part of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Addressing an important constituency both in the voting population and in Congress, the president kept up his vigorous public relations campaign for his economic measures while also beseeching the crowd to help him pass his education and immigration agenda.

"Lift up your voices," he told an audience that included Princess Cristina of Spain and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. "Make yourselves heard."

Obama's economic plan, the administration's top priority, received polite applause from the crowd. People saved their loudest approval for the president's assurance that he remained determined to pass a rewrite US immigration laws to offer a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants.

Blaming Republican resistance, he said: "It's been a long and frustrating road for all of us".

In advance of his remarks, the White House said the jobs proposal would lower payroll taxes for about 25 million Hispanic workers and about 250 000 Hispanic-owned businesses, statistics cited by the president to argue his case.

Moreover, the White House said the legislation could help the 344 000 Hispanics no longer working as carpenters or as construction labourers because of the recession.

"You know how hard this recession has hit families, especially Latino families," Obama said.

- SAPA

Read more on:    barak obama  |  us

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