Obama to Tackle Jobs, Deficit

Pols split on how to use bailout bucks for recovery
By Emily Rauhala,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2009 8:53 AM CST
Obama to Tackle Jobs, Deficit
President Obama speaks on the jobs report, Friday, Dec. 4, 2009, at Lehigh Carbon Community College in Allentown, Pa.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Obama will today outline a new push to tackle the country's surging unemployment and mounting deficit. The speech, at the Brookings Institution, comes as legislators are locked in a debate over how, exactly, to use surplus TARP funds to boost a tepid recovery. Republicans oppose dipping into the surplus, generated by Wall Street banks paying back bailout loans faster than expected, while Dems favor a range of options ranging from job creation to extending jobless benefits to supporting weatherization programs.

So, who gets the money? Don't expect details. "We don't think there is one silver bullet," a White House rep tells the Washington Post. "The president's speech will not represent the totality of our plans." The president did hint last week, however, that job creation may be at the top of his list, saying "the single most important thing we could do right now for deficit reduction is to spark strong economic growth."

(Read more Barack Obama stories.)

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