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Republicans step up criticism of Obama's jobs plan

Sep 13, 2011, 4 p.m.
President Obama speaks to faculty and students after touring a newly modernized graphic design classroom at Fort Hayes Arts and Academic High School in Columbus, Ohio, September 13, 2011. REUTERS/Larry Downing

"I will sign it, but I will say then 'give me the rest' and I will keep on making that argument as long as the need is there to put people back to work."

In the early days in the fight over Obama's new jobs proposal, Republican leaders were clearly staking out their initial negotiating stances.

With opinion polls showing Americans deeply unhappy with the dysfunction and bickering in Washington, it is plainly in the politicians' interests to show voters they are listening to Americans' pleas to stimulate the economy.

The U.S. economic outlook is gloomy and any drastic action could make things worse, according to testimony before a congressional 'super committee" that has to come up with recommendations by November 23 to cut the federal deficit by at least $1.2 trillion.

The Congressional Budget Office -- the nonpartisan budget and economic analyst for Congress -- said U.S. economic growth would slow from previous estimates and the jobless rate would basically remain stuck at 9.1 percent through next year's presidential and congressional elections.

(Additional reporting by Donna Smith, David Morgan, Andy Sullivan and Richard Cowan and Patricia Zengerle in Washington, Laura MacInnis in Columbus; writing by Steve Holland; Editing by Jackie Frank and Christopher Wilson)

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