A five-point economic "to do" list will aid a U.S. upturn, the White House said as President Barack Obama was to meet with lawmakers Wednesday to tout the list.
Congressional action on the tax-cutting, job-creation and mortgage-relief action plan -- which Obama announced May 8 in Albany, N.Y. -- would "assist the economic recovery that we've been experiencing [and] further insulate ourselves from the kinds of things that could happen globally that could affect our economic growth," spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday after announcing Obama's 11:30 a.m. EDT White House meeting with congressional leaders of both major parties.
Those planning to attend include House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
The meeting comes 12 days after the U.S. Labor Department said the nation's employers created jobs in April at less than half the pace jobs were being created when the year began. It also comes amid heightened White House concerns the European debt crisis could hurt Obama's re-election chances, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The congressional leadership meeting -- the second at the White House this year -- was to take place an hour after Obama visited a small Washington business to highlight a proposal on Obama's "to do" list, Carney said.
The proposal would provide a 10 percent income-tax tax credit to companies that hire new workers or increase wages this year, and extend through this year a measure letting businesses write off the full cost of investments in equipment.
Obama and Small Business Administrator Karen Mills were to hold a roundtable discussion with small-business owners who would benefit from this proposal, the White House said.
Besides the income-tax credit and business write-off, Obama proposes a 20 percent tax credit for companies that move overseas operations back to the United States, with the revenue cost offset by eliminating deductions for companies' costs of relocating business abroad.
Also on the president's list is allowing more families who are current on their mortgages to refinance at lower interest rates and creating a Veterans Jobs Corps to help place veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan as police officers and firefighters or in other community-service jobs using skills the veterans developed in the military.
Another proposal would extend an energy-production tax credit and expand a credit for advanced clean-energy manufacturing, which Carney said would "create jobs by investing in affordable clean energy, an industry of the future that is vital to our economic growth going forward."
Obama unveiled many of the initiatives he wants lawmakers to pass when he proposed an American Jobs Act to a joint session of Congress Sept. 8, 2011.
The bill's elements, which Obama characterized as non-controversial measures designed to get Americans back to work, met with Republican opposition in Congress and were rejected.
Two days after Obama announced his "to do" list last week, Boehner told reporters: "I can't think of a better symbol of how small this presidency has become than looking at the Post-It note that the president's been carrying around. We've got the most powerful office in the world -- there to tackle big problems -- and he's shrunken it to the size of a Post-It note.
"My goodness -- our economy is stuck, we have a national debt over $15 trillion, millions of Americans are out of work, and all the president has is his gimmicky 'to do' list? Give me a break."