* Republicans: Plan includes "permanent tax increases"
* Obama goes to Boehner's political backyard to sell plan
* New data shows 46 million Americans living in poverty
* Obama leads crowd in chanting "Pass this bill"
(Adds status of bill)
By Laura MacInnis and Thomas Ferraro
COLUMBUS, Ohio/WASHINGTON, Sept 13 President
Barack Obama warned Republican lawmakers on Wednesday against
delaying action on his jobs plan until the 2012 elections even
as they intensified criticism of his $447 billion proposal.
"The next election is 14 months away, and we don't have the
luxury of waiting that long," Obama told 3,000 people in Ohio,
home state of House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner,
the top U.S. Republican.
Obama and the Republicans are now fighting their third
major budget battle of the year, after a near-government
shutdown in April, heart-stopping talks that produced a
last-minute deal to avert a government default in July, and now
negotiations over the president's jobs plan.
Battle lines have been drawn around familiar turf: Obama
wants to raise taxes on wealthier Americans and corporations to
pay for his plans; Republicans want to cut spending.
But in this case, Americans are more frustrated than ever
at political gridlock in Washington. This alone may motivate
Democrats and Republicans to find a compromise and take steps
to show they are actually doing something to try to reduce the
country's 9.1 percent jobless rate.
New government figures underscored the challenges Obama and
lawmakers face in trying to trigger growth in an economy now
stagnant after the worst recession since the Great Depression.
The Census Bureau said the number of Americans living below
the poverty line rose to a record 46 million last year, with
the national poverty rate climbing for a third consecutive year
to 15.1 percent in 2010.
Obama's plan to bring down the jobless rate with a package
of tax cuts to give incentives for hiring and spending paid for
entirely by tax hikes on the wealthy and corporations came
under renewed fire from Republicans in Congress.
"What the president's proposed so far is not serious. And
it's not a jobs plan," Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell
said on the Senate floor. Obama sent the jobs legislation to
Congress on Monday. [ID:nS1E78C0VZ]
Boehner was equally skeptical, saying, "I just don't think
that is really going to help our economy the way it should."
Obama talked up his proposal in an important battleground
state as he looks ahead to what is shaping up to be a difficult
battle for re-election in November 2012.
"This isn't about giving me a win," he said. "It's about
giving the American people a win."
"Pass this bill," the obviously pro-Obama crowd cheered.
It is unclear when and how Congress will act on the
president's jobs bill and whether it will be broken up into
separate pieces of legislation.
BOTH SIDES LAY DOWN MARKERS
Republicans were careful not to completely declare the plan
dead on arrival, and no prominent Republicans has raised the
idea of putting off action until after the election. Republican
leaders say they want to find a way to work with Obama.
Obama offered encouragement on Monday that he would not
object if parts of the plan were approved while others were
"Obviously, if they pass parts of it I'm not going to veto
those parts," Obama said in an interview with Spanish-speaking
"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 Nov. 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)