(Repeats with no change to text)
Aug 25 President Barack Obama, facing sinking
approval ratings amid growing fears the U.S. economy could
slide into another recession, is crafting a jobs package he
will unveil in a September speech. [ID:nN1E77J07P]
The economy's woes could jeopardize Obama's prospects for
re-election in 2012. He has come under fire from some in his
Democratic Party who would like to see him take bolder steps to
reduce the 9.1 percent U.S. unemployment rate.
White House officials are considering a mix of measures
they believe can clear the Republican-controlled House of
Representatives and others that spell out Obama's vision for
fixing the economy that his political rivals may well block,
according to analysts close to the administration.
Here are some ideas the White House is reviewing:
SCHOOL BUILDING RENOVATIONS
An initiative to fund school building renovations
nationwide is highly popular among Democrats. But it would
likely face resistance among Republicans who have vowed to
block new spending.
Advocates of the school building initiative contend it
would be a highly visible way of creating jobs in the
construction sector and might prove popular with middle-class
families who might see it as a way of improving their
Republicans argue such "Keynesian" spending initiatives
have not helped the economy so far under Obama's tenure.
AID FOR TEACHER HIRING
Another idea strongly favored by Democrats would provide
aid to cities and towns to help them put more teachers and
possibly also police officers on their payrolls. Former
President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, championed similar measures
during his tenure.
Proponents say the shrinking of state and local workforces
has been a big contributor to the rise in the jobless rate
Republicans say such aid to states and cities encourages
HELP FOR THE AILING HOUSING MARKET
The moribund housing market remains an Achilles heel for
the U.S. economy. Some Democrats have long urged Obama to take
more aggressive action to shore up housing. Options include
working through housing finance agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie
Mac to grant broader loan modifications, including writedowns
of principal for homeowners whose mortgages exceed the value of
TAX CREDITS TO SPUR HIRING
Tax credits to encourage the hiring of new workers could
garner greater bipartisan support than spending measures. The
credits could be targeted toward small businesses or made
available more broadly.
EXTENDING PAYROLL TAX CUTS AND UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Extensions of unemployment insurance and of a reduction in
worker payroll taxes that expires at the end of this year have
already been proposed by Obama. The White House remains
committed to these ideas and administration officials believe
Republicans should be especially amenable to proposals like
renewal of the payroll tax holiday, which was enacted with
bipartisan support last December.
(Reporting by Caren Bohan and Laura MacInnis; Editing by Eric