President Obama promises he will offer up a new recovery plan next month and he has a message to Republicans in Congress who obstruct efforts to jump start the economy: Get on board or face the voters next year.
"Moving forward, my basic attitude is we know what to do. I'll be putting forward, when they come back in September, a very specific plan to boost the economy, to create jobs, and to control our deficit. And my attitude is, get it done," Obama said during a surprise announcement at a stop in Decorah, Iowa
After a weekend of playing the punching bag, President Obama is hitting back with a three-day bus trip through the heartland that includes five town halls, three states and a lot of bruising shots at what he casts as a do-nothing GOP-led Congress.
"And if they don’t get it done, then we’ll be running against a Congress that’s not doing anything for the American people, and the choice will be very stark and will be very clear," Obama said in a veiled threat to campaign in districts where members of Congress oppose a new stimulus plan.
Now on Day Two of the listening tour, Obama is hosting a White House Rural Economic Forum in Peosta, Iowa, where he is announcing a new rural jobs initiative that includes committing $350 million in Small Business Administration funds over the next five years. White Housae officials say it is only a small taste of the recovery plan the President plans to roll out next month.
"SBA is pleased to announce that we will be doubling the capital going to rural businesses through the Small Business Investment Company program, with no cost to taxpayers,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. "Small businesses of all kinds are thriving in rural areas where they are creating jobs of the future and helping ensure the economic stability of the middle class."
Predictably, the GOP and some members of the mainstream media are slamming Obama for what they call a campaign-style trip paid for with taxpayer money. It is a charge that Presidents have long faced from the opposition party in election cycles.
Obama is riding in his Midwest motorcade this week in a brand new, giant black bullet-proof bus purchased by Secret Service for $1.1 million. The Secret Service made the decision about a year ago to buy two of the secure buses to use to protect the President, other government officials and visiting foreign dignitaries, a spokesman said.