WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama talked about jobs legislation in a 10-minute phone call Thursday, the Ohio Republican's office said.
Boehner told Obama that Republicans are willing to address new transportation and infrastructure spending but "in a fiscally responsible way." Boehner challenged Obama's statement Thursday that he had not seen many job-creation ideas from Republicans.
The discussion came during a call from Obama to congratulate Boehner for congressional passage of trade deals with South Korea, Panama and Colombia. It also came as Senate Republicans introduced legislation aimed at creating jobs by overhauling the nation's tax laws, cutting business rules and boosting offshore oil exploration.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest wouldn't comment on the specific conversation, but said Obama has made it clear he wants to work with Democrats and Republicans on jobs-related legislation, Earnest reiterated Obama's view that only his $447 billion economic package will boost jobs and help the economy.
The GOP bill is called the "Jobs Through Growth Act" and doesn't include a single item in President Barack Obama's jobs legislation, which Senate Republicans killed in a Tuesday night vote.
"They believe that government and spending creates jobs," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. "We believe business and growth creates jobs."
The GOP plan calls for repealing Obama's health care law and passing a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget.
"This is a pro-growth proposal to create the environment for jobs," said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio. "And that's as opposed to the short-term, sweetener approach of the Obama administration that simply hasn't worked."
The Senate plan resembles a jobs package assembled by Portman earlier this year and a proposal that House Republicans released back in May.
"We have to be for something," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
The latest release came as Democrats are trying to mount an offensive on the jobs issue.
One idea that could win bipartisan support is a proposal to permit U.S. companies to bring home $1.4 trillion in overseas profits that are kept offshore because of high corporate tax rates. And lawmakers in both parties support revamping the tax code by getting rid of deductions and using the revenue to lower rates on individuals and businesses.
But most of the other elements of the plan, including repealing last year's financial overhaul measure and a complete moratorium on new regulations, are nonstarters with the White House and Democrats controlling the Senate.
Obama wants to spend money on public works, cut payroll taxes for individuals and businesses and help local governments avoid laying off public workers.