THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. This week with a vote in the House of Representatives, Congress took a positive step towards passage of my jobs and growth proposal. The plan I submitted would create more than a million jobs by the end of next year through immediate tax relief for American families and businesses.
Since I sent my plan to Congress in January, the need for action the economy has become even more urgent. The unemployment rate last month reached 6 percent as many employers continue to hold back on the kinds of investments that lead to new jobs. The bill that passed the House of Representatives this week includes all the elements of my plan: cuts in income tax rates, this year; reduction of the marriage penalty; an increase in the child credit from $600 to $1,000; an increase in the expensing provision for small business investment in new equipment; and action to reduce the double-taxation of dividend income.
These reforms would bring immediate help throughout our economy. They would leave more money in the hands of families who need it to make purchases and to pay the bills. And this tax relief would give employers greater incentives and resources to invest in new equipment. The result will be more jobs, and that is our goal.
We are also making progress on passing tax relief in the Senate. The Senate Finance Committee has approved legislation that includes important aspects of my proposal. I urge the Senate to complete its work next week so the House and Senate can work out their different versions and get a tax relief bill to my desk as soon as possible. This week's progress demonstrates that both houses of Congress and both political parties agree that tax relief will help this economy. Now the discussion is about how much tax relief the American people need and deserve. We need at least $550 billion in tax relief over the next decade, big enough to make a real difference in the paychecks of American workers, big enough to help entrepreneurs create more jobs, and big enough to give our economy the boost it needs.
This past week, I met a small business owner named Luke Brindley. Luke and his family started their Virginia business less than two years ago with five employees. And now they're up to 25. Here's what Luke says, any break we get encourages us to hire more people and buy more equipment.
Next week, I will travel to New Mexico, Nebraska and Indiana to address the nation's hardworking, small business owners, families and investors. My message to them will be simple: the surest way to grow this economy and create jobs is to leave more money in the hands of the people who earn it.
I urge every citizen to participate in this important debate and to make your voice heard. Explain to your local representative or your senators what tax relief would mean to your family and your business, and please tell the members of Congress why our economy needs that relief now.
Thank you for listening.