Republican Congressman Tom Latham says it’s time to “put people before politics” and find common ground with President Obama.  But Republican Senator Chuck Grassley and Republican Congressman Steve King both dismiss the president’s job-creation plan as the wrong approach and advocate things like a balanced budget amendment and regulatory reform instead.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says the president’s plan is a balanced approach.

“He’s not asking congress to take this action because he says they should,” Carney says. “He’s asking them to take it because the American people demand that congress do something, that Washington function and take action — pragmatic, sensible, bipartisan action — to address what every poll in every state across the country will tell you is Americans’ primary concern, which is the economy and jobs.”

President Obama plans to outline spending reductions later this month to cover the expenses in his job-creation package. An economist who worked in the Clinton Administration was in Iowa yesterday, arguing budget cuts will lead to higher unemployment. According to former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich, the government must engage in deficit spending during a recession to spur the economy and budget cuts should not begin until unemployment is down to six percent.

“When you have 25 million people unemployed and you have so much deferred maintenance on our infrastructure and it’s so cheap to borrow from world credit markets, you’ve got to be insane not to do so,” Reich said.

The press secretary for the current president says Obama agrees that cutting federal spending too deeply right now risks throwing the economy back into recession.   

“We need to take action now to grow the economy and help it create jobs,” Carney says. “That’s an urgent need right now and we can also and must take action to get our deficits and debt under control for the longer term because that will put this economy on sounder ground going forward.” 

Carney spoke with Radio Iowa by phone early this morning, about 12 hours after the president’s speech to congress.