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Congress: 'Scattershot' response

“Republicans quickly criticized President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs package for emphasizing short-term measures over long-term reforms, but they cautioned that they need to see the details and held out hope they could work with the president on pieces of his plan,” Roll Call writes. “The GOP’s response was unusually scattershot — hamstrung in part by the lack of details laid out by the president, particularly on how he intends to pay for the plan. And, as Obama and Congressional Democrats repeatedly noted, many of the ideas he put forward — like a proposal to cut the payroll tax for employees and small businesses — have previously been backed by Republicans in one form or another.”

“A little more than an hour before President Obama’s address to Congress on job creation, the Senate passed and sent him an overhaul of the US patent system that Obama has long endorsed as a way to promote innovation and put Americans back to work,” the AP writes. “Proving that Congress can, on occasion, put aside partisan differences, the Senate voted 89-9 for legislation that supporters say will streamline the patent process, reduce costly legal battles, and give the US Patent and Trademark Office the money it needs to process patent applications in a timely fashion.”

The Boston Globe: “A special congressional committee charged with reducing the growth of the federal debt by $1.5 trillion gathered for the first time yesterday, a largely ceremonial meeting that was big on displays of unity and commitment amid intense pressure to reach a bipartisan agreement.”

Rep. John Dingell (D) pens a Washington Post op-ed entitled: “Congress needs a fresh, bipartisan start.”