National

Dec 4, 2009 8:43 AM by Associated Press

President defending his handling of the economy

With the nation's unemployment rate still running at 10 percent, President Barack Obama takes his defense of his handling of the economy on the road Friday. Despite limited options due to big budget deficits, he's warming to the possibility of a job-boosting bill.

Obama has scheduled appearances Friday in Pennsylvania to showcase innovative businesses following Thursday's White House jobs forum.

The president is mindful of growing anxiety about federal deficits and says it is primarily up to the private sector to create large numbers of new jobs. This year's budget deficit is nearly $2 trillion, a fact the American public finds alarming.

But congressional democrats are eyeing up to $70 billion in unspent financial bailout money to use for infrastructure projects and saving public employee jobs. Meanwhile, senate democrats are advancing the health care overhaul bill with $460 billion in Medicare cuts. They blocked republican efforts on Thursday to restore the Medicare funding.

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