WASHINGTON - President Obama took his State of the Union show on the road Thursday, pressing his case in Florida for a jobs bill, health care reform and high-speed rail projects.
"The worst of the storm has passed. But I think all of you understand the devastation remains," Obama told a lively audience at a town hall-style meeting in Tampa. "One in 10 Americans still can't find work. That's why creating jobs has to be our No. 1 priority in 2010."
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid announced he will push forward a jobs bill next week that is cheaper than the $154 billion measure the House approved late last year.
Obama faces opposition from Republicans who contend the first stimulus package didn't solve the problem.
"The stimulus simply isn't working, but rather than admit it, the President and congressional Democrats are doubling down and calling for even more government 'stimulus' spending - wasting even more taxpayer dollars," House GOP leader John Boehner said.
Obama touted a new $8 billion project to build high-speed rail lines in 31 states as both a jobs package and an environmentally sound mode of travel.
The money is allocated and includes $1.25 billion linking Tampa-St. Petersburg with Walt Disney World, as well as $151million to begin planning for a high-speed rail line in upstate New York.
"We want to say to ourselves, there is no reason why other countries can build high-speed rail lines and we can't," Obama said to applause.
The President, meanwhile, will make another appeal for bipartisanship today in front of a hostile audience when he addresses House Republicans' annual retreat in Baltimore.