President Barack Obama is scheduled to confer today with U.S. Senate Democratic leaders on a strategy for getting a vote on a $447 billion jobs plan that he said would give the economy the "jolt" it needs to spark hiring.

With the recovery being dragged down by the European debt crisis, Obama argued that the package of tax cuts and spending is needed to "guard against another downturn."

"Any senator out there who's thinking about voting against this jobs bill, when it comes up for a vote, needs to explain exactly why they would oppose something that we know would improve our economic situation at such an urgent time," Obama said at a White House news conference yesterday.

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