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Obama: Albany's high-tech center sets bar

President Barack Obama tours the College of Nanoscale

President Barack Obama tours the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering's Albany NanoTech Complex at the University at Albany with New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. (May 8, 2012) Credit: AFP/Getty Images

ALBANY -- Touring a high-tech research center, President Barack Obama contrasted himself with congressional Republicans Tuesday, saying they have obstructed his job-creation plans.

Obama gave the Republican-led House a "to-do list" that included tax incentives for businesses that hire more workers and for those returning from overseas.

"Just about every time we put these policies up for a vote, the Republican Congress gets together and says no," Obama said.

The list also included granting tax credits for clean-energy manufacturing, easing the way for homeowners to refinance mortgages and creating a jobs corps for returning military veterans.

His remarks came after visiting the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the University at Albany, hub of a new computer-chip research center.

The president and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo walked through "clean rooms" where large machines hummed, squealed and flashed under yellow and white neon lights. They chatted up students and employees who showed off 450-millimeter wafers they said would be the future of chip making.

"Some of the most advanced manufacturing work in the world takes place in upstate New York," Obama said later in his formal remarks. "This school and this community represent the future of our economy. . . . I want what is happening in Albany to be happening around the country."

This was Obama's third visit to the region. A year ago, he toured a General Electric turbine facility while promoting domestic manufacturing.

"The president has been coming to Albany so often the rest of the state is going to get jealous," Cuomo said while introducing Obama. Cuomo hearkened back to the 2008 stock market meltdown just before Obama was elected and said the Democrat's "leadership has brought this nation through the storm."

With the unemployment rate hovering at 8 percent, Obama has tried to portray congressional Republicans as obstructing his economic agenda. He has also sought to tie Republican Mitt Romney to GOP leaders in Congress, arguing that the likely GOP presidential nominee would simply rubber-stamp their policies.

"The truth is the only way we can accelerate the job creation that takes place on a scale that is needed is bold action from Congress," Obama said.

Republicans countered with their own complaints about Senate Democratic inaction.

"We've passed nearly 30 jobs bills to increase American competitiveness, expand domestic energy production and rein in the red tape that is burdening small businesses. Democrats are blocking every one of them," said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

A Romney spokeswoman also took a shot at the president. "President Obama's liberal policies are growing the size and scope of the federal government -- but they're not growing the economy," said Andrea Saul.

With AP

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