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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will lay out his jobs plan in a prime television time address next week to a rare joint session of Congress, the White House said Wednesday.

Obama sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asking to speak to both chambers on Sept. 7 at 8 p.m (midnight GMT).

With the U.S. economy on the rails and opposition Republicans on the attack, the much-anticipated speech is expected to include proposals for economic growth such as tax credits and infrastructure spending along with calls for shrinking the deficit.

WATCH MSNBC COVERAGE OF THE OBAMA SPEECH ON JOBS:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking newsworld news, and news about the economy

In his letter to the lawmakers, Obama said Washington must answer the call to put aside politics and do what’s best for the country to grow the economy and create jobs.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said that Obama decided to seek to speak to a joint session of Congress because congressional action is needed to carry out his plans. Lawmakers will have just returned from their annual summer recess.

“He believes the venue is appropriate because of the actions that need to be taken,” Carney said.

The speech will conflict with a Republican presidential debate happening at the same time in California, but Carney said that was not a consideration. “It is coincidental,” he said.

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Obama to unveil plan to add jobs

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