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Now, White House officials are predicting that unemployment will fall below 9 percent next year if Congress approves the president’s newest package.

“It’s ridiculous for the Obama administration to make another prediction,” Mr. Edwards said. “Economists and politicians have a [poor] record of forecasting where the economy is going.”

Factoring in the Federal Reserve’s efforts to pump trillions of dollars into the economy, Mr. Edwards said, Mr. Obama has presided over $5 trillion of stimulus since he took office. But the recovery is the slowest since World War II.

Mr. Obama’s re-election likely hinges on the outcome of this latest battle with Congress. No president in the past 50 years has won a second term with the unemployment rate higher than 7.2 percent.

Mr. Obama, seeming to recognize that his proposal won’t win favor with Republican lawmakers, is talking about campaigning next year on the argument that the House GOP is leading a “do-nothing” Congress.