Obama touts aid for emergency service workers

NORTH CHESTERFIELD, Va. (AP) ? President Barack Obama is pressing for Congress to spend billions of dollars to help firefighters facing layoffs.

Obama said Wednesday that while the private sector continues to add jobs, financially strapped state and local governments are doing the opposite and cutting firefighters, teachers and police officers from the public payrolls.

He says these emergency workers provide an extraordinary service and shouldn’t be laid off.

The jobs bill Obama unveiled last month includes $35 billion for states and local governments to keep emergency service workers on the jobs. The Senate could vote on that element of the bill soon.

Obama spoke at a fire station in North Chesterfield, Va. It was the final stop on Obama’s three-day bus tour of rural North Carolina and Virginia.