President Barack Obama urged Congress Thursday night to pass a proposed $447 billion plan “right away” that would extend and expand the payroll tax cut to workers for another year and, for the first time, giving employers a break in their payroll taxes.

The American Jobs Act proposal includes more than $250 billion in tax incentives for small businesses and employers, according to administration estimates, in an effort to bring down the 9.1 percent unemployment rate, and “give a jolt” to a stalled economy.

But there is one big bump in the road: It has to be approved by Congress.

“There should be nothing controversial about this piece of legislation,” Obama told a joint session of Congress and making his pitch to the American public. “Everything in here is the kind of proposal that’s been supported by both Democrats and Republicans – including many who sit here tonight.”

Obama said the purpose of this new proposal is simple:

“To put more people back to work and more money in the pockets of those who are working. It will create more jobs for construction workers, more jobs for teachers, more jobs for veterans, and more jobs for the long-term unemployed.”

It will provide a tax break for companies who hire new workers, and it will cut payroll taxes in half for every working American and every small business. It will give companies confidence that if they invest and hire, there will be customers for their products and services. You should pass this jobs plan right away.”

At the heart of the president’s plan is an extension of the payroll tax cut passed last year, through 2012. The proposal, which would affect an estimated 160 million workers by providing a $1,500 tax cut for the average family, comes in at a cost of $175 billion.

The president is also calling for $50 billion in infrastructure repairs; $10 billion for an infrastructure bank to help leverage private capital; $30 billion for school modernization and repairs; and $35 billion in aid to states and municipalities for the purposes of rehiring and retaining teachers and first responders.

Also in the plan: a $4,000 tax break for companies that hire anybody who’s been looking for a job for more than six months and a measure to make it easier for start-up companies to get started and get a tax break.

The president said the plan would be paid for by asking the congressional super committee, charged with finding $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction, to offset the cost of the package in their proposal.

Republicans opened the door a crack Thursday to what could be a deal.

“We know that the two parties aren’t going to agree on everything,” House Speaker John Boehner told reporters Thursday. “But the American people want us to find common ground, and I’ll be looking for it.” The devil is always in the details.

The proposed jobs bill might be a boon for the federal workforce–or bend the existing one even harder–as agencies would have to administer the plan and oversee infrastructure investments. There would also be more work for the Internal Revenue Service that has to oversee extension of the payroll-tax cuts, a proposed mortgage incentive, and other tax incentives.

Democrats see this speech as a pivotal point in the face of a battered economy. If Obama can’t get his ideas passed heading into his re-election year, he at least hopes to show why he shouldn’t take the fall.

“You should pass it and I intend to take this message to every corner of this country,” Obama said.

It’s unclear whether Republicans and Democrats will put aside their political barbs and pass this legislation.

Reaction from the private sector was restrained.

“The President’s plan offered some glimmers of hope for the technology industry,” said TechAmerica President and CEO Phil Bond. It addresses “some of the fundamental issues required for the industry to continue to flourish; namely trade, tax reform and talent. We whole-heartedly agree that to help American innovation companies we must “out-build, out-educate and out-innovate”.

Bottom line:Will Obama get everything he proposed Thursday night? No. Don’t look for big changes anytime soon. Don’t expect a big increase in federal jobs. If something does pass, you’ll see a slow drop in unemployment but don’t bet your house on it.