WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama will try to put some distance between himself and a battle with Republicans over government spending on Friday, touring a Ford plant in Missouri while the House of Representatives votes on a short-term budget bill.
The Republican-led House is expected to pass a bill that would avert a government shutdown on October 1, but would also gut Obama's signature healthcare law - the latest in a long series of fiscal fights between Obama and the Republicans.
Obama will be far from the Washington fray and will try to deliver a message designed to set himself apart from a Congress he frequently describes as dysfunctional.
He will tour a factory at Liberty, Missouri, where Ford is boosting its workforce by more than 80 per cent. The company has added 900 people to help build the popular F-150 pickup truck, and will add more than 1,000 jobs over the next year building a new line of vans.
The Democratic president has claimed the rescue of the auto industry in 2009 as one of his biggest economic accomplishments. When he first took office, General Motors Co and Chrysler Group LLC took federal bailouts and restructured.
Obama will use Friday's speech to show his economic policies are helping to create jobs and will argue that Republicans should stop thwarting his efforts to do more.
"I think that's symbolically a very good place for him to be," said James Staab, head of the political science department at the University of Central Missouri.
But Obama is unlikely to make any headway on his agenda given the struggle in Washington, where Republican leaders have shown no signs they are willing or able to broker a compromise, Staab said in an interview.
"They really just have not been willing to work with the president," he said.