Obama signs jobs bill, thanks Republicans - The Oval: Tracking the Obama presidency President Obama just signed a new $18 billion jobs bill designed to spur hiring by giving tax breaks to small businesses. The bill also includes $20 billion for highway and transit programs. "While this jobs bill is absolutely necessary, it is by no means enough," Obama said during a sunny Rose Garden bill signing ceremony. "There is a lot more we need to do to spur hiring in the private sector and bring about a full economic recovery; from helping creditworthy small businesses get the loans they need to expand, to offering incentives to make homes and businesses more energy-efficient, to investing in infrastructure so we can put Americans to work doing the work America needs done." Obama thanked the dozen or so Republicans who supported the bill in Congress and, even as Democrats and Republicans continued sparring over health-care legislation, the president said he hopes there will be more cooperation in the future. "I'm also gratified that over a dozen Republicans agreed that the need for this jobs bill was urgent, and that they were willing to break out of the partisan morass in Washington to help us take this forward-step for the American people," Obama said. "I hope it is a prelude to further cooperation in the days and months to come, as we continue the work of digging out of this recession and rebuilding our economy in a way that works for all Americans."