*(Via CNN) – Facing low approval ratings and constant Republican criticism as his re-election campaign starts up, President Barack Obama challenged Congress on Thursday night to put the good of the nation over political benefit and pass a huge jobs plan he proposed.

In a speech to a joint session of Congress, Obama told the legislators to “stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy” by quickly approving the $447 billion package of measures so he can sign it into law.

“The people of this country work hard to meet their responsibilities. The question tonight is whether we’ll meet ours,” Obama said to applause. “The question is whether, in the face of an ongoing national crisis, we can stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy. The question is whether we can restore some of the fairness and security that has defined this nation since our beginning.”

Obama also told legislators that they should quickly pass his plan, called the American Jobs Act.

“There should be nothing controversial about this piece of legislation,” the president said. “Everything in here is the kind of proposal that’s been supported by both Democrats and Republicans — including many who sit here tonight. And everything in this bill will be paid for. Everything.”

Read/learn MORE at CNN.

Watch as President Obama explains how his jobs bill will be paid for: