"If we allow the transportation bill to expire, over 4,000 workers will be immediately furloughed without pay," Obama told about 150 people in the Rose Garden. "If it's delayed for just 10 days, it will lose nearly $1 billion in highway funding -- that's money we can never get back. If it's delayed even longer, almost one million workers could lose their jobs over the course of the next year."
Obama also demanded that Congress extend the Federal Aviation Administration's funding, which is set to expire in mid-September, "as soon as they come back" from summer recess.
Congress temporarily extended the FAA's funding this month after lawmakers failed to settle a dispute over the unionization of workers. Obama chided Congress for failing to strike a compromise and demanded that lawmakers separate the unionization dispute from the funding bill so they can pass it.
"At a time when a lot of people in Washington are talking about creating jobs," Obama said, "it's time to stop the political gamesmanship that can actually cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs."
The White House framed Obama's remarks as part of his efforts to spur job creation, but some political analysts say the address sounded more like campaign speech than an appeal for congressional action.
"This was his 'It's not my fault' speech," said GOP strategist David Winston. "What he's trying to do is take attention away from the fact that his job approval numbers have tanked."
Obama's approval ratings have dropped 10 percentage points over the last three months, according to the most recent Gallup polls. A record-low 40 percent of voters approve of the job he is doing.
Obama is portraying Congress as the primary barrier to job growth, claiming lawmakers are more concerned with derailing his re-election than returning Americans to work, said Brian Darling, a senior fellow in government studies at the Heritage Foundation.
"Pretty clearly, the president's campaign strategy is to run against Congress -- to pick on the set of guys that are doing even worse than him in the eyes of the American public," Darling said, referring to Congress' 12 percent approval rating.
"Specifically, [Obama] is thinking maybe he can win re-election by making people believe that the Tea Party is in control of Washington," he added.
The strategy may appease some of Obama's liberal supporters, many of whom have berated him for giving in to congressional Republicans on taxes and budget cuts. But it's highly unlikely to prod Congress into action.
"There's no way Congress is going to pass another Obama stimulus plan," Darling said. "It just isn't going to happen."
The president will lay out his long-awaited jobs plan before an unusual joint session of Congress, a speech the president has rescheduled for Sept. 8, a day after the debate between the Republican presidential candidates is to be televised.