In perhaps his most sober remarks about the economy this year, President Obama on Thursday described the weakening economy as “an emergency” and made the case for his jobs bill as “an insurance policy against a possible double-dip recession.”

Our economy really needs a jolt right now,” Mr. Obama said at the White House, in an abruptly scheduled morning news conference timed to pressure Republicans before the Senate begins debate on his bill, which is scheduled for next week.

This is not the time for the usual political gridlock,” the president added. “The problems Europe is having today could have a very real effect on our economy at a time when it’s already fragile.