Published On: Wed, Oct 5th, 2011

Senate Republicans want to Vote on Obama’s Jobs Bill “Right Away”

Supporters of the President (or even just voyeurs who like to see what the other side is up to), received an email Tuesday afternoon from campaign manager Jim Messina.  This sad little missive is entitled “They won’t even vote on it”, and whines about how those rotten House Republicans haven’t done anything to pass the Obama jobs bill, and further complains that “House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is out there actually bragging that they won’t even put the jobs package up for a vote — ever.”

When Obama invited himself to a joint session of Congress on September 8th to introduce his jobs bill (which needed to be passed right away), there really was no bill: the White House hadn’t finished drafting it.  In fact, the American Jobs Act of 2011, (which needed to be passed right away) was not actually introduced in the House until September 21, and curiously for legislation of such critical import, as of today the bill has no co-sponsors.

Well, maybe the Democrats in the house were dragging their heels, but not so their colleagues in the Senate, no sir. Realizing that this critical bill needed to be passed right away, Majority Leader Harry Reid jumped to do his part and introduced the Senate version on September 13th.

On Tuesday, however, those sneaky Senate Republicans (who know that Obama wants the bill passed right away) tried to pull a fast one. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stunned his colleagues when he moved to introduce the President’s bill right away.

In the unanticipated maneuver, McConnell announced that he would introduce the $447 billion jobs package as an amendment to another bill already being debated on the Senate floor.

“As you know, there have been numerous calls by the president and some of his assistants that we move forward on what he calls his ‘jobs package’ and what we call ‘Stimulus 2,’” McConnell said at a news conference outside the Senate chamber. “In fact, the president just today either will say or has already said, ‘At least put this jobs bill up for a vote so that the entire country knows exactly where every member of Congress stands.’ Therefore, I intend to offer the president’s stimulus bill as soon as we reconvene.”

Reid was on the alert though.  Knowing how important it is to the President that the bill be passed right away, he objected immediately and said the move was “nothing more than a political stunt.”

“What a charade we’ve got going on here,” Reid said on the Senate floor. “This is senseless, and it’s not fair bringing it up in this form.”

Reid did promise that he would introduce the bill later this month and predicted that “a majority of Democrats will support the president’s jobs bill.”

That must be good news for the President, because just last week Majority Whip Dick Durbin said in a radio interview that although the Democrats don’t actually have the votes “at the moment”, he “hoped” the bill could be amended to secure the votes of reluctant members.

It’s all a shell game. There never was any substance to the President’s “job bill”, and his incessant repetition that the Congress needs to pass the bill right away has been nothing more than a transparent and cynical political ploy.  Obama was hoping that the Democrat majority in the Senate would support him and pass the bill so that when it went down to sure defeat in the House he could reincarnate Harry Truman and accuse them of being a do nothing congress.

Obama can complain about Eric Cantor in his insider emails and on the campaign trail, but even House Democrat Whip Steny Hoyer hasn’t bothered to co-sponsor the bill Cantor is supposedly blocking.  In fact, no Democrat has co-sponsored the bill in either house, and it’s the Democrats in the Senate that done all they can to block a vote on the bill their party’s president insists must be passed right away, and yet the Obama campaign is blasting the Republicans.

With this, the Obama re-election strategy is laid bare: they’re counting on voters being so stupid and uninformed that they will buy any old line the White House throws at them. The trajectory of the economy and the re-election effort suggest that the strategy isn’t working.

About the Author

- Russell Halley is a lifelong political voyeur. Halley started writing for weekly newspapers in the early 70's, and advanced to a successful career as a freelancer, having been published in several national magazines. Eventually, however, the call of commerce lured him away and he switched to circulation, working with many of the largest publishers around the world to increase readership. As an avocation, Russell has always followed and participated in the minutia of the political world, and migrated from a severe left wing point of view to conservatism. He was flattered when the San Jose Mercury News once described his style as “Republican Punk”, and prides himself on a certain expertise in this arena, with a perspective that he hopes sheds light on the issues of the day. Read more of Halley's clips here.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    We’re not that stupid anymore

  2. paulejb says:

    Isn’t it just too bad we can’t vote these Democrat hypocrites out of office right away.

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