In an effort to illustrate just how serious the Democrats in congress are about passing President Obama’s latest “jobs bill,” Kentucky’s senior senator, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell tossed a curveball yesterday by calling for a vote on the half-trillion dollar American Jobs Act. “I agree with the president, I think he’s entitled to a vote on his jobs bill,” McConnell said on the Senate floor as he tried to force an immediate vote on the AJA by attaching it to unrelated legislation.
Of course, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid quickly refused. Instead, Reid offered to move to debate on the bill immediately, which would have required Republicans to agree not to filibuster the legislation. And, as expected, McConnell rejected that suggestion.
Not that any of this political theatre would make a whit of difference to the impending fate of Obama’s latest
stimulus jobs proposal; the Democrats can’t even find a sponsor for this turkey in the House of Representatives, so the AJA technically has not been placed on the House agenda.
This morning, Senator McConnell made the following statement on the Senate floor Wednesday regarding the Democrats’ refusal to vote on the President’s AJA proposal:
“For the past three weeks, President Obama has been racing around the country trying to rally public support for a second stimulus bill and demanding that Congress pass it ‘right away.’
“The President has not been demanding that Congress debate the bill or be allowed to amend the bill. He has demanded — in no uncertain terms — that we hold a vote on the bill as is, right away.
“A couple weeks ago in Denver, the President said he’s got the pens all ready, lined up on his desk, ready to sign the bill into law. Just Yesterday in Texas, he called on Congress to put the bill up for a vote, so the entire country knows exactly where every member of Congress stands. One of the President’s top advisors, David Axelrod, summed up the President’s position like this:
‘We want them to act now on this package,’ he said. ‘We’re not in negotiations to break up the package. It’s not an a la carte menu.’
“So yesterday, I tested the President’s rhetoric. I proposed that we do exactly what he wants and vote, right away, on this second stimulus bill he’s proposed as the supposed solution to our jobs crisis.
“And the Democrats blocked it.
“In other words, the President’s own party is the only obstacle to having a vote on his so-called Jobs bill.
“And now I understand our Democrat friends want to jettison entire parts of the bill altogether — not to make it more effective at growing jobs, not to grow bipartisan support. No, they want to overhaul the bill to sharpen its political edge.
“So my suggestion to the White House is that if the President wants to keep traveling around the country demanding a vote on this second stimulus, that he focuses his criticism on Democrats, not Republicans. Because they’re the ones who are now standing in the way of an immediate vote on this legislation.
“But, of course, the President knew as well as I did that many Democrats in Congress don’t like this bill any more than Republicans do. Despite his rhetoric, he knew Republicans weren’t the only obstacle.
“Which means one thing: the President is not engaged right now in a good-faith effort to spur the economy or create jobs through legislation. He’s engaged in a reelection campaign.
“There are 1.7 million fewer jobs since the President signed his first stimulus, and his idea of a solution is to propose another one. Even Democrats know it’s a non-starter, which is why so many of them don’t want to have to vote for it. That’s what we all witnessed yesterday.
“It’s time the President puts an end to this charade. Stop campaigning for a bill written in way to guarantee it wouldn’t pass. And work with us on the kind of job-creating legislation both parties can agree on. Things like the trade bills, rolling back overly burdensome regulations, domestic energy production and tax reform. Republicans are ready.”
For some reason, our local daily newspaper here in Louisville has not found this story important enough to mention to its readers. Is it any wonder that newspaper’s circulation has dropped 30 percent in the last ten years?
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