Covering Washington politics. From our vantage point. One day a time.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Congress Says No to President Obama's Jobs Bill

Speaking with the Key Bridge in the backdrop, President Obama set out once again to express the urgency for Congress to pass his American Jobs bill.

President Obama speaking to workers with the Key Bridge back drop. 
The bridge is one of many across, the country, in need of repair.  Photo/CD Brown.
"The truth is, the only way we can attack our economic challenges on the scale that’s needed is with bold action by Congress", the President said.  "They hold the purse strings.  It’s the only way we’re going to put hundreds of thousands of people back to work right now - not five years from now, not 10 years from now, but right now.  It’s the only way that we’re going to rebuild an economy that’s not based on financial bubbles, but on hard work, on building and making things right here in the United States of America."

True to form, Congress blocked the president's bill. 

But so did Democrats, who fell nine votes short of the 60 needed to move the president's agenda forward. The vote was 51-49, with all Republicans and two members of the Democratic caucus (Joe Lieberman, I-Conn. and Ben Nelson), chiming in with 'Nays'.

In response President Obama, currently attending G-20 summit events in Europe, made the following statement:

"For the third time in recent weeks, every single Republican in the United States Senate has chosen to obstruct a jobs bill that independent economists said would boost our economy and put Americans back to work.  At a time when more than a million construction workers are looking for a job, they voted “no” to putting them back to work doing the work America needs done – rebuilding  our roads, bridges, airports and transit systems.  That makes no sense."

The president announced on Wednesday his plan to expedite loans and competitive grants for new infrastructure projects across the country, creating thousands of new jobs.

"We can’t wait for Congress to do its job.  If they won’t act, I will", the president said. 

Oddly enough, Senator Mitch McConnell on the Senate floor today, tried to explain the Republican model that he claims will “extend the current highway bill for another two years, giving states and contractors the certainty they need to start new infrastructure projects and create jobs."

He goes on to say, “Best of all, it’s fully paid for through funds that were originally appropriated for another purpose but not spent. Whatever’s left over after these projects are funded goes to pay down the deficit."

This sounds very similar to President Obama's plan, doesn't it?

Yet Republicans say 'no' when Obama proposes the same ideology, leaving voters in the upcoming election to wonder what this cat-and-mouse game really all about.

Wednesday's Key Bridge photos.  Click here.

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