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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

McConnell: Democrats Have Designed The Job Stimulus Bill To Fail

Today in Washington, D.C. - Oct 12, 2011:
The Senate began consideration of the three long-stalled trade agreements: H.R. 3080, the South Korea Free Trade Agreement; H.R. 3079, the Panama Free Trade Agreement; and H.R. 3078, the Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Later this evening, after approval from the House, the Senate will vote on the trade agreements.

Today the US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee tired of of the Attorney General's dancing around the issue of his knowledge of or involvement in "Fast and Furious." The House via the District Federal Court subpoenaed the records and documents of Attorney General Eric Holder and other Justice Department officials for Justice Department related to an operation now known as Fast and Furious. In reality, the operation prevented government law enforcement agencies from stopping of the sale and transport of arms to Mexican Cartels which then resulted in the death and harm to both Mexicans and Americans.

Yesterday, the US House passed the several Veterans related bills: The Veterans Employment Promotion Act, Veterans Sexual Assault Prevention and Health Care Enhancement Act and the Veterans Dog Therapy Training Act. 


Previously not reported, the US House passed Broadband Stimulus Oversight legislation to improve the “accountability and transparency” of the broadband portion of the stimulus package. The bill requires the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to terminate awards and return funds if the Treasury finds associated waste, fraud or insufficient performance. About $7 billion has been allocated in grants and loans for broadband build-out, adoption and education.

Last night, Senate Democrats held open a cloture vote for over 2 hours, but were barely able to get a majority to vote to invoke cloture on moving to their version of the president’s stimulus bill, modified to include a new surtax on jobs creators. The bill needed 60 votes and fell far short, by a vote of 50-49, with bipartisan opposition.

Prior to that vote, the Senate voted 63-35 to pass S. 1619, the China currency bill, and 98-0 to confirm a district judge nominee.

Democrats have spent a lot of time over the last day accusing Republicans of playing politics with the economy, but news reports today remind that it’s been Democrats and the White House all along putting political considerations first.

Politico writes today, “Winning in Congress was never really part of the plan. President Barack Obama didn’t do much to bring along lawmakers on his jobs bill — and it showed in the Senate vote Tuesday. The $447 billion measure stalled after struggling to win even a simple majority to move forward, on its surface an embarrassing setback at the hands of the Democratic-controlled Senate. In a shift for the White House, the relentless focus on the American Jobs Act wasn’t about racking up a legislative win. It was always about laying the foundation for the only real argument Obama has in 2012: I have a plan to create jobs now and Republicans don’t. Along the way, a president who hates to lose — on the basketball court, in the voting booth or on Capitol Hill — realized it was his surest strategy for winning. ‘The president has learned that a loss can be a win,’ said a senior Democratic strategist who supports Obama. . . . This is the new Obama ‘long game,’ one that many Democrats say has been long overdue. Instead of courting an often-unwilling Congress, as he did during the first 32 months of his presidency, Obama is more focused on bending public opinion toward his priorities and setting up a contrast with Republicans.”

According to Politico, “In a major rhetorical escalation, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina on Tuesday went a step further than White House officials by accusing Senate Republicans of trying to keep unemployment high to benefit the GOP’s political fortunes. He described the GOP as engaged in a ‘political kamikaze mission.’ ‘Their strategy is to suffocate the economy for the sake of what they think will be a political victory,’” Messina wrote in email to supporters. ‘They think that the more folks see Washington taking no action to create jobs, the better their chances in the next election. So they’re doing everything in their power to make sure nothing gets done.’”

In fact, Democrats actually designed their bill to fail from the first. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell explained things prior to the vote yesterday, “Of course, the truth of the matter is, most Democrats know just as well as I do that passing another stimulus and tax hike is a lousy idea — which is why the President is having such a hard time convincing many Democrats to vote for it. So here’s what they’ve decided to do instead. Democrats have designed this bill to fail—they’ve designed their own bill to fail — in the hopes that anyone who votes against it will look bad for opposing a bill they misleadingly refer to as a ‘jobs bill.’”

“That’s not just my interpretation,” Leader McConnell said. “The Senior Senator for New York has been out there telling reporters that what Democrats are going for today is ‘contrast.’ It doesn’t seem to matter that this bill won’t pass, or that even if it did pass, American businesses would be stuck with a permanent tax hike. Forget about all that. What matters most to the Democrats who control the Senate, according to the stories I’ve been reading, is that they have an issue to run on next year. This whole exercise, by their own admission, is a charade that’s meant to give Democrats a political edge in an election that is 13 months away.”

Indeed, in a fact-checking piece yesterday, the AP reported, “‘He [President Obama] knows it's not going to pass. He's betting that voters won't pick up on it, or even if they do they will blame Congress and he can run against the ‘do-nothing Congress,’” said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a senior fellow at the University of Southern California's School of Policy, Planning and Development. John Sides, political science professor at George Washington University, said Obama's approach on the jobs bill is ‘more about campaigning than governing.’” On Monday, Politico noted Democrats “know it's going nowhere,” referring to “the public theater.”

As Leader McConnell said today, “The fact of the matter is, if President Obama were willing to work with us on more bipartisan legislation like [the three free trade agreements], nobody would even be talking about a dysfunctional Congress. There wouldn’t be any reason to. But, as we all know, that doesn’t fit in with the President’s reelection strategy. The White House has made it clear that the President is praying for gridlock, so he has somebody – besides himself -- to point the finger at next November. And it’s a big mistake. The American people will not tolerate their own President putting politics ahead of working with Congress on the kind of bipartisan legislation we know both parties could agree on right now. . . . As I see it, the President has a choice. He can spend the next 13 months trying to get Republicans to vote against legislation that won’t create sustainable private sector jobs and which is designed to fail in Congress, or he can work with us on legislation that will actually encourage small businesses to create jobs and is actually designed to pass.”

Tags: Washington, D.C., US House, US Senate, Obama's Stimulus Bill, subpoenas, Eric Holder, Fast and Furious, veterans, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 11:08 AM - Post Link

1 Comments:

Anonymous Joseph Kilgore said...

Democrats are slave owners of the past and of the present. They don't believe in freedom. They snare and hold who ever they can.

10/12/2011  

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