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April 19, 2014

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Obama jobs bill stalls in the Senate

Harry Reid

Harry Reid

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

What no one expected to pass did not come to pass Tuesday night in the Senate, in the form of President Barack Obama’s jobs bill.

Republican senators, joined by two Democrats, successfully stopped Obama’s much-touted $447 billion jobs bill from advancing. That leaves Democratic leaders and the president with two choices: go back to the drawing board or hit the campaign trail to decry the blockage.

It’s likely that they’ll do both.

The jobs bill emerged in the last month as a critical cure-all for the Obama administration. Passage, supporters said, will stimulate job growth, especially in the construction industry.

Obama stressed that the country does not have time to wait for another election to get Americans back to work, a fact that also works in his favor, as if the unemployment rate shrinks in the next 13 months, his chances at reelection dramatically improve.

But that was background to the Senate floor Tuesday night, where the jobs bill came up for its first procedural vote.

Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid held the Senate vote open far past the usual 15 minutes to pull in as much of his caucus as possible -- New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen was extremely late. He lost two moderate Democrats early in the vote -- Jon Tester of Montana and Ben Nelson of Nebraska, both of whom face tough reelections this year.

Reid then switched his vote from “yes” to “no” to preserve his ability to call up the jobs bill for another try in the future (a quirk of Senate procedure when a filibuster-busting 60 votes are necessary to advance legislation).

The final vote was thus listed as 50 to 49.

“Democrats will continue to advance these job-creating policies, and Republicans will have to explain to the American people why they oppose common-sense, bipartisan solutions for putting Americans back to work,” Reid said in a statement after the effort failed.

But that likely means breaking up the bill into its component parts. And then the question is, which first?

In a conference call prior to the vote, Reid said he was excited about the provisions of the bill to rehabilitate schools — a program school officials say is a two-for-one economic punch.

“Not only would it provide us the ability to take care of schools in need, in dire condition...it would get parents back in the workforce and provide a more stable home life, so these students can continue to learn,” Joyce Haldeman, associate superintendent of government relations for the Clark County School District, said on the same call.

Other provisions likely to be resurrected include the idea of an infrastructure bank to pay for road and bridge construction and an extended and augmented payroll tax holiday to encourage corporations to create more jobs in the U.S.

Republicans had been saying since the Obama announced his jobs plan that they’d rather pick bits and pieces of it that seemed worth addressing rather than swallow the whole thing.

“Democrats have designed their own bill to fail in the hopes that anyone who votes against it will look bad,” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday afternoon. “This whole exercise is a charade.”

But if anyone is posturing, Democrats charge, it’s the Republicans for voting against provisions they have supported in the past. “Just because Obama wants them, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t vote for them,” Reid said.

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  1. I'm glad it didn't pass. It should be named Obama's Tax bill not jobs bill. While there are good parts of it the total is a mess. It needs to be split up and another way needs to be found to pay for it. I won't suport any kind of tax increase with the spending so out of control.

  2. It needs to be noted that every single Republican in the Senate voted against this bill. By their collective vote, they are on record that they hate the American people. They hate you. They hate me. By this vote, they even acknowledge they hate veterans who return from war and clearly don't want them employed out in society after they get out. They simply don't want anyone to succeed. Not unless you already have millions and billions of dollars in your pocket. They will ignore all of you. Only up til the point where you flash money in their face. Then they all of a sudden start paying attention. But even then, their attention span is limited.

    The Republican Party in the Senate all follow McConnell's failed policy decisions that only pander to purely party political interests.

    Their main goal is to make sure millions and millions of American citizens are prevented from getting a job and seeking gainful employment...all so that one American don't have a job in November 2012.

    This makes them despicable. They only care for themselves. Not America.

    My votes in 2012 will be carefully made to ensure that every single Republican Party member on the face of the Planet Earth is voted out of power. Call me bi-partisan, I don't give a crap. I'm sick and tired of Republican Party nonsense of trying to achieve some utopian hell where nobody can live.

    Suffice it to say Heller is gone. Heller is a Governor Dracula appointee. Appointed to replace a previous Senator who quit during his term in disgrace, afraid of being criminally prosecuted and/or thrown out (Ensign). Heller voted against the Affordable Care Act not once, but TWICE. He is useless and he hates you and me too. I will relish the chance to slap him out of power with my vote.

    I should point out that Senator Reid voted for the American Jobs Act, but was forced to change his vote. So that he could ensure that it could be brought up again for a vote. So I don't want to hear the usual commenters with their stupid propaganda points of saying Reid voted against it too. After all, Republicans only look for stupid cheap victories. When it comes to policy and thinking for themselves, they basically suck at it. They only react and complain. They don't solve. It's not in their bones.

    You ask me, this vote clearly outlined Republicans and how they think. I think it's interesting it was conducted on the same night as yet another (yawn) uninteresting Republican candidate debate where stupidity abounded by all candidates.

  3. Thanks for correcting me, Heretic. Appreciate it. I misspoke in stating "bi-partisanship." It should have read "partisanship." Also, I wanted to point out and correct it that I am pretty much unable to vote every Republican out of office on the Planet Earth. Which I could, but I'm damn sure going to do my part where I can here in the Sovereign State of Nevada. If I had my way, there wouldn't even be a Republican Dogcatcher General of Nevada.

  4. "Republican senators, joined by two Democrats, successfully stopped Obama's much-touted $447 billion jobs bill from advancing."

    Karoun, republicans can't stop anything in the senate as the minority. It's the democrats who hold the majority in the senate who stopped this bill, that's what should be written.

  5. Colin, can you explain who was going to get jobs via this bill? Please elaborate how this spending bill would have "X" number of jobs and what they would do. Or was it waste and the republicans shot it down?
    How many people do you employ Colin? How much extra money do you send the government every month because you are personally concerned about unemployed?

    right, thought so.
    very easy to spend someone else's money

  6. petef asks me: "Colin, can you explain who was going to get jobs via this bill?"

    Unemployed workers. Employment provided to make up for the corporations who shipped them overseas, denying Americans a chance to work. Private employers are hoarding money. They want the Government to do something. Republicans are blocking this. Our politics is fractured. And the SOLE REASON it is fractured is because of Republican Party running on nothing but pure hate. When you protest all the time, it's easy to obstruction, block and do nothing. That's pretty much it in a nutshell.

    petef also asks me: "Please elaborate how this spending bill would have "X" number of jobs and what they would do. Or was it waste and the republicans shot it down?"

    The American Jobs Act would have provide for approximately 1.3 million jobs (at least) in the areas of fixing bridges and roads and updating schools, just to mention a few things. It also had some tax breaks in it for the small businesses. Although this is not an all encompassing bill that would fix all of America's ills, it was definitely a start in the right direction. In most Americans' eyes, and polls prove it, it was not a waste.

    petef asks: "How many people do you employ Colin?"

    None. I'm just a retired Navy Veteran. But I do volunteer work. How much volunteer work do you do?

    petef asks: "How much extra money do you send the government every month because you are personally concerned about unemployed?"

    I pay my taxes as a homeowner. I also pay sales taxes. I also pay income tax. I just pay taxes; per capita on an average more taxes than any corporation ever does.

    So, do me a favor, petef, quit blasting me with your sanctimonious one sided extremist beliefs and throw it somewhere where they'll eat it up. I see through it. All polls show President Obama's jobs bill is STILL popular, even after it got voted down by EVERY Republican.

    One thing I do is vote for politicians who SHOULD BE concerned about the unemployed; a job they are elected into office to be involved with. That's what Government does.

    NOT what these idiot Republicans do. They fight the jobs act tooth and nail. Then they say they will approve parts of it. Then when it comes up for a vote, they try to block it from even being voted on. Then when all the obstacles are removed to vote on it, then EN MASSE, ever single damn useless Republican votes it down, AGAINST their constituents' wishes.

    Next step will have it broken down into separate bills to vote on individual parts of it. Then when they come up for vote, the Republicans will throw non-sensical riders and amendments on them to make them unappealing to the most sane voting member. OBSTRUCTION. That's all the Republicans do. DO NOTHING.

    They should not be surprised when they will have to pay for this crap in the 2012 elections. Wave election. Sweep all of them out of power. Every damn one of them. Day of reckoning is coming.

  7. Not surprised this article brought out even MORE Obama haters that exist.

    It was mentioned yesterday that those who voted against it did not have the courtesy to even DISCUSS or debate what was in this jobs bill; they just went ahead and voted against it.

    So all you Republican Obama Haters can call Colin and anyone else on the carpet for their remarks and come up with your own remarks , bottom line is the Republicans don't give a crap about this Country. Their main goal is and will be for the next year to get Obama out of office on the backs of the American people and then bitch about how bad things are.

    I hear no ideas coming out of the Republican candidates' mouths on what they would do. And that is because they DO NOT KNOW what to do. I guess no one told them that to get the country out of this mess, they ALL have to work together and not for their own agenda which is to get Obama out. We cannot WAIT until 2013 when the republicans think they will be in office to get the ball rolling. It has to happen NOW.

    How pathetic.

  8. Exactly, Det_Munch.

    Last year, the Republicans who were running for office all loudly proclaimed they will get control of the spending and ran on platforms of jobs, jobs, jobs.

    Then, when they got into power and formed a majority in the House of Representatives, they loudly proclaim government is too big, shut it down, government is bad and now their banner they wave and scream is abortion, abortion, abortion.

    Republicans are crazy. Power mad. That's all they are. They couldn't solve their way out of a paper bag...even if it had a tear in it to help them get a head start on figuring it out.

    We need to get rid of them. They contribute continually to being the root of problems, nowhere even close to problem solvers, even when it deals with the most simplest forms of day-to-day legislation.

    To prove my point, their latest debacle is to continue demonizing and destroying an institution that has been a part of America forever: The United States Postal Service. They could easily introduce legislation to fix the ills faced (which Republicans caused in 2006), but they choose destruction by laying off employees. Really dumb. They have an agenda. And that is the ONLY thing that drives them.

    I'm going to do my part and vote every one of them I can out of office in 2012. I'd prefer they wander around aimlessly out in the desert. To give them a chance to reflect on how they can help people, rather than screw them all the time.