(Reuters) – The Senate defeated President Barack Obama’s job-creation package on Tuesday in a sign that Washington is likely too paralyzed to take major steps to spur hiring before the 2012 elections.
Two Democrats joined the Senate GOP that effectively tabled the Americans Jobs Act Bill. Tester (D) Montana and Nelson (D) Nebraska joined the Republicans in voting against the Bill.
The $447 billion package of tax cuts and new spending failed by a vote of 50 to 48, short of the 60 votes it needed to advance in the 100-member Senate.
The nation is suffering from 9 plus per cent unemployment. The real percentage is probably 5 points higher. Fourteen Million Americans are unemployed. People are losing their homes. Yet, neither congressional body will work with the President in passing legislation that will put millions of Americans back to work.
Many of the same Senators who voted against the Jobs bill, voted throughout the Bush Years to support nearly all of his proposed legislation.
Among the elements of the bill which might be salvaged are a payroll tax cut which Obama wants to extend to avoid imposing an effective tax increase at a time when wages have not been rising much. Obama’s bill would also extend unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed, another area that could yield bipartisan support.
Other elements, such as increased highway spending and aid for cash-strapped states, aren’t likely to pick up any Republican support.
Democrats are starting to speak more forcefully about Republicans and their defeat Obama priority. You and I also know that if the economy improves the GOP has no hope of defeating the president in 2012. The GOP cannot use national defense, considering the many ‘keep-us-safe” victories for Obama.
The response from the GOP?
“Everyone who votes for this second stimulus will have to answer a simple but important question: why on Earth would you support an approach that we already know won’t work?” said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.
Compare that with this…
“….The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president. McConnell Senate Republican Leader.
And the loser is…the American People!