Senate Kills Obama Jobs Bill

Posted on October 13, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

by Caren Z. Turner

The President’s jobs bill died in the Senate Tuesday night in a 50-49 vote, just ten votes shy of the 60 needed to break a Republican filibuster. The President blasted Senate Republicans for not supporting the legislation.

“[E]ven though this bill contains the kind of proposals Republicans have supported in the past, their party obstructed the Senate from moving forward on this jobs bill,” Obama said.

Key to Republican opposition to the jobs bill was a provision inserted by Senate Democrats which would impose a 5.6 percent surtax on millionaires in order to pay for the measure. Democrats accuse Republicans of blocking the bill in an effort to deny the President a victory and to protect millionaires at the expense of the rest of the nation.

“Folks should ask their senators, why would you consider voting against putting teachers and police officers back to work?” President Obama said in a speech Tuesday in Pittsburgh. “Ask them what’s wrong with having folks who have made millions or billions of dollars to pay a little more.”

Tuesday’s Senate vote essentially ended the bill’s legislative life, though it is likely that separate pieces of legislation containing specific components of the bill will be drafted and considered, an approach supported by Democrats. The President indicated his administration will work with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to get votes on those separate measures “as soon as possible.”

“Tonight’s vote is by no means the end of this fight,” the President also stated. “Independent economists have said that the American Jobs Act would grow the economy and lead to nearly two million jobs, which is why the majority of the American people support these bipartisan, common-sense proposals.”

A analysis of the politics of the jobs bill issue is worth noting:

“It’s pathetic but not unexpected. This is really what we’ve come to expect from this divided Congress,” said John Avlon, an independent and CNN political contributor. “What’s especially frustrating to folks who view this with a sense of historic perspective is that we’ve had divided governments that worked fairly well before. But I think the unfortunate hyper-partisanship is clearly affecting our ability to work together.”

Avlon said the Democrats’ adage that the Republican Party is the “party of no” is not just a slogan anymore; it’s become reality.

“Republicans accusing (Democrats) of playing politics ought to look in the mirror if they are simply voting against things because they come from the president,” Avlon said. “I think you’re playing with a little bit of political dynamite if you think obstructionism will be good politics in the face of this economy.”

Garry Jacobson, a political science professor at the University of California, San Diego, said that what Republicans are doing is “pretty transparent.”

“They have no incentive to actually decrease unemployment before the next election. They certainly look like they are trying to obstruct job formation,” he said. “If the economy is still around 9% a year from now, it’s good for them. The incentives for obstruction are strong. The incentives for doing anything that actually might reduce unemployment are pretty weak.”

Turner GPA is one of the premier, highly respected government and public affairs firms in the nation. Turner’s state-of-the-art advocacy has earned them respect and acclaim from the media, clients, policymakers and even their competitors! Turner advocates on behalf of cutting edge businesses, municipalities, and non-profits that wish to ensure their perspectives and needs are taken into account in Washington, in state capitols and in City Hall, as well as in the media. The firm creates and implements intensely focused and targeted advocacy campaigns designed to meet and exceed its client’s expectations and goals. For more information on Turner GPA, visit or call 202-466-2511.

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