Obama Jobs Bill: No We Can’t

OK. I’ll admit it. I’m having a difficult time getting excited about Dancing With the Stars this season. Let’s face it. Without Hope Solo it wouldn’t even be worth the effort or the electricity to turn on the TV.

So while I snoozed peacefully during the broadcast last night, I take it members of the Senate did the quickstep with Obama’s jobs bill (“Pass the Bill Now”) and sent it to the sidelines as a few Democrats joined all the Republicans and gave it a thumbs down. Now the Prez who a few weeks ago said he wouldn’t compromise on the plan — in effect, take the whole thing as a package or shove it where the sun don’t shine — is now willing to let the pols and lobbyists fight over it item by item.

Ah, and you wonder why thousands of young people and others are on the streets these days in New York City and elsewhere. Either nobody Inside the Beltway is listening — or they don’t care that millions are unemployed and millions more are just getting by in an economy that is now heading South faster than the Snow Birds from Ohio.

Wonder when “Yes We Can” became “No We Can’t?” I digress.

Here’s from the NYT, “Jobs Measure Is Turned Back in Key Senate Test“:

In a major setback for President Obama, the Senate on Tuesday blocked consideration of his $447 billion jobs bill, forcing the White House and Congressional Democrats to scramble to salvage parts of the plan, the centerpiece of Mr. Obama’s push to revive a listless economy.

The legislation, announced with fanfare by the president at a joint session of Congress last month, fell short of the 60 needed to overcome procedural hurdles in the Senate.

The vote in favor of advancing the bill on Tuesday was 50 to 49. Two moderate Democrats facing difficult re-election campaigns, Senators Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Jon Tester of Montana, joined a solid phalanx of Republicans in opposition. In addition, the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, switched from yes to no so that he could move to reconsider the vote in the future.

Given Mr. Obama’s repeated demands, as he traveled the nation in recent weeks, that Congress pass the bill intact, the Senate’s vote to block the measure represented a significant setback and came after leaders of his own party had adjusted the measure to include a surtax on incomes of more than $1 million to round up additional Democratic votes.

After the vote, the president criticized Republicans for balking at a measure that included initiatives they supported in the past.

“Tonight’s vote is by no means the end of this fight,” the president said in a statement. He added, “In the coming days, members of Congress will have to take a stand on whether they believe we should put teachers, construction workers, police officers and firefighters back on the job.”

OK. Let the 2012 election campaigns continue.

Clearly we need some hope that there are answers to the big problems facing this country.

But while the Congress and administration dither, I guess we’ll have to settle for Hope Solo.



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