Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Reid refuses to bring Obama's jobs bill to a vote, but the President lashes out at GOP leaders

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refused to give President Obama the vote he's sought on a jobs bill Tuesday.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the President's bluff and introduced the bill in full on the Senate floor Tuesday, but Mr. Reid, who is cognizant of the fact that many Democrats are wary of supporting Obama's latest spending proposals, refused to bring the bill to a vote.

"The least we can do for the president is give him a chance to have a vote on his proposal now as he has requested on numerous occasions," argued McConnell. "The suggestion that Senate Republicans are not interested in voting on his jobs bill is not true."

"Let me count the number of times - one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12 times - the president of the United States over the last few weeks has called on us to have this vote," said McConnell. "I'm prepared to vote on the president's proposal today."

House Republicans, on the other hand - who've expressed concerns over a number of proposals in the President's Porkulus bill - say the bill won't get a vote in the House in its entirety.

Not surprisingly, however, President Obama on Tuesday, rather than lash out at Mr. Reid for refusing to bring the bill to a vote in the senate, focused his attention, political rhetoric and feigned ire at House Republican leaders.

"At least put this jobs bill up for a vote so that the entire country knows exactly where every member of Congress stands. Put your cards on the table. I realize that some Republicans in Washington are resistant," the master pol said Tuesday in a speech in Mesquite, Texas, the House district, which coincidentally is represented by Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling.

Incidentally, White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney was asked repeatedly by reporters on Monday why the President was not engaging with congressional leaders in discussion about the proposed bill.

"The President repeated today -- or said today that Republicans should detail what aspects of the bill they don’t like, what they’re prepared to move forward. The House leadership released a memo September 16th in considerable detail, doing just that. So what is it that the President needs to see additionally from them?", asked one reporter.

Another member of the press pool asked: "Is there anyone in this building... dealing with the Republicans in the House and the Democrats in the Senate and others on this bill, or is it just, we sent it up and we expect them to pass it? Is there any negotiations going on? Is there any give-and-take along the lines of what you just were talking about?"

The reporter added: "I guess, just -- what underlying my question is I understand and I believe the President wants this bill to pass, but it’s also a political weapon in a sense. The President is talking about, this needs to be passed, and if Republicans don't pass it, what are they for? And I’m trying to figure out how seriously the White House is about engaging with congressional leaders to actually get this thing passed, as opposed to talking about it on the stump?"

And, another reporter asked: "As was referenced, the Republicans, several weeks ago, outlined areas of compromise. Is the President talking or listening to Republicans? Or is he just interested in appealing to the public instead?"

Another member of the press pool noted: "Jay, the suspicion among Republicans is that you want to vote on the whole bill so that then you can take the component parts that Republicans vote against and use it against them politically."

Another reporter opined: "You say there’s no point person to try to get something done on the jobs act with Congress, then that’s a change in how the White House" is dealing with Congress. "Should they not be negotiating with... sounded like you're not negotiating a piece of legislation."

"But if you are saying this about the minority of one party in one house of Congress," said one member of the press pool, "you certainly had some struggles getting all of the Democrats in the United States Senate on the same page, for instance, in even agreeing to how they would pay for this..."

And, another reporter asked: "Isn’t it somewhat misleading for the President to be going to these audiences repeatedly, and getting them - 'fired up and ready to go' - chanting 'pass that bill,' when he knows himself that in the chamber that his party controls they’re [Reid, and Democrats who are wary about voting in favor of additional government spending] not doing that?"

Even the White House press pool is on to the President's charade. Nevertheless, the President's primary focus right now is to score political points. For he is keenly aware that he can't possibly turn around the economy anytime soon, especially with his bankrupt policies, but he also realizes that his skill in the art of political rhetoric is the only vehicle he has to secure his re-election in 2012.

Hence the President will continue to do what he does best: Travel the country, campaign, and give speeches...

No comments: