The American Jobs Act: Plan B

Lawmakers will consider the bill piece by piece.

Posted: 10/12/2011 06:03 PM EDT
Barack Obama Jobs Bill

Following its foreseen defeat in the Senate Tuesday night, the American Jobs Act is down, but not out, and it’s time for Plan B: breaking down the bill into pieces that are likely to pass.

 

“The Senate’s action last night proved that the month-long campaign that the White House has been on to promote the president’s bill failed,” Cantor said at a press conference on Wednesday. “And it demonstrated as well that the president could not even get the necessary support in his own party to pass the bill.”

 

President Obama has for weeks said that he expected the $447 billion package to pass in its entirety but, anticipating the inevitable, it seems, he met with Democratic leaders last Friday to discuss how to move forward the elements that will get bipartisan support, such as the payroll tax holiday, a tax credit for businesses that hire veterans and the long-term unemployed and funding to save and create jobs for teachers, police and firefighters.

 

“With each vote, members of Congress can either explain to their constituents why they’re against common-sense, bipartisan proposals to create jobs, or they can listen to the overwhelming majority of American people who are crying out for action,” Obama said. “Because with so many Americans out of work and so many families struggling, we can’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Ultimately, the American people won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. It’s time for Congress to meet their responsibility, put their party politics aside and take action on jobs right now.” 

 

In a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, when respondents were asked if Congress should pass the bill, 30 percent said yes, while 44 percent said they have no opinion. However, after hearing some of its details, such as tax hikes on wealthy individuals and corporations, 64 percent support the bill and 32 percent oppose it.

 

Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver expressed disappointment that the bill will be broken down into pieces and even deeper disappointment when he learned that the White House understands that it’s the only way to move forward.

 

“I’m going to support and would imagine that most of the CBC members will also support any of the parts of the jobs bill with the understanding that we will not ignite the level of employment that was intended when it was first introduced,” Cleaver said. “We are kind of playing around the edges and it won’t do anything to reduce unemployment significantly.”

 

(Photo: White House)

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