Senate Republicans today blocked a vote on yet another one of the components of President Obama’s jobs plan today. This one would have invested $60 billon in building and repairing our nation’s crumbling infrastructure and was fully paid for by a 0.7% (!!!) surcharge on income over $1 million. A bridge too far for Republicans, apparently.
Republicans in the Senate Thursday dealt President Barack Obama the third in a string of defeats on his stimulus-style jobs agenda, blocking a $60 billion measure for building and repairing infrastructure like roads and rail lines.
Supporters of the failed measure said it would have created tens of thousands of construction jobs and lifted the still-struggling economy. But Republicans unanimously opposed it for its tax surcharge on the wealthy and spending totals they said were too high.
The 51-49 vote fell well short of the 60 votes required under Senate procedures to start work on the bill. Every Republican opposed the president, as did Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska and former Democrat Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., who still aligns with the party.
These votes are the first in a string of votes that President Obama is lining up like bowling pins for the Republicans to knock down. His timing is exquisite. By the time they pick a candidate, the Republicans will have firmly established themselves as the not just the party of “HELL NO, YOU CAN’T!!!, they will be on the record for vote after vote after vote on bills to help struggling Americans and get our economy going again.
Here’s the President’s official comments on today’s vote:
For the third time in recent weeks, every single Republican in the United States Senate has chosen to obstruct a jobs bill that independent economists said would boost our economy and put Americans back to work. At a time when more than a million construction workers are looking for a job, they voted “no” to putting them back to work doing the work America needs done – rebuilding our roads, bridges, airports and transit systems. That makes no sense.
It makes no sense when you consider that this bill was made up of the same kinds of common-sense proposals that many of these Senators have fought for in the past. It was fully paid for. And even though it was supported by more than 70 percent of the American people – Republicans, Democrats, and independents – 100 percent of Senate Republicans said no. It’s more clear than ever that Republicans in Washington are out of touch with Americans from all ends of the political spectrum.
The American people deserve to know why their Republican representatives in Washington refuse to put some of the workers hit hardest by the economic downturn back on the job rebuilding America. They deserve an explanation as to why Republicans refuse to step up to the plate and do what’s necessary to create jobs and grow the economy right now. It’s time for Republicans in Congress to put country ahead of party and listen to the people they were elected to serve. It’s time for them to do their job and focus on Americans’ jobs. And until they do, I will continue to do everything in my power to move this country forward.
These press releases from the White House are starting to write themselves, aren’t they?