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Democrats Block Vote On Obama’s Stimulus; Later Call For Rewrite For More Tax Hikes!‏

October 5th, 2011 by mopns · No Comments

Yesterday, President Obama again demanded of his $447 billion stimulus proposal, “Pass this bill.” Directing his remarks at Capitol Hill, the president said, “[A]t least put this jobs bill up for a vote so that the entire country knows exactly where members of Congress stand.” He told his Texas audience, “I need you to call and tweet and fax and visit and email your congressperson and tell them the time for gridlock and games is over.  The time for action is now.” So, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, despite his opposition to the legislation, decided to offer the president an opportunity to get a vote on his bill. Yet Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) blocked the move, saying, “‘Right away’ is a relative term… I object.”

National Journal elaborated, “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., forced Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to block a vote on President Obama’s $447 billion jobs proposal on Tuesday. The legislative gambit will not bar a Senate vote on the bill later this month, but it blunts a Democratic effort to maneuver the GOP into accepting sole responsibility for blocking the package . . . . In a surprise move intended to highlight Democratic divisions over the bill, McConnell asked Reid for unanimous consent to vote on the bill, which Reid introduced last month, as an amendment to legislation cracking down on Chinese currency manipulation that is currently on the floor. McConnell noted that Obama has asked Congress for an immediate vote on the measure at least 12 separate times. ‘I want to disabuse [Obama] of the notion that we are somehow unwilling to vote’ on the bill, McConnell said. Reid objected to McConnell’s request. He used a procedural tactic to block amendments to the bill.”

And Yahoo News noted, “Talk about poor timing. Moments after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, blocked a Republican motion in the Senate to vote on President Obama’s jobs bill, the president’s re-election campaign sent out an e-mail blasting House Republicans for not voting on the proposal.”

But today, Reid reiterated that the Senate would take up President Obama’s stimulus bill (although not until it’s finished with a China currency bill that apparently takes precedence for majority Democrats). Democrats won’t vote on the original bill, though. They want to add tax hikes to it. The AP reports today, “Senate Democrats are scrambling to rewrite portions of President Barack Obama’s jobs bill, even as Obama tries to blame Republicans for Congress’ failure to act. . . . In the Senate, Democrats made plans to jettison provisions that Obama recommended to pay for the $447 billion jobs bill, substituting them with a tax increase on millionaires, officials said.”

The AP added, “The parliamentary dance aside, the day’s events underscored that, as submitted by the White House, Obama’s bill would not only fail in the Republican-controlled House, but faced enough opposition from Democrats to endanger its prospects in the Senate, as well. ‘There’s the good, the bad and the ugly. The ugly was $447 billion,’ Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said of the bill’s price tag.”

It’s far from clear, though, that the new taxes on “millionaires” that Democrat leaders are calling for will even attract Democrat votes. Not long ago a number of Senate Democrats warned against raising taxes in a recession. Joe Manchin, who thinks the original taxes in the Obama bill are “ugly,” once said, “I wouldn’t raise any taxes.” Last year at this time, Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) said, “I don’t think it makes sense to raise any federal taxes during the uncertain economy we are struggling through.”

As Leader McConnell said this morning, “[N]ow I understand our Democrat friends want to jettison entire parts of the bill altogether — not to make it more effective at growing jobs, not to grow bipartisan support. No, they want to overhaul the bill to sharpen its political edge. So my suggestion to the White House is that if the President wants to keep traveling around the country demanding a vote on this second stimulus, that he focuses his criticism on Democrats, not Republicans. Because they’re the ones who are now standing in the way of an immediate vote on this legislation.

“But, of course, the President knew as well as I did that many Democrats in Congress don’t like this bill any more than Republicans do. Despite his rhetoric, he knew Republicans weren’t the only obstacle. Which means one thing: the President is not engaged right now in a good-faith effort to spur the economy or create jobs through legislation. He’s engaged in a reelection campaign.

“There are 1.7 million fewer jobs since the President signed his first stimulus, and his idea of a solution is to propose another one. Even Democrats know it’s a non-starter, which is why so many of them don’t want to have to vote for it. That’s what we all witnessed yesterday.”

Related:

Rasmussen Reports: 36% Expect More Unemployment One Year From Today, 22% Expect Less

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