Obama Plays Political Chess With Jobs Bill
September 16, 2011 by Sam Rolley
The Administration of President Barack Obama is continuing its “pass this bill now” attitude in relation to the President’s jobs bill, but it’s being met with trouble even within his party.
According to an article published by The Hill, Democratic lawmakers are disappointed with several of the President’s proposals to pay for the $447 billion stimulus package, including an elimination of tax breaks for the oil-and-gas industry.
According to reports, traditionally conservative “Blue Dog” Democrats have lashed out against the White House’s proposal that short-term economic stimulus will have long-term positive impacts on the economy.
“The White House probably expected stronger support from Democrats than it’s gotten so far,” said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. “After all, this bill’s top selling point, according to the president, was both parties should like it. Yet, so far, the only thing both parties in Congress seem to agree on is that there’s got to be a better way. It seemed like the only Democrats who were even willing to talk about it here on Capitol Hill were tearing it apart.”
At a Thursday White House press briefing, the President’s plan for pushing his bill through came into question. Though the he has urged Congress to “pass this bill” more than 100 times, Obama has yet to discuss the bill with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). A reporter at the briefing asked Press Secretary Jay Carney about Obama’s reasoning for avoiding discussion with the Republican leader.
“I didn’t know you were working for the Speaker on his scheduling. The fact is — he will talk to the Speaker, but it is — the President has put forward a detailed piece of legislation. The elements of that plan are very clear. The Congress can and should act on it very quickly. It’s not complicated. The proposals are very simple. And they reflect — they are the kinds of proposals that have gained bipartisan support in the past,” Carney said.
Obama has, more than once, mentioned a bridge in Boehner’s district — the Brent Spence Bridge — that will receive repairs as a result of the $447 billion jobs proposal. Many people believe that this is no coincidence, but more of a political chess move by the President to pressure the House Speaker to urge Congress to pass the bill to avoid angering his constituents at home.
The Brent Spence Bridge connects Cincinnati with Covington, Ky., making Obama’s political highlighting of its disrepair bad public relations for both McConnell — the Republican senator from Kentucky — and Boehner.