President Obama Presents Jobs Bill, Again
After his opponents killed President Obama’s jobs bill that he presented to the joint session of Congress last year, the president has resuscitated the measure and is pleading with Congress to pass it.
“If Congress had passed it in full, we’d be on track having a million more Americans working this year,” Obama told reporters. “But they left most of the jobs plan just sitting there, and in light of the headwinds that we’re facing right now, I urge them to reconsider.”
“Inaction is inexcusable,” he added.
The American Jobs Act was presented in September. But while Congress agreed to pass a few parts of the bill — including an expansion of the payroll tax cut, and a bill that offers tax credits to employers for hiring long-term unemployed veterans — lawmakers ignored most of it.
In response, Obama then launched the “We Can’t Wait” initiative, a series of smaller executive actions that could be taken without Congress. The executive approach, however, is limited and didn’t create meaningful change. This past month’s negative jobs report is reflective of that.
That said, it seems doubtful that Congress will move on any of these proposals. The last time around, a Republican filibuster killed the American Jobs Act in the Senate. The House wouldn’t even bring it to a vote. The GOP’s opposition was fueled by a disagreement over paying for the bill with a new surtax on personal income over $1 million, arguing that this is no time to raise taxes on anybody, even millionaires. And instead of more government spending, they argued that a better tack would be to slash more taxes and focus on balancing the budget.