Let no Democrat anywhere ever say again that Republican obstructionism is to blame for the inaction of Congress and the president on jobs. Not only has the Republican House of Representatives passed 15 of its own jobs bills, but, today, the House also passed part of the president’s American Jobs Act, according to The Washington Times. That’s more than can be said for the Democratically-controlled Senate, which has yet to pass a single component of the AJA.
The measure that scored the support of 405 members of the House is one to repeal a rule that hasn’t yet taken effect, but that would require federal, state and local governments to withhold 3 percent of payments to government contractors. The president and House Republicans agree that the withholding rule — set to take effect in 2013 — is destructive to small businesses.
Still, the bill is not without controversy. According to budget rules, it will cost $11.2 billion. To pay for it, House Republicans passed another bill that tinkers with Medicaid and health exchange subsidy eligibility requirements under the PPACA — a bill that would save $13 billion. House Democrats weren’t so keen on that bill — and the Senate likely won’t be, either.
But some House Democrats didn’t even like the bill to pass a part of the president’s jobs plan. In fact, all 16 votes against the presidentially proposed measure came from members of Obama’s own party. Michigan Democrat Rep. Sander Levin voted in favor of the bill, but said it won’t actually do anything to create jobs.
Seems Levin is in the same camp as Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, who recently mocked the idea that repealing yet-to-be-enacted regulations could positively affect the hiring climate. In reality, repealing regulations before they even take effect makes sense. (Of course, it makes more sense not to pass the regulations in the first place.) In this case, private businesses that contract with the government now know they won’t face withholding in 2013 — and will adjust their business plans accordingly. The restored three percent they’ll receive in payments might just go toward additional hiring.