No surprises here, but the failure of another component of the president’s jobs bill deserves at least a mention, if for no other reason than that it’s important to remember that Harry Reid insists on wasting the Senate’s time in this way — by picking the least palatable portions of the president’s bill, bringing them to the Senate floor for a vote and then blaming Republicans for their failure. Up for defeat today: A $60 billion infrastructure bill.
The bill’s failure was followed by all the finger-pointing from one side of the aisle to the other you’d predict. National Journal reports:
“Democrats are more interested in building a campaign message than in rebuilding roads and bridges. And frankly, the American people deserve a lot better than that,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in an animated floor speech earlier Thursday.
McConnell implored Democrats to bring forward jobs legislation that can be enacted rather than legislation designed to be cited in a “campaign speech.” The remark drew a pointed response from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
“We have had here for the last 10 months a campaign speech every day directed by my friend, through his Republican colleagues and his caucus, doing everything they can to make President Obama look bad,” Reid said.
But let’s remember the reality here:
- The Senate is Democratically-controlled. Reid doesn’t have to win over all the Republicans — just a handful — to prevent a filibuster.
- Members of both parties lined up to oppose the American Jobs Act in its entirety when the Senate first voted on the president’s plan. That means, in general, the bipartisan position in the Senate is to oppose the AJA.
- Republicans’ anti-tax-hikes position preceded the president’s rollout of the AJA.
- Finally, the House of Representatives acted on jobs long before the president’s final pivot to the issue. Why has the Senate decided to take up the president’s bill before taking up even one of the #Forgotten15?