Remember when Barack Obama addressed a joint session of Congress to introduce his American Jobs Act, exhorting them on national television to “pass this bill immediately”? Obama used that phrase in various forms 17 times despite the fact that he didn’t actually have a bill to present to Congress until a week later. And as far as all but two members of Congress are concerned, the bill itself may as well not exist. No co-sponsors have added their names to either the Senate or the House version even after more than a week, although readers have to dig a ways into the Washington Post report to find that out:
Neither bill has attracted any co-sponsors.
And, earlier this week, Reid said that the Senate would not take up the bill when it returns from a short recess. Instead, it would first take up a measure to punish China and other nations for currency manipulation. That bill, in keeping with the Democrats’ strategy, is meant to help several individual senators in manufacturing states, where competition from China is blamed for local job losses.
What about the jobs bill? “We’ll get to that,” Reid told reporters.
Anyone in either chamber can add their name to the bill as a co-sponsor. It’s not as if there are only a couple of Democrats in Congress. The House has 193 Democrats, 192 of which apparently don’t want to be associated with Obama’s job-creation track record. Democrats control the Senate with 51 members and two independents, although on this legislation it looks more like one Democrat and 52 independents.
We have a federal system, not a parliamentary system, so our legislature doesn’t take votes of no-confidence to force an executive out of power. But given the high-profile rollout of the AJA by Obama, including his demand for a joint session to escalate pressure for action, the lack of any co-sponsors on these bills is about as close as we’ll get to a vote of no confidence in this executive short of an outright floor-vote failure in the Senate on the bill.