The House reportedly struggled to find a Democrat sponsor for the president’s exposed and vulnerable jobs package, eventually finding a savior in Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.), who represents one of the safest of safe districts. Nor will the Republican-run House likely take up the legislation anytime soon. But who would have expected the president’s bill to stall in the Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid himself introduced it? But, apparently, Reid would rather (a) take vacation and (b) work on other long-delayed legislation than obey the president’s repeated orders to pass his entire bill as soon as, um, yesterday. The Washington Times reports:
Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, said Monday night that when the Senate returns from a weeklong vacation, the chamber will work … on a bill that would push to label China a currency manipulator, which would make retaliatory steps in order.
“I don’t think there’s anything more important for a jobs measure than China trade,” Mr. Reid said. …
The president has been traveling the country demanding that Congress act immediately, but even his own party has not been keen to rush [his jobs] legislation.
Mr. Reid is the Senate sponsor of [the president’s jobs package], but he said there are other priorities.
“We’ll get to that, but let’s get some of these things done that we have to get done first,” he said.
For all that ridiculous rollout, the president’s plan seems to have fallen off the radar of even his most loyal legislators. What’s up with that? Frankly, I’m a little surprised. It’s not as though the American people were entirely opposed to every measure advocated by the president. Some polls even suggested the president was winning folks over with his envy-inducing utterances.
But, then again, other polls showed the American people divided, at best, on the president’s proposal. According to a mid-September survey conducted by Crossroads GPS, for example, just 43 percent of likely voters supported the president’s plan, while 42 percent opposed it — and independents opposed it by a 53 to 33 margin. Just 25 percent of those surveyed believed the bill should be passed immediately, while 69 percent believed Congress should take a closer look to “make sure the ideas will work before money is spent on them.”
And that last part is the real clincher anyway: The proposals won’t work. The first stimulus failed and this jobs plan is more of the same. And paying for all that spending with tax hikes isn’t particularly appealing, either. So maybe Harry Reid has the president’s best interests at heart by delaying consideration of the bill, after all. He’ll take the fall for no action — and postpone the inevitably harmful results of the bill’s passage in the process.