A Load Of You-Know-What: Reality Check On “Jobs” Act

- June 7, 2012


Obama’s Latest Campaign Ad Urges Congress To Pass His $447 Billion Second Stimulus But His Own Party Rejected It


FLASHBACK: “President Barack Obama’s New Jobs Plan Is Hitting Some Unexpected Turbulence In The Halls Of Congress: Lawmakers From His Own Party.” (Manu Raju, “Hill Dems Pick Apart Obama Jobs Plan,” Politico, 9/14/11)

  • “Democrats Are Already Saying That Neither The Substance Nor The Size Of The Package Is Good Enough.” “As details leaked Wednesday of a roughly $300 billion plan, with more than half of it eaten up by extending existing tax breaks, some Democrats are already saying that neither the substance nor the size of the package is good enough.” (Carrie Budoff Brown, “High Stakes For Obama Jobs Speech,” Politico, 9/8/11)
  • Economists Estimated That The $447 Billion Bill Would Only Save Or Create 288,000 Jobs Over Two Years, Not The 2 Million Obama Claims. “President Obama exaggerates when he claims ‘independent economists’ say his jobs bill ‘would create nearly 2 million jobs.’ The median estimate in a survey of 34 economists showed 288,000 jobs could be saved or created over two years under the president’s plan.” (Eugene Kiely and Robert Farley, “Obama’s Spin On Jobs Bill,”, 10/19/11)

 “A Mix Of Moderate And Liberal Democrats Also Are Voicing Concerns About The Plan's Size And Its Emphasis On Cutting Some Taxes And Increasing Others.” “A mix of moderate and liberal Democrats also are voicing concerns about the plan's size and its emphasis on cutting some taxes and increasing others. While those concerns are what House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called ‘anecdotal’ rather than unanimous, the hesitance by some Democrats to embrace the entire plan could force the White House to accept its breakup into smaller pieces.” (Richard Wolf, “Opposition Growing To Obama’s Jobs Plan,” USA Today, 9/16/11)

  • Democrats Struggled With “Stimulus Fatigue.” “President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders believed that bringing forward a popular spending package for hiring teachers and firefighters would prove to be a far easier sell than the White House’s more ambitious $447 billion American Jobs Act. But that’s hardly been the case on Capitol Hill. Several moderate Democrats and Republicans appear to be struggling to overcome ‘stimulus fatigue’ setting in among voters back home and are withholding support for now — meaning the latest proposal is at risk of winning even less backing than the president’s signature economic bill, which fell nine votes shy of breaking a GOP-led filibuster last week.” (Manu Raju and Scott Wong, “Spending Bill Hits Wall With Moderates,” Politico, 10/18/11)

The Senate Rejected Obama’s Second Stimulus And The President Didn’t Do Much To Help

Last Fall, The Democrat-Controlled Senate Blocked Consideration Of The President’s Jobs Act. “In a major setback for President Obama, the Senate on Tuesday blocked consideration of his $447 billion jobs bill, forcing the White House and Congressional Democrats to scramble to salvage parts of the plan, the centerpiece of Mr. Obama’s push to revive a listless economy. The legislation, announced with fanfare by the president at a joint session of Congress last month, fell short of the 60 needed to overcome procedural hurdles in the Senate. The vote in favor of advancing the bill on Tuesday was 50 to 49.” (Robert Pear, “President’s Jobs Measure Is Turned Back In Key Senate Test,” The New York Times, 10/11/11)

  • The Setback “Came After Leaders Of His Own Party Had Adjusted The Measure To Include A Surtax On Incomes Of More Than $1 Million To Round Up Additional Democratic Votes.” “Two moderate Democrats facing difficult re-election campaigns, Senators Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Jon Tester of Montana, joined a solid phalanx of Republicans in opposition. In addition, the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, switched from yes to no so that he could move to reconsider the vote in the future. Given Mr. Obama’s repeated demands, as he traveled the nation in recent weeks, that Congress pass the bill intact, the Senate’s vote to block the measure represented a significant setback and came after leaders of his own party had adjusted the measure to include a surtax on incomes of more than $1 million to round up additional Democratic votes.” (Robert Pear, “President’s Jobs Measure Is Turned Back In Key Senate Test,” The New York Times, 10/11/11)

Obama Didn’t Do Much To Help The Jobs Act Pass. “President Barack Obama didn’t do much to bring along lawmakers on his jobs bill — and it showed in the Senate vote Tuesday. The $447 billion measure stalled after struggling to win even a simple majority to move forward, on its surface an embarrassing setback at the hands of the Democratic-controlled Senate.” (Carrie Budoff Brown and Glenn Thrush, “Obama Looks Past Hill On Jobs Bill,” Politico, 10/11/11)

  • “Aides Would Not Say Whether He Reached Out To Undecided Lawmakers, As He Usually Does Ahead Of Major Votes.” “The president met last week with Senate Democratic leaders, but unlike previous votes on signature legislation, the White House hasn’t spent much energy twisting arms to win support. Aides would not say whether he reached out to undecided lawmakers, as he usually does ahead of major votes.” (Carrie Budoff Brown and Glenn Thrush, “Obama Looks Past Hill On Jobs Bill,” Politico, 10/11/11)


“Most Of The Measures Have Been Pitched By The Obama Administration In Some Form Or Other Since 2009, Yet None Generated Enough Support To Pass Congress — Even When Democrats Controlled Both Houses.” (David Kocieniewski, “Tax Plan For Jobs Bill Has Familiar Ring,” The New York Times, 9/13/11)

Sen. Manchin (D-WV): “This President Has To Take The Side Of The American People And Not Think About, 'Well, This Looks Better For A Campaign Ad In 2012.’” “And the leadership necessary to make such a compromise happen, Manchin said, begins in the Oval Office. ‘This president has to take the side of the American people and not think about, 'Well, this looks better for a campaign ad in 2012, and I can make you look bad and make me look good,’’ he said. "Why don't you try making the whole country look good?" (Ian Hicks, “Manchin Defends Vote On Jobs Bill,” The Intelligencer10/13/11)

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT): “We’ve Got To Stop Spending Money We Don’t Have.” “‘At some point — and my opinion is now — we’ve got to stop spending money we don’t have,’ said Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who caucuses with Democrats. He told POLITICO he probably would vote to block the latest proposal from even moving forward for debate.” (Manu Raju and Scott Wong, “Spending Bill Hits Wall With Moderates,” Politico, 10/18/11)

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) Characterized Obama’s Economic Strategy As “Keep Your Fingers Crossed.” “Even ardent supporters of the president wonder whether the new jobs plan will be adequate to turn around perceptions of his presidency. Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) said Obama called him Tuesday and spoke in general terms about the forthcoming proposals. Given the history of the stimulus — a $787-billion package passed in early 2009 that may have kept the economy from getting drastically worse but didn't cure it — there's no guarantee the new plan will make much of a dent, Durbin said. The original stimulus package didn't do enough, Durbin said. ‘It stemmed the bleeding for a short period, but it didn't turn the tide,’ he said. ‘For anything less than that, you just have to keep your fingers crossed that it's the right thing at the right moment.’” (Peter Nicholas and Christi Parson, “Obama’s Jobs Plan To Reflect His More Modest Ambition,” Los Angeles Times, 9/8/11)

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE): “I Can’t Support This Bill Because It Represents Billions Of Dollars In New Spending And More Taxes.” NELSON: “At a time when Americans want Washington to get its fiscal house in order, I can’t support this bill because it represents billions of dollars in new spending and more taxes. … But at this time I simply can’t support raising taxes so Washington can spend more.” (Sen. Ben Nelson, “Nelson Opposes More Spending And More Taxes,” Press Release, 10/11/11)

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD): “I Disagree With The President.” “Senator Barbara Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat whose state includes some of the wealthiest counties in the U.S., said she didn’t support the health-care tax. ‘I disagree with the president,’ she said. The proposal, she said, would be problematic for people with fluctuating incomes. Some of her constituents ‘might make one year $300,000 and the next year $30,000,’ she said.” (Steven Sloan and Kathless Hunter, “Obama Plan To Tax Health Benefits Stirs Democratic Opposition,” Bloomberg Businessweek, 9/14/11)

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC): “I Think We’ve Got To Have Comprehensive Tax Reform” Rather Than Specific Tax Increases To Pay For Obama’s Stimulus. “Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) said she would prefer raising new revenues through comprehensive tax reform instead of zeroing in immediately on specific tax increases. ‘I think we’ve got to have comprehensive tax reform,’ she said. ‘I’m always interested in looking at what we can do from a comprehensive standpoint.’” (Alexander Bolton, “Senate Democrats Buck Obama On Jobs By Changing ‘Pay-Fors’,” The Hill, 10/4/11)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Was Unsure If It Would Actually Help Bring Down Unemployment. “Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, said she won’t vote for it unless she’s convinced it will help employment in her economically hard-hit state. ‘We have the highest unemployment. We have the most people. We have the biggest problems in terms of state and local cuts. So, I need some specificity,’ she said.” (Ted Barrett, “Obama Aides Hear Jobs Bill Concerns From Senate Democrats,” CNN’s “Political Ticker,” 9/15/11)

Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) Said The Jobs Act Spends Money On Things That Have Failed To Create Jobs And Doesn’t Guarantee Job Creation. “Senator Jon Tester says he voted against President Obama's job package because he didn't see enough job creation in the plan. The measure died on a 50 to 48 vote Tuesday, it needed at least 60 votes to pass. The $447 billion jobs bill included a mix of tax cuts and new spending. Tester says it doesn't put money in the right places or create enough jobs. ‘There's a lot of things in it and quite frankly a lot of money spent on things that haven't created jobs in the past and won't create jobs in the future, like payroll tax cuts,’ Senator Tester said. ‘There's money for the states that quite honestly there's no assurances it'll be created, even used to create one job.’” (KECI Staff, “Tester Voted Against Job Package, Didn’t Agree With Spending,” KECI, 10/12/11)

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR): “I’m Not Sure Federal Taxpayers Should Be Paying For Teachers And First Responders.” “‘It’s a little philosophical in the sense that I’m not sure federal taxpayers should be paying for teachers and first responders. That’s traditionally a state and local matter,’ Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) said in an interview. ‘I have a big question mark about whether the teacher portion benefits our state at all because of some of the stuff we’ve done on the state level over the past few years.’” (Manu Raju and Scott Wong, “Spending Bill Hits Wall With Moderates,” Politico, 10/18/11)

Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA): The President’s Stimulus “Sounds Good In A TV Bite” But It Is Not “Smart Policy.” “The present proposal looks good at first glance, it sounds good in a TV bite but in all respect to the people who put it forward, I do not believe it’s smart policy and it does not go where the real economic division lies in our country.” (Manu Raju and Scott Wong, “Obama Jobs Bill May Not Get 51 In Senate,” Politico, 10/11/11)

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) Said Obama’s Offsets Were “Not Going To Fly” And Questioned Whether Obama’s Jobs Plan Was “Just For His Election.” “’That offset is not going to fly, and he should know that,’ said Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu from the energy-producing Louisiana, referring to Obama’s elimination of oil and gas subsidies. ‘Maybe it’s just for his election, which I hope isn’t the case.’” (Manu Raju, “Hill Dems Pick Apart Obama Jobs Plan,” Politico, 9/14/11)

Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE): “A Long-Term Deficit-Reduction Plan” Is “Better Than Everything Else The President’s Talked About – Combined.” “’I think the best jobs bill that can be passed is a comprehensive long-term deficit-reduction plan,’ said Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), discussing proposals to slash the debt by $4 trillion by overhauling entitlement programs and raising revenue through tax reforms. ‘That’s better than everything else the president is talking about — combined.’” (Manu Raju, “Hill Dems Pick Apart Obama’s Jobs Plan,” Politico, 9/14/11)

Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK): “On The Pay-Fors, I Have A Problem.” “Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, from the oil-rich state of Alaska, said it was ‘frustrating’ to see the president single out the oil industry after calling on the congressional supercommittee in last week’s address to Congress to find savings. ‘When you start singling out certain industries, there’s an unfairness to it,’ he said in an interview. ‘On the pay-fors, I have a problem.’” (Manu Raju, “Hill Dems Pick Apart Obama Jobs Plan,” Politico, 9/14/11)

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY): Obama’s Proposals To Pay For His Stimulus “Are Probably Not The Best Way To Garner The Votes.” “‘After [Obama] announced the jobs bill ... he proposed ways of paying for it that are probably not the best way to garner the votes,’ Schumer said. ‘We're looking for better ways,’ said Schumer, the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate.” (Lore Croghan and Alison Gendar, “President Obama’s Jobs Bill A Tough Sell, Sen. Chuck Schumer Says,” New York Daily News, 10/3/11)

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